Posts Tagged ‘reputation management’

Hairgate: Rumor, Reputation and Death by a Thousand Lashes

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The latest Apple product “scandal” trending in the consumer blogosphere claims the new Apple iPhone 6 has a tiny gap where the screen meets the case that catches and tears out users’ hair. “Hairgate” some wags are calling it.

It looks like the uproar may be over nothing (there’s no gap, for example, to catch users’ hair.) But that hardly


matters: Non-owners of the Apple iPhone 6 can’t know that until they buy one… if they do.

Apple has lately been on the r

A good reputation can be dealt a lethal blow from a single incident (think of all the sex scandal revelations that overcame otherwise solid political careers.) But one’s good reputation can also suffer the death of a thousand tiny cuts.eceiving end of as much media buzz for its alleged flaws, gaffs and missteps as for new product launches. That’s not good for a company still struggling to prove its viability in the wake of founder Steve Jobs’ death.

Apple faces having its reputation being cut to pieces, one thin slice at a time  — if it can’t harness the power of its uber-loyal customer base to help recapture the narrative.



Suarez Leaves His “Mark” on FIFA World Cup

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez is no stranger to controversial incidents in the world of soccer.  In 2010, he was caught biting one of his opponents and received a 7-match ban from the Dutch League.  A few years later he was seen biting a Chelsea defender and received a 10-match ban in the Premier League.  Considering his history, it should come as no surprise to FIFA World Cup viewers that Uruguay’s Suarez would continue to use such ridiculous tactics.  As of present, he received a 4-month, 9-match ban from FIFA for –you guessed it- “biting” Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in a recent round one World Cup match.  He also received a $112,000 fine.

What did surprise the world was Suare??????????????z’s attempt to defend and deny this recurring action.  According to The Daily News, Suarez claims “After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent” and therefore mistakenly bit his opponent’s shoulder.  He attempts to sound like the victim as he states, “At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth,” to emphasize his own pain rather than taking ownership of his actions.  The seven-man FIFA panel dismissed his argument as they concluded that the bite was “deliberate, intentional and without provocation.”

This Saturday, June 28th, FIFA confirmed that formal proceedings had begun to appeal their decision and Uruguay now has seven days to submit a written appeal.  But what affect could an appeal have on a repeat offender like Suarez?  FIFA has made it clear that they will not accept his arguments despite the fact that all field officials failed to witness the bite- the whole world witnessed it.   Will he keep fighting the plain truth or finally accept responsibility for his actions?  At this point he seems motivated to fight these “cruel” accusations that he would intentionally bite a player.  To be honest, it seems to be a story of Suarez crying wolf.  We may have believed him the first or second time around but now his words are hard to believe.  Maybe this time he will learn from his mistake and keep his teeth to himself.

Photo credit:  ©

Take a Class Offered by… a Travel Website?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

When scrolling through a travel website with long lists of hotels, there are many different factors that may cause customers to choose a certain hotel over others. Such factors might be the location, cost, pictures, or amenities. However, I think the most important factor is the hotel’s reputation with its customers. No list of amenities can outweigh a list of bad reviews. Besides cost, reviews seem to be the only other reason a customer would choose a three-star hotel over a five-star hotel. Customers want to enjoy their vacation, so good customer service is at the top of their list, while looks are of less importance.

travelLuckily for hotels that have negative reviews, TripAdvisor and eCornell have partnered to offer an online course called “Managing Your Online Reputation with TripAdvisor”. This course will give hotel owners advice on “how to monitor and improve their property’s online reputation”, according to an article on Travolution. The purpose of this course is to ultimately help hotels gain business and increase revenue. The class is free and is open to hotel and bed & breakfast managers/owners everywhere.

This course covers topics such as assessing your reputation, how to respond to your customer’s reviews, and how to use your customer’s feedback constructively. According to the same article, TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website. Their website is based off of consumer reviews so they are the perfect company to partner with eCornell for this course.

Reputation management is not just for celebrities. Establishments such as hotels and restaurants need good reviews in order to survive and be profitable. Dissatisfied customers and bad reviews mean decreased revenue which might ultimately lead to them going out of business.

Photo Credit: ©

Prescribing the Wrong Product

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

In an attempt to have new products stand out, Urban Outfitters created a new line in which merchandise was designed to look like prescription pill containers. The merchandise include mugs, shot glasses, flasks and more, and contain fake prescription numbers and captions such as “Drink one mug by mouth, repeat until awake and alert.” The design was meant to be lighthearted and stand out as attractive to younger consumers.

However, they stood out for the wrong reasons. Critics claimed typical buyers are adolescents who are highly vulnerable to prescription drug abuse. Researchers found that there is an increased rate of drug abuse among children and it is believed that the company is turning it into a joke. Roughly 15,000 Americans die each year from prescription overdose.

Urban Outfitters cannot ignore these alarming facts. By selling fake prescription containers as dishware, it appears as if Urban Outfitters is promoting the recreational drug culture that is being considered a public health epidemic. The company is also considered to be trendy, and marketing prescription drug containers as products could be seen as affirming that taking prescription drugs is trendy.

A representative for Urban Outfitters wanted to clear up the issue, claiming that the products were supposed to “represent humor, satire and hyperbole.” However, they believe people misinterpret their products and therefore they “are electing to discontinue these few styles from our current product offering.” With the negative connotations surrounding the pill container products, this was a smart decision.  It was a little strange how the statement did not offer any sort of apology for offending consumers with the products, yet the controversy was still enough for them to discontinue the line.

Drug abuse is a serious issue and can be especially controversial when talking about adolescents.  Considering that many parents buy clothing and accessories for their children, Urban Outfitters would not want a reputation associating the company with encouraging drug use. If parents don’t approve, the company could lose many customers simply because people won’t shop there anymore.  Luckily, the company discontinued the line before it started a fire that Urban Outfitters would not be able to put out.

What’s In a Name, Part Two

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

We cannot think of two entities who share less in common than Al-Qaeda and the security company formerly known as Blackwater and Xe, now known as Academi. Oddly enough, to escape negative attention, they are both looking to rebrand in a similar fashion. As blogged about here; Blackwater Xe Academi, for the second time, recently changed its name to escape its track record and associated bad press. Now Al-Qaeda is doing the same.

As Al-Qaeda will learn, no amount of name changes will make people forgot that you are the organization responsible for the widespread murder of civilians throughout the world. At the end of the day, a reputation is built on more than a name. It is hard for companies such as Blackwater Xe Academi or, in this case, terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda to simply change a name and start over. The road to reputation recovery is often long and complicated.