If branding is fundamentally about encapsulating the personality, beliefs and aims of your organisation, what do you do if the things that underpin those attributes, fail or don’t perform as expected or promised?
Look at that question from a personal perspective: are you the type of person who readily says sorry? Do you find it easy to apologise and make amends when things go awry? Say that you’ve promised to do something important for a friend. Unfortunately, your efforts don’t live up to what you promised and your friend suffers because you were found wanting…
At Monkie, we’re firm believers that we have to accept that things don’t go right ALL of the time. Life is life and sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can conspire to catch you out and all of a sudden, people start thinking of you very differently. Your brand integrity has been undermined, sometimes by things completely out of your control but the detail of any back-story is often unknown to those affected.
After feeling that we weren’t really being given information that described the full picture, we started to think about switching web hosts and began looking for alternatives, just in case a satisfactory solution wasn’t forthcoming.
But information started to become more detailed, remedial strategies were described that made sense and a clear path to a resolution was offered. While things wouldn’t be fixed straight away, HI were confident a solution would be delivered and assured those affected, that every possible effort was being made by a dedicated team who had remained on-site, since the problem first occurred. Mmm, let’s wait, then, we thought; they’re obviously working flat out to help us and it’ll be hassle we don’t need, to change hosts.
Well, things were fixed, we did get back online, email started to arrive and eventually, things returned to normal. And we were kept informed of what was being done along the way. Support tickets were created and answered. Updates were given and detail increased as an understanding of the size and complexity of the problem became apparent.
The way HI reacted to the problem, moved to inform us of the steps being taken to remedy it, and the now publicised commitment to prevent a similar occurrence has convinced us to move forward with them. In essence, the belief we had in HI at the beginning of our relationship has been reinforced; sure, they have had a problem but they’ve reacted professionally and are now looking to put in place measures that take their offer to a higher level, hopefully preventing a similar problem in future. For the full story, Check out Heart Internet’s recent blog entry by Craig Cotter.
It now feels like a risk to move hosts; how do we know we’ll be genuinely better off, elsewhere? It’s not so much a ‘better the devil you know’ scenario, more a ‘learn from your mistakes’. If you can meet the challenge of your brand being potentially undermined, offer a believable path to put the problem right and even make it better than before, then if your followers/customers are real people, you can survive.
It’s all too easy to write failure off and think it a weakness that must be punished in some way. But if you can learn from the experience you can become stronger – much like the painful life experience we sometimes endure as individuals. Mistakes shouldn’t predetermine a future; they should offer us the chance to focus our aims and objectives and if we can successfully communicate that to whatever audience is relevant, we should engender belief in us, all the more readily.