Everyone makes mistakes, but often companies make mistakes on a grand scale. Mastering the corporate apology is a critical step to get right with your customers, clients, and employees. Just like it’s never the scandal but the cover-up, fumbling the corporate apology can have a long-lasting effect on your brand. It’s easy to find examples of terrible, tone-deaf, sorry-not-sorry, corporate apologies, so let’s focus on a good one. Recently, Stan Richards of advertising powerhouse The Richards Group issued an apology for regrettable remarks made during a proposal meeting for a multicultural campaign. Ultimately, he resigned, but not before saying the right things to his employees. That apology is here.
Candor, Contrition, Commitment to Change
Great corporate apologies have the four C’s – candor, contrition, and commitment to change. Being wrong doesn’t feel good, and admitting it feels worse. But being honest about what went down puts you on the road to recovery. Better still, conveying regret and remorse for what you did (FYI CEO’s – what anyone in your company did, is also what you did) genuinely creates a connection everyone can relate to. Don’t be afraid of the words “sorry” or “I apologize,” even if it rankles your legal counsel. Finally, creating a plan and publicly committing to it is the final step to restoring brand trust that is always harder to build than destroy.
Finding the right brand management can keep your company out of trouble and keep your corporate apologies to a minimum. Let our team at Art of Strategy Consulting create your brand management strategy and keep you on the straight and narrow path towards profitability and brand trust. Mastering the corporate apology is one of the brand rehabilitation services we offer that our effective brand management can keep you from needing.