10 signs of brand sabotage
Brand reputation is more precarious than ever before. True and false information spreads like wildfire in the vast and interconnected social media landscape and even the most venerable brands can be leveled in a flash–by disgruntled customers, competing companies, and observers unhappy with the organization’s policies. While some brand saboteurs deliberately seek out opportunities to subvert carefully crafted brand strategies and marketing messages, many are unintentional saboteurs who live within the organization or just outside the organization’s borders–as suppliers, channel partners, or spokespeople.
What are ten signs that you may need to pay more attention to the possibility of brand sabotage?
1. WikiLeaks is currently featuring all of your confidential documents related to a major safety investigation, including internal emails suggesting that you didn’t follow your own established and documented safety procedures.
2. A group of uniformed employees creates a series of highly embarrassing YouTube videos in which they display less than professional attitudes towards their work, all because they were bored and had nothing better to do with their time.
3. One of your senior executives publicly blames a supplier for product defects, even though the earliest incidents of the aforementioned product defects pre-date your relationship with the supplier.
4. The song that a dissatisfied customer created about his experience with you has been downloaded more than 9 million times, garners the number 1 position on iTunes Music Store, and is named by Time magazine as one of the top viral videos of the year.
5. The dissatisfied customer that created a song about his experience with you has just uploaded a sequel.
6. A customer unhappy with the changes that you have made to your product design launches a Facebook group.
7. A government regulatory agency receives nearly 4,700 complaints from customers who have been recruited through the aforementioned Facebook group and Twitter.
8. Your outsource partner (and its relationship with you) is prominently featured on numerous blogs and websites describing allegations of worker mistreatment and workplace safety hazards.
9. Your competitor’s most recent ads trumpet their solution to the performance problems associated with your most recent product days after its launch.
10. You can’t tell your shareholders the value of your brand, much less how the value of your brand has fared over time when all of the previous nine things happen.
Published on August 6, 2015.