How to Position Yourself in an Industry That Gets Hit by a Reputational Crisis
There are several industries that have a fragile reputation with consumers. The truth is, even though it’s only a handful of troubled companies that make the headlines, consumers have a tendency to form widespread stereotypes. It’s particularly tricky in industries with only a few big names such as airlines and banks. So what happens to your reputation if your company is part of such an industry?
Your company is less likely to be associated with the troubled organizations in your industry if your appearance is completely different. For example, big airlines have a hard time with a reputation of favouring profit over their passengers. An airline striving to improve customer experience and carrying fewer passengers, in order to accommodate everyone, will have a much more favourable reputation in the eyes of the public.
Don’t Take Advantage
When one of your competitors is in a reputational turmoil, it can be tempting to call them out on social media. This should be avoided at all time, as it only creates a petty perception of your brand. The gesture can also be perceived as putting down customers who were loyal to the competition. You can also be seen as putting down customers who were loyal to the competition. Such a move won’t be convincing them to switch over to your service or product.
Stand Out as a Brand
While you should not take advantage of another company’s troubles, you should put in the necessary effort to help the industry improve its image. For example, an airline that goes out of its way to aid passengers stranded by the competition or hire workers displaced by a hostile takeover.
Not only will this help the industry adjust the course of its reputation, but your company will also position itself as an example for others to follow. Moreover, it’s also good to be part of the plan to prevent such a thing from happening again. Form an industry-wide committee or association that could work towards maintaining an open discussion channel for industry participants.
Communication has always been a deciding factor in solving any type of crisis situation. When your industry takes a hit, gather your team and talk with your employees.
Analyse and monitor how the unfortunate incident might affect your business. Furthermore, ensure your company doesn’t run the risk of having a similar issue. Industry-hitting headlines such as the VW emissions scandal don’t happen over night. They happen as a result of a series of bad decisions and strategies that end up imploding into a public-wide outrage.
When a big company has a reputational crisis, it’s bad for the entire industry. Your company may not be part of the problem but, if you want to protect your reputation, you must be part of the solution.