Protecting Your Brand from Brand Equity Landmines

You need to protect your brand from image-destroying events. Otherwise, your brand can actually negatively impact your business's image. Most brand-damaging events fall into one of these categories

  • A lapse in social responsibility.

  • A lapse in corporate behavior.

  • A lapse in personal behavior of a high-profile executive, spokesperson, or leading brand representative.

  • Death or sudden departure of a high-profile business leader.

  • Product failures, malfunctions, or dangers.

    Whether real or perceived, these problems may be the result of human errors, inadequate or overlooked quality procedures and controls, violations of procedures, circulation of misinformation, consumer misunderstandings, or out-and-out product sabotage.

  • Crises that result from natural or manmade disasters or accidents.

Before you plan how to handle brand threats, take some time to plan how to avoid them if you can. The best offense is a good defense. To defend yourself, you need to take two essential steps.

  1. Identify potential threats.

    Go through the preceding list to identify the kinds of threats that may take a toll on your brand reputation. Then assess the likelihood of those threats actually occurring. For any threat that appears to loom large, work in advance to reduce vulnerability by establishing systems and protective actions that steer your organization away from the potential risks.

  2. Prepare a brand crisis management plan.

    Prepare a plan complete with assignments for who you want to lead and serve on the crisis management team, what communication procedures you want everyone to follow, and the steps that can get a clear, consistent message out to all affected audiences.

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