What is a product crisis/recall?
A product crisis or product recall can be as simple as a product ending up on shelves with an incorrect, or missing label. There may be a spike in returns, or people falling ill, injuring themselves etc. In 2018, a product crisis may manifest in growing negativity on social media around your brand.
A worst case scenario is your product may be harmful to consumers. Without swift, decisive, corrective (and even remedial) actions, the media may pick up on and greatly exacerbate the damage to your brand.
We help by rapidly organizing and managing a local or national recall campaign. The aim to get your product affixed or removed and returned as fast as possible, minimizing damage. We are always ready to roll on this.
Contact us on 0191 259 1199, we can help you starting today. It takes us only a few days to get up and running at the national level.
Why is product crisis and recall management important?
According to this research article from Emerald Insight, which is researching specifically the automotive industry, a consumers opinion on a brand is greatly influenced by the response of the brand/manufacturer to any issues.
Poor responses to publicised issues with a product can cause negative opinions of the brand from the consumer. Positive, assertive and corrective responses have the exact opposite effect:
Results show that recalls contested by manufacturers have a significant negative impact on manufacturers’ image, as well as on consumers’ loyalty and purchase intentions. On the other hand, voluntary recalls or improvement campaigns have a significant positive impact on the manufacturer’s image, as well as consumers’ loyalty and purchase intentions.
– Some variables (such as media, the degree of severity of recalls and the frequency of recalls) are not investigated in this study.
So without even considering media coverage, severity, or frequencies of recalls, it is clear that even a single crisis event is damaging to your brand. Clearly, there is a “significant” impact on the brand image when it comes to recalls, uplifts, or other crisis’.
Consider now the amplification of this damage when we add in media, social media, to the outcomes. The potential positive or negative impacts become orders of magnitude more treacherous. The rapid dispersion of information in today’s society makes handling product issues quickly and professionally much more important.
The best crisis management methods
Prevention is the best medicine. Or so they say! The need for crisis management is mitigated through good prevention methods. Such as product design, thorough quality control, internal ingredient testing, proactive supply chain management etc.
Beyond prevention, the next best defence is early detection. So, activities such as merchandising, mystery shopping, auditing. Even monitoring social media for brand mentions is a good idea. You can directly communicate with the people engaged with, and sharing your brand (be it positive or negative). This social media outreach also doubles as an online marketing effort when done correctly. Every person you interact with increases your reach and shows the consumer that you are listening to them.
Communication and reporting of returns with retailers etc are also important methods. Communication, as with most things in life is critical to preventing or correcting a national crisis with your products.
Monitoring has alerted me to a problem, what now?
When brand/product/communication monitoring results in you becoming alerted to a product crisis, your next best method of preserving your brand’s image is to take the financial loss now. In times of crisis, accepting losses earlier can help prevent an exponentially accelerating problem.
It’s in your best interest to provide swift, remedial measures if your product is injuring consumers or failing safety standards. Not only for the preservation of your company, the livelihood of you and your staff. Arguably, as a business owner, or brand manager it is your moral duty to ensure your services are safe for the end user.
It’s prudent to have a localized or national recall plan already in place, a relationship with an experienced recalling agency (such as ourselves!) is a good idea. This means there are fewer formalities standing in the way of getting your crisis management campaigns off the ground. Preparation is always key.
Some information (in infographic form) from true experts on this topic, Allianz, who service clients in over 210 countries on the topic of insurance and risk management:
This infographic shows the common pitfalls people make when managing product lines. We’re going to leave this post here, key takeaway being that preparation is paramount to keeping your product on the market, and your brand a positive, mindful experience for consumers and retailers alike.
All in all, preparation, mindfulness, proactive behaviour, and minimizing risks are critical to good management if and when a crisis arises with your brand’s products or services.