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  • Case Studies (in the making)!

    Case Studies (in the making)!

    Reputation they say is really fickle, what takes years to build can come under adversity any moment.
    Reams have been written, case studies shared in class rooms, preparedness workshops conducted replicating real-life scenarios (how many brands invest into them or want to even believe that a crisis can hit them is another matter all together- it can happen to others but it can’t happen to us!!!) This week, however, has been an interesting for students of communication with recall related crises hitting three significant brands.
    What will be long-term impact remains to be seen, but it makes for a good study to see them tackle it, in their respective ways.

    1. Nokia: Significant in the India context, given it is their ‘largest’ market. Even though there have been no known instances of a battery actually catching flames, I am surprised as many normal people like us are taken by the frenzy and suddenly have the phone placed to their ear rather gingerly. Media reports suggest people lining up at dealers for replacements (we love new for old don’t we?) Was Nokia able to roll out training to it’s dealers in time? Was a crisis plan in place? Was public relations leveraged to the full? Did print advertising deliver desired results?
      Today, I did call the Nokia Helpline number and they seemed in control ‘content and tone’. Were they 2 days ago? Questions! Questions! Questions!
    2. Mattel: I saw some paid contextual ad campaigns to suggest someone was thinking damage control online, given the importance of that medium in the US and other global markets. What surprises me though is…it took them that long to discover lead content. US and other markets have supposedly stringent regulations, no?
    3. China: Brand China will see impact. Clearly China = cheap = cost effective/ savings, has gone back to China = cheap = low quality (or worse). China has the ability to take strong radical measures to bring about change and enhance quality but lots of work on positioning and perception management ahead.

    Lots of learning opportunity here. Case studies being written?
    UPDATE: 30 August, 2007
    Nokia has started a advertising burst with customers endorsing their handling of the battery replacement crisis. They seem to have come out of the crisis with minimal damage (Nokia says, with an enhanced reputation). I spoke with a few people and they will continue to buy Nokia handsets, they said. What is your feedback on this? Do add your comments.
    I think the festive intervention that Onam and Raksha Bandhan brought, may have helped shift focus from batteries to new phone purchases.
    Interestingly enough, unless I missed out on them, none of the competition had a covert/ overt take on Nokia’s recall (Did their dealers do this for them?). Or may be they were focused on the festive offers…
    UPDATE: 5 September, 2007
    Fake batteries are a ‘genuine’ problem – much-much cheaper, most replacements that go into any handset are cheaper, locally made fakes. They carry the brand labels though, damaging the reputation of the real brand. That’s what also seems to be happening with Nokia too and they are trying damage control.
    In the interim, as expected, Rivals cash in on Nokia blues.
    Interesting how China is getting back at America, complaining sub-standard food nourishment supplies.

    Introduces stricter regulation
    as expected.

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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