In the international news, there is a little blip on the radar about Waitrose’s ‘ugly’ chocolate duckling. While most see it as a correction to a problem, I saw something much more important. I saw a company that promptly initiated their own form of reputation protection.
The average person probably noticed that they quickly rectified the situation. They apologized and corrected their packaging in a less offensive way.
Reputation protection is important, and bigger companies hire people to keep an eye out for any potential harm that may come to that reputation. Smaller companies are do not have those funds. So, what do you do if you do not have the money to hire a company for that purpose? You need to take care of your own.
First, you will want to start by jumping on the most popular social media pages and make sure your company has a presence. Just starting out, you may not have a lot of time to interact. However, you should be able to put something out there to get yourself noticed. Connect with your audience.
Once you are open to be noticed, make sure you have some search terms saved with alerts. That way, if people say something publically about your company, you will know it! You want to make sure you are aware of what your customer base is feeling about you.
Caught in a dilemma? Protecting your brand should come before your pride. Optimally, you should have a company that reflects your values. None the less, make sure you apologize when needed. Waitrose was able to diffuse an issue by simply apologizing for the misunderstanding, and explaining their intended meaning. Most of all, they took action to rectify that situation!