Oscars, PWC and reputational damage

We have seen a number of brands suffering reputational damage over recent years - BP, VW, Sports Direct, BHS - to name just four that spring readily to mind. By comparison, the glitch at the Oscars is just an amusing sideshow. However, it brings into sharp focus the importance of attention to detail in everything... Continue Reading →


Volkswagen and brand contagion

A brand is a social construct and as such it does not exist in a vacuum. ┬áIt is socially and historically contextual. A brand narrative draws upon these contexts and informs our understanding and our emotional relationships that they engender. The recent issues facing Volkswagen bring these connections into sharp focus. When we consider the... Continue Reading →

Tesco and five kinds of brand damage.

Financial, sales-revenue and profit reversals usually correlate with brand damage, though not necessarily to a serious extent. The public is often sympathetic to market conditions and we have seen many retailers struggling through, without permanent brand damage. However some forms of damage can be more serious and enduring, and recently we have seen poor Tesco... Continue Reading →

Will the co-op’s problems lead to long term brand damage?

Sadly, we have seen it all before, commercial blunders and personal... well, shall we say, misjudgments. Usually brands are stronger than people imagine and can come out of such mire with little more than a few bruises to the ego and a little embarrassment. The public understand that the brand is not embodied in an... Continue Reading →

Don’t blame retail brand slaughter on the internet.

We've seen quite a bit of brand trauma on the high street recently with big names such as Comet, HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster, among others, hitting brick walls. It's easy to jump to a lot of mistaken conclusions. Retail is very visible and as many manufacturing and service companies have also suffered - it's just... Continue Reading →

Brand lessons from Starbucks, Amazon, Google et al.

Lesson #1: The brand is everyone's responsibility including the CFO. The recent furore and public backlash at brands which take UK tax avoidance to the extreme was wholly predictable, and avoidable. But how many organisations involve their senior financial people in brand management - how many CFO's see the brand as part of their responsibility?... Continue Reading →

What will do the Google brand most damage – profit slump or communications bungling?

Share trading in Google was suspended for a while when its third-quarter results were published early by mistake. The results revealed a 20% profit slump, but what was the biggest potential long-term damage to the brand - the figures or the bungling? Business results matter, but all companies have ups and downs. Many traditional media... Continue Reading →

How to learn from what Toyota learned.

Toyota have had another recall issue to come to grips with. This should be no big deal. Most manufacturers have a number of these each year. Toyota's always seem to come under a rather brighter spotlight which may be a reflection upon their reputation for process, reliability and build-quality. So, when an issue arrises, the... Continue Reading →

Virgin rail behaving true to brand values.

We have all noted the recent farce with the government back-pedalling rapidly over the franchise process - probably with a mixture of incredulity and eye-rolling. Aside from the political issues and outcomes, I was quite heartened with how the Virgin brand comes out of this. Whether you consider it creditable or not, the brand acted... Continue Reading →

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