How many strikes before you are out?

A couple of months ago I ordered a bottle of my favourite wine in a restaurant… and it was foul!  A ‘brand’ (for that is what the label has become) that I could rely upon had let me down.  At the weekend staring at another wine list, I studiously avoided my once favourite.  One of the key reasons we become loyal to brands is that they are reliable… fulfilling their promise time after time. So often, when we are let down once, all that reputation for reliability is gone and the brand is terminal ruined in your eyes.

Some brands seem teflon-coated and can survive numerous errors, gaffs and failures. For others, where the failing is in one of their core values they are out with just one strike.  I’m reminded of Anderson consulting: when they failed in their probity, survival was not an option.  Similarly Firestone tyres catastrophic run of tyre blow outs in the US was the single strike needed.

I guess the lesson is, protect your core values, your critical success factors at all cost – or it may be one strike and you are out.

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