When the going gets tough, the tough get transparent
The sustainable shoe e-tailer, Rothy’s, recently started a marketing campaign to launch a new shoe design. Rothy’s sent out a teaser email and a vague Instagram post that had customers buzzing and pledging their readiness to make their next shoe purchase.
On the day of the big launch, however, Rothy’s sent out an “Ouch” email sharing they had made the tough decision to cancel the launch due to production quality. The company even allowed itself a humble brag that it took pride in “making the right decision — even when it’s really hard.”
Rothy’s, which surpassed Tod’s $88 million in sales in North America in 2018, is obviously still suffering growing pains within the organization. It seems unimaginable to start a marketing campaign three days before a product launch and not be 100 percent secure that your product is ready for market.
Everyone deals with setbacks and crisis management. Think about the recent news blunders with Uber, AirBnB, and even KFC. I think what sets all these stories apart from damage control done in years past is that honesty and change are now a requirement in the aftermath.
Most Millennials say they care more about what a company stands for than their latest advertising gimmick. No business is perfect, and while we try to do our best, mistakes happen. And now it seems, we can be easily forgiven with a heartfelt apology and a roadmap for change.
These examples represent companies that have great PR agencies to help them navigate the recovery process, but there are still many businesses going the old school route by remaining silent. In the age of social media and instant communication, a business that wants to sustain its growth must be transparent with their customers, even during the tough times.
- Truthful and transparent – Rothy’s
- Rothy’s – Instagram
- Instagram-Popular Shoemaker Rothy’s Expected to Post $140 Million in Revenue – Bloomberg Businessweek
- AirBnB Is Tired Of Being Called Racist, So Here’s How They’re Trying To Win Black Folks – NewsOne
- Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture – The New York Times
- KFC’s apology for running out of chicken is pretty cheeky – BBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are you seeing a change in how companies deal with crisis management? Is the new trend towards truthfulness and transparency the best way to handle crisis management issues or is there another process that is more effective?