J.C. Penny, Mountain Dew and Other Brand Controversy: Too Late to Apologize

Have you noticed that a number of brands are profusely apologizing lately? “For what?” you might ask. It’s been a tough year for marketers that have courted controversy...

“The customer may simply decide to say nothing and look for another company with which to do business. However, if they chose to tell you that they had a problem, consider it an opportunity for you to make amends … then you can focus on correcting the problem instead of making excuses,” she says.

This is where mea culpa (my fault) marketing comes into play. Expressing guilt or fault is a powerful tool for marketers that lose favor with their customers. It’s an essential strategy to right branding wrongs and recoup the brand equity that has been lost.

Estaban Contreras of Socialnerdia.com sheds light on the power of apologizing to customers. “Apologizing does at least four things: First, it acknowledges the harm done. Second, it shows your humility and expresses respect and appreciation. Third, it opens up the door for forgiveness. And finally, it provides the opportunity to change.”

Contreras adds, “Companies make mistakes. Just like customers need to better understand that companies are not perfect, companies need to understand that such imperfection needs to be acknowledged. Mistakes can be hidden and ignored, but sooner or later, someone will point them out.”

And if it is really too late to apologize, maybe brands should take a page from the Domino’s Pizza playbook and apologize early – because nothing says you’re sorry like a prime-time television spot.

Is it too late for companies—like J.C. Penny, Mountain Dew and others—to apologize? What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below.

Connect with Erica Nicole on Twitter.

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Photo: Mountain Dew


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