The February 2018 issue of Canadian AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of Canadian AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
The Post-Weinstein Era
There’s little doubt that 2017 will be remembered for the way the Harvey Weinstein scandal changed our world. The fall of this entertainment giant, as well as the corporation that bore his name, was just the first domino in many that would follow.
Inappropriate behaviour should never be tolerated, in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter. That’s a given, or at least it should be. But the bad behaviour aside for a moment, I think the way these scandals were handled, by the many organizations and individuals involved, teaches us a number of powerful lessons about brands.
Some brands, like Weinstein’s company, were dealt a fatal blow. Others, like The Today Show, which promptly fired Matt Lauer when news about his sexual misconduct surfaced, are still doing fine.
How does this translate into the automotive world? Clearly, if there’s an issue of sexual misconduct at your place of employment, it must be dealt with immediately. The days of turning a blind eye are behind us… not that turning the other way should have ever been morally justified in anyone’s eyes.
Having said that, sexual misconduct is not the only reason why your store’s brand, or reputation, may be sullied. In fact, it really doesn’t take much—at least nothing as serious as sexual misconduct—to make customers think twice before doing business with you, if at all.
A bad experience in the service department, a salesperson who isn’t completely truthful, a rude receptionist, etc. can be enough to turn off a customer, have them take their business elsewhere, and never consider shopping at your store again.
What’s worse, is that their experience with your staff can now be shared with hundreds, if not thousands of others, thanks to the Internet and social media.
How many of us decide where to buy our goods and services based on online reviews? How many of us have almost purchased an item, but then decided otherwise at the last minute, because of reading a horror story shared with the world via the Internet?
In the past, bad customer service was easily contained. Only the customer in question, as well as his immediate family and friends would have heard about it. Now the world is their oyster, so to speak. Their discontent is available online to anyone who seeks it out, and it’s there permanently. So even if you fix the problem offline, potential customers will be able to read about the problem online for years to come.
This issue of Canadian AutoJournal deals with the challenge of branding in our modern age. We hope the material we’ve prepared, and the experts we’ve consulted, will help you to continue to build a strong brand as you set yourself apart from the pack in our modern competitive world.