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When an Employee Creates a Brand Crisis in the Age of Social Media

Avoiding the Brand Crisis

“I was sent a picture of my employee driver ‘flipping the finger’ to another driver taking the photo,” explained a friend and business owner. “What I came to learn was that my driver―in a company van wrapped in our company logos―suddenly impacted my brand enough to potentially create a brand crisis,” he continued.

“I was waiting for the other shoe to drop … and what I learned was that my driver got upset at the picture-taking driver because they were riding his ‘tail.’ My employee was a young man still learning to control his emotions in business settings, and I sat him down and explained the potential ramifications of his actions … this could create a brand crisis by ending up on social media, and maybe it was a top clients’ employee or competitor … we were screwed if the photographer decided to do some damage. So, I waited”

Eventually the picture-taking driver called and explained the picture and incident. The owner I knew handled the call and decided this was a moment to quickly change the view of the picture-taking driver and avoid a brand crisis. He apologized and had his employee write a note of apology as well. He then sent flowers and offered a discount on his service if they ever needed it.

The potential customer thanked the owner for the quick response and said they had intended to post the moment as they were a blogger (with a pretty strong following). He thanked her for not doing so and explained the employee was young and still learning how to handle himself.

While “the finger” almost became his brand, a quick and active response made it a non-issue and avoided a brand crisis.

Oh, the employee received anger management training.

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About Eric Webb

Eric Webb is the CEO of Savvi Shopping (Clear Choice) Interest-free Shopping. He is an innovative marketing and business leader with proven success at increasing leads and sales of multimillion dollar organizations. Eric has helped startups get organized, optimize production, and build strategies that drive growth.

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