brands survive quality crisis


It’s safe to say that most brands (including yours, perhaps) are going digital.

Which doesn’t come as a surprise really, as the web is a platform where brands are no longer confined by space, and have the opportunity to create and own a personalised ecosystem that allows for interaction between brand and consumers from pretty much anytime, anywhere.

But like all good things – going digital comes with a price.

You run the risk of having the namesake of your brand being made a bigger public spectacle – especially in matters of quality. They bloody amplify. If your product’s good – the word spreads, which will bring you and your team plenty of reason to celebrate and whoop in cheer.

But if it’s bad, well, it’s time you get your team together and do something about it before matters gets worse.

Take the local big boys, KFC Malaysia, for example. They were faced with what could be crowned the nightmare of all nightmares for fast food chains – an incriminating video of a staff member compromising a piece of chicken with the grimy sole of his shoe, before dumping it into the fryer. Yuck.

With over 200,000 fans wailing in outrage over the video on their Facebook fanpage, and possibly more offline after the media caught wind of it… KFC had to do something, and make it quick.

To their credit, they did not dismiss the video or claim that it was fake. KFC admitted to the mistake, fired the perpetrator, and issued an apology video from none less than the Director of Operations himself. And with that, came a heck load of respect for the brand.

Then there’s Domino’s Pizza, who discovered that their customers didn’t actually like the taste of their product. To most brands, this means bye-bye to social media marketing (who wants to talk about bad pizza, after all?). But not Domino’s. They took it head-on and launched an examplary turnaround campaign that saw a dramatic change in its business. They actually did something no other brand would – they replaced all of the ingredients in their pizza in an effort to improve it for their customers!

They utilised traditional advertising to spread the news, then pushed it with social media to further prove it and boost credibility. Check out the brilliance at

Lesson learned? That hiding your flaws and wanting people to only say great things about your product is a highly unrealistic expectation. Get off your pink ponies and realise that there are always going to be people who won’t like your product, or come to your support. But guess what? There are always those who are on the fence, and those are the ones you can move. You can convince them – by telling the truth. Be honest with your product, listen to them and make the necessary adjustments.

And you’ll find your brand surviving more than just a quality crisis, but also, commanding the respect that it really deserves.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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