Where there is chaos, there is opportunity. Seemingly a political phrase but certainly relevant today—a perfect opportunity for brands to grab market share. Chaos is often the case with family feuds whose brands suffer as a consequence. Family run corporations are most vulnerable when the kingpin’s health suffers and there is no king in waiting. Although a good reason to turn professional as soon as the business model is established, most families do not do so, thereby guaranteeing sustainability with a leader in the wings.
The familial transition period is the most opportune time for competitors to grab market share from a feuding family. Understanding the family is crucial; it’s called intelligence. Once market share is lost, the family finds it hard to recover. Consumer loyalty is not carved in stone. The PR game may conceal troubles temporarily, but when vulnerabilities are exposed, the brand will die if not handled professionally.
Enter crisis managers and PR experts. Most often these people or agencies are best recruited outside regular management staff. Expensive it may be, but it is wiser and more affordable to bear this expense than to lose the business altogether.
Identifying the proper PR agency and crisis manager for your company is important. It must start with trust and confidence, especially for family run corporations. Perceived professionalism is a must for the chosen person or consultancy. One guideline is to eschew theories from the academe and delve into the thorny issues the client faces. The problem with most dictatorial organizations like proprietorships and family businesses is that the kingpin is considered infallible, which is not necessarily the case. This makes getting good advice tricky.
When opportunity knocks, it must be seized before it flees. Market share can often be won by focusing on other than marketing issues. With branding, however, regardless of the issue, the brand will live if truth about and consistent delivery of the product persists. Make a promise and keep it. Consistently. That’s what branding is all about.