This latest plot twist is a bit reminiscent of Gap’s unveiling of that infamous new logo. The negative buzz forced it to backpedal and eventually restore the original, iconic identity. Though at first it seemed like a miss for Gap, many brand-watchers think it made the brand more relevant than it had been in a long while.
Netflix doesn’t suffer from lack of currency, and it’s a bit early to tell if it can woo back irate customers. (If Reed Hastings’ recent New York Times magazine interview is any indication, I’d say they still have some work to do.) But bad publicity can, paradoxically, wake up a brand’s loyalists. And there are ways to turn a PR failure into a net gain.
Here are a few techniques that helped companies turn around embarrassing mistakes.
If offense has been given or customer safety or satisfaction threatened, a prompt apology is necessary. And it shouldn’t be drafted by lawyers. To have teeth, a mea culpa should be swift and sincere, and it should take responsibility.