Brand reputation is gold. It is the key to developing trust and converting new customers, but it is also frail, because the damage done by misinformation or legal action is hard to reverse.
We have recently seen the impact such legal action is having on hair care brand Olaplex’s reputation. The litigation brought on by just 28 women touches on the very core of the brand – whether its products strengthen hair?
The suggestion that its No. 0 to No. 9 products might do the opposite, causing hair loss and scalp blisters, has been devastating for the brand and fast-moving news on social media.
The company’s unemotive online response has not helped and time will tell if it hit the right button.
As a star of the hair care industry for around a decade, it is frightening to think that this experience may be enough to sink the brand.
Damage to brands can spread with the speed of a wildfire on social media and the dust has to settle before the impact can be truly assessed.
This is why you need to have a strategy in place before the crisis hits, so you are prepared and ready to react if it does.
How to plan your strategy and when to engage in conversation
Whether or not you engage in the conversation online is a question for your communications team, and each brand will take a different stance.
Some may poke fun at themselves or seek to empathise, while others will simply not engage. Whatever action you take should be considered and consistent.
Be aware of lashing out online too as this will add further fire to the flames and the coverage, and damage, could be bigger than the initial story.