Brand reputations will be built and destroyed based on how companies handle coronavirus responses.
Many large public companies have already made major gaffs that will likely come back to haunt them.
- Disney furloughed many of its low wage employees, yet it continues to pay executives. This led a Disney heir to go on CNN and make headlines for saying “What the actual f—” in response to the leaders that chose to not pay their staff.
- Carnival Cruises let its guests party and mingle on its ships, even when it knew a COVID-19 outbreak was ongoing.
- Monro Inc. sent letters to its landlords announcing that it will not be paying rent for six months. The auto company did not contact their landlords with a phone call, but instead sent a letter saying that it values their partners, but it will not pay rent. The situation is absolutely devastating to landlords that have a mortgage payment and are relying on that rent check.
These are all decisions and actions that will not be forgotten. They will become a part of the brand’s history forever.
Keep in mind that brand reputation is not just about how you treat your customers. It is also about how you treat your employees, vendors and anyone else that does business with your company.
We are living through an incredibly difficult time. But it is a massive opportunity to build trust in your brand. Take it.