AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerWhat To Do When Your Brand Blunders

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What To Do When Your Brand Blunders

Most companies seem to shrink from mistakes and brand blunders. But when the initial dust settles, it’s time to move forward.

Two companies, Uber and Wells Fargo, have experienced brand crisis for actions and misdeeds, but they also are now fighting back with some strong messages that acknowledge the past wrongdoings and set a course for the future. It’s the best case study for public relations turnarounds.

Wells Fargo admits they made a mistake. And then lays out a case for the new day. I especially like the end graphic, “Established 1852, Re-Established 2018.”

Uber took on a different approach, using the CEO to deliver the message. Watch the audio-video linkage. When he says he is listening, the video always shows he is listening.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, when you make a mistake you should:

  • Accept responsibility for your role in the mistake
  • Show that you’ve learned and will behave differently going forward
  • Demonstrate that you can be trusted with equally important decisions in the future

I believe both of these videos do a great job telling the new story going forward for these two companies.

Special thanks to Brian Monroe for sending these videos my way.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.