We know it’s possible, but boy oh boy do we not want to think about it. That day, that horrible day that can turn into weeks or months or in the worst case simply shut us down. The day our brand and business comes under attack.

It can happen internally, externally, through making wrong decisions of your own or from a random person that came from nowhere. What can you do? In most cases, prevention is better than a cure. Though you can’t avoid everything, avoiding as many headaches as possible is the best anyone can do.

So let’s take a look at a real life example: 

A famous car brand has a deadly fault in one of their car models.

This is an internal mistake. It is not intentional and never would be unless there was a really unstable staff member that wanted to inflict horrible damage. What companies do in response to these deadly problems determines the trustworthy nature of the brand.

What have car brands done in the past?

• Knowingly found the fault and released the cars anyway, weighing up the costs to the company and potential risk of death to customers. Worse still, continued to manufacture with the faulty parts in new cars. (It seems inconceivable, but lots of people die in cars everyday, so somehow this was an acceptable decision to more than one car company).

• Recall the cars as soon as the issue was discovered, with huge disruption, resources and financial loss.

What should they do?

No matter which way you look at it, whether they recall straight away, delay a recall (which is illegal), or don’t recall at all and run through the gauntlet hoping not to be discovered until a later date, there will be financial loss. So resolving the situation in the most customer friendly way would be the wisest option. 

Financial decisions are the lifeblood of a company, but many fail to look into their crystal balls and predict future losses due to loss of brand equity and what that means in financial terms. In a highly competitive market the best option is to do the right thing by consumers to retain brand equity in the future. (Not to mention that it is completely illegal not to take the high road!)

Whilst this example of something that could go wrong might seem extreme, it’s worth noting the reaction you had to it. This example was a case of bad decisions, poor planning and poor procedures, whereas pre-planning the way you approach or even prevent these issues is the main thing to take away from this article. Only then can you minimise long term damage to your business and brand.

Tip: Try to schedule a regular meeting of minds in your business to predict potential problems and plan a way to solve them before they happen. I have read great stories on businesses that sailed through a drama with minimal impact simply because they sat down and discussed it potentially happening.

Image source: bentleygoldcoast.com