My car won't stop accelerating, we are all going to die, its the end of the world!
Ok so maybe it did not go that far, but with the recent (within 6 months) recalls due to acceleration problems the Toyota brand value and image was taking a beating. Do you even remember this or how big of a deal it was and all the up roar and a congressional investigation? Those that may remember this are the few individuals whose accelerator did "stick" and a few who were negatively affected by the recall. Other companies have similar smaller recall problems, McDonalds with the Shrek Glasses or Walmart with the jewelery. Or even Apple with the iPhone 4 antenna/ reception issues or being stuck with AT&T's network.
Why this doesn't affect these companies brand value
There are many reasons why this has a limited or no impact on a brands value.
- Only affects one product or part of a large global company.
- The amount of people affected by these events and recalls are small compared to the overall population that uses the company. (limited impact)
- The companies address the problem to take care of it as quickly and efficiently as possible, usually.
- Most importantly you as the consumer don't remember the problem because of what happened just after the recall or disaster was a bigger disaster that affected far more people and caused much more damage.
The current disaster: BP
I already wrote a blog about BP which can be read here. What currently has the majority of American's attention is the BP oil spill. But with the well finally capped it looks like most of America is back to its pop culture fixation with the Mel Gibson tapes or Lindsay Lohan in jail. Unlike the Toyota recalls and problems this oil spill affected the lives of hundreds of thousands and while many Americans outside of the gulf coast will forget a bitter anger will remain with the Gulf Coast residents who lost their livelihood from this disaster. This will be almost impossible to repair (in America) but BP is a global company and outside of the US its image and brand value will bounce back and return close to the what it was. What will be the next tragedy to fulfill our fascination and make us forget about this oil spill?
Do you forgive and forget? What causes you to forget something that just a short while ago was on your mind? Why do some people remember this and others forget?
Image from http://www.aquamanshrine.com