The Aftermath of a Crisis, Part III: Rebuilding a Brand

How should brands rebuild after a crisis?
When a crisis is over, some brands think it’s over. However, occasions such as milestones and anniversaries can often generate renewed interest in crises, and we recommend developing a communications plan to tackle these processes as they unfold over time.

Following a crisis, an evaluation should be conducted to assess the damage and identify appropriate recovery measures. Some businesses can spend years recovering from a crisis, the road to rebuilding brand and customer confidence can be a long one. When rebuilding, brands should make every interaction count, thanking and rewarding brand loyalty. Brands should look to identify opportunities to rebuild brand image—for example, GoDaddy just issued an apology email and one month credit to subscribers who were impacted by last month’s outage. Special events and contests are also another way to engage customers and educate them after a crisis. Provide customers with a call-to-action and a reason to come back to you. For example, offer a free service, or encourage them to exchange a faulty product. Integral to providing a call-to-action is rewarding the customer for identifying with your brand again. Brands rebuilding from a crisis should focus on personal communication, making the brand appear personable; for example, the CEO of Domino’s pizza created a Twitter account and personally interacted and responded to customers on Twitter, following their food mismanagement scandal.

What industries are more likely to need a crisis plan?
Every brand should have a crisis communication plan, especially civic services, healthcare, hazardous materials, education, manufacturers, the food industry, technology services—any brand that touches the lives of others.