By Chris Gilmour

We all know the importance of brand building.

Sadly it’s easier to damage a brand than it is to build one.

So after years of building a brand identity, with products and services the public love and identify with, it’s important to protect that very valuable commodity.

One slip-up can cause a reversal of fortune which leaves a company having to implement a crisis communication plan to crawl out of a very large hole.

Better to know the pitfalls, as part of brand reputation management, because prevention is better than cure.

If you are not consciously caring for your brand, chances are you could be damaging it.

Here are the most common missteps. 

Under delivering on promises

There's a well-known phrase: “Aim for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”.

Lovely – but not as far as your customers are concerned. Transparent communication in business is what builds brand trust. Don’t promise anything you might fall short of delivering. Better to pledge an achievable target – and over deliver. As a brand positioning strategy, this is more likely to gain loyalty and admiration from your market base.

Poor customer support

For most people, their experience of customer support defines the brand. Calling a number and being placed on hold for ages, or put through a series of frustrating automated options, then finally being connected to a less than helpful/friendly person will frustrate customers and drive them away. We all know the power of word of mouth. Now social media means these negative experiences are shared to thousands. A good brand is constantly looking to improve communication with customers.

Attacking another brand

Never mention a competitor by name in your advertising – even if it’s to claim your brand is better. You are making their brand stronger at the expense of yours. Chances are the public will question your brand’s values and could even feel sympathy for your “victim”. At the very least, it’s getting your competitor’s name into the spotlight.

Basing brand image on one person

If a business is intimately tied to the personality/image of its founder or CEO, then the brand is seriously impacted if or when that person leaves or is replaced. Better to have the brand known for its products and values. It should be bigger than one person.

Rebranding after a crisis

Some companies think rebranding is a good reputation repair. But using a change of name or logo as a sticking plaster over a bleeding brand will fool nobody. Better to increase brand value by investing the cash in improving products and service to win customers back.


For all crisis management services, contact us on 0800 612 9890.