Imagine this: Two co-workers exit an office building at lunchtime, chatting about where they should eat. One mentions a favorite local chain just blocks away. “They’re fast and always delicious,” she says. Her co-worker shakes his head vigorously. “No way! Didn’t you see the news? They had a salmonella outbreak last week.”
And so the seed is planted. For weeks, and possibly months, the coworkers will avoid the restaurant. The risk of consuming unsafe food will stay in the back of their minds, and they’ll pass along the information to friends and family. For these formerly loyal patron, and thousands like them, the brand is tarnished.
As a marketer, you know how important food industry brand reputation is to consumers. But how can you keep your brand safe from becoming a dirty word when news organizations publicize your misfortunes? To help you out, we’ve compiled our top three tips.