Branding used to be a top-down strategy but has now moved into the lateral space due to customers being far better informed than earlier. There exist some situations where marketing research has proven that brands need to do the unthinkable- ask for forgiveness. An obvious such situation is when a scandal erupts as happened when the New York Times published a damning article on the work culture at Amazon. Cruelty especially in the meat or dairy industry can mean similar repercussions as happened post the Blackfish documentary for SeaWorld. On the human side, there could be a case where an employee or some of them are meted out treatment deemed unjust by the general public. There could be a situation where an individual’s remarks cause outrage and the company needs to apologize. Sometimes companies act arrogant and speak in high handed manner. This especially when done with the press is dangerous. Dishonesty is almost never forgiven by the consumer base as happened with Volkswagen’s wrong emissions report. Accusations of extravagance can never be controlled by philanthropy and thus all organizations must be careful before splurging it on activities deemed unnecessary. The not-for-profit and government sectors need to be most careful about this. Corruption charges can land giants in great difficulty as happened with FIFA, which immediately prompted both Coca Cola and McDonald’s to remove their names from the sporting body’s events. The food and beverage industry needs to be very careful against contamination as seen to have wrecked Chipotle’s position in the same. Johnson & Johnson though did repair the damage and win back brand trust after they had a similar fallout in 1982. Finally there is negligence, something from which the mighty BP is struggling hard to win back eroded trust. Source:

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