It only takes a newspaper to understand that negative news is imposed with great cruelty on positive news. Once a brand accumulates a stain, it's hard to take it off, but not impossible. Negative brand values require treatment composed of patience, creativity and a certain sense of strategy.
If I talk to you about Biescas, The Rodeos, The Alfaques, Chernobyl, The Twin Towers, Malaysia Airlines, Hypercor... what ideas come to mind?. Indeed,, all these brands are "stained" by a one-off event that phagocites all the "positive" assets that brands had built for years.
I recently visited Biescas, a wonderful villa in the Aragonese Pyrenees whose name is associated with a misfortune that took place in August 1996 who took the life of 87 people in a flood that wiped out the Camping Las Nieves.
But the truth is that Biescas is much more than that. It's a beautiful villa, Medieval, with megalithic vestiges, the cyclist's crib Fernando Escartín (podium on the Tour de France 1999), and a must-see if you approach the area.
The same thing that happens to Biescas goes to the Rodeos airport, whose brand carries the weight of the greatest aerial tragedy in history (583 People) colliding in March 1977 two Boeing aircraft 747.
If the brand was well known before the negative impact, this will be erased more quickly, if you doubt. The case of Biescas is very different from that of Hipercor or the Twin Towers, who already had a strong and consolidated brand, because for many Biescas people it began to exist after the flood of 1996.
When a brand carries on whether a problem negative association like that, you can raise several scenarios
- Doing nothing. Letting the passage of time and generations erase the negative mark.
- Changing positioning. Trying to build something new, notorious and relevant, it won't erase the negative footprint but it will cover it.
- Monetize the damage. It's a widely used tactic in america. For example, there are attractions with simulators of what the San Francisco earthquake meant.
- Creative. Respond quickly and with a sense of humor, taking on responsibilities. This has been the case South Canal, whose error in the retransmission of the new year's bells 2015 had a great answer in a video broadcast by the same network.
The same would apply to personal brands, and except for the real estate scene (nothing recommended), the other three will be able to help solve the problem or turn it around.
I leave you the video response of Canal Sur days after having left thousands of Andalusians without New Year's bells:
- Where are the limits of social media humor? - 24 October, 2020
- 30 awkward questions about personal branding (y sus respuestas) - 18 October, 2020
- Personal Branding requires perspective, context is everything - 11 October, 2020