Product Disasters can be marketing gold.

Remember the Arnott’s case, in 1997 they recalled millions of packets, and showed them being crushed on TV, in the days before u-tube. Tylenol in the US went trough the same thing in 1882, 6 packets were laced with cyanide, leading to several deaths, and J&J without hesitation recalled the hundreds of millions of packets in the  market, and talked about what had happened, what measures they and the police were taking, and assisted the families of those who had died. 

In the new techie world, the same thing applies, 37 Signals has a suite of software products on the cloud, they appear to work well, but when they go down, (every senior managers major concern with the cloud) as it is out of immediate control, it really hurts. 37 signals lost Campfire, but they turned the disaster into gold by communicating.

In most cases where a recall is deemed necessary, it is just a cost, often a huge one, sometimes a terminal one. However, by taking the public into their confidence, a recall, or outage as in the case of Campfire,  can be used as powerful evidence that the company puts the welfare of their customers above all else.

Pretty powerful stuff in an environment of bland, commodity brands that have little to differentiate themselves.

About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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