Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Recovering From a PR Mess

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With all the troubles facing Toyota after their giant recall, it is hard to imagine their brand recovering the prestige it once held. For that matter, it can be hard to see how brands in general are able to come back from a giant PR disaster.

But hope is not lost. Last week, Domino’s Pizza announced great financial results. This should remind us that it is possible to overcome challenges in the media – if handled properly.

In the spring of 2009, a video made it onto YouTube showing some Domino’s employees doing some pretty nasty things in the kitchen. The video became an instant YouTube sensation. But the company reaction was fast, releasing their response via YouTube almost immediately. The message from Domino’s communicated a few key things that deserve to be called out:

  • First, they thanked their loyal community for bringing the problem to their attention, implying that customers have a stake in the brand
  • Second, they outlined how they were dealing with it, showing that the issue was being taken seriously
  • Third, they emphasized that not only was it an isolated incident, but that the rest of the locations were run by hardworking, honest people, thus providing a human face to a multinational corporation
  • Finally, they concluded by showing a renewed emphasis on their customers, for whom they would work to regain their trust

This may seem like common sense, and it should. But Toyota’s response was lacking each of those points. The result is that despite the setback, Domino’s is now thriving while Toyota continues to be attacked from all corners.

What do you think? Is it too late for Toyota to learn from the Domino’s example?


Written by benwisebranding

March 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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