Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brands in trouble

How would you like to be Toyota and AT&T right now?

The latter brand was included as part of Apple's mega-announcement last week, unveiling the iPad. And, when it was announced that AT&T would supply the 3G network for the new iPad, there were audible groans from attendees in the auditorium. Wow...

The source of AT&T's troubles are the highly publicized issues with its network caused by heavy data usage on the iPhone. Many speculated that the iPad would use another telco's network, thus the audible disappointment at the event last week.

As for Toyota, the automaker's brand health is in free fall after acknowledging acceleration issues with its autos. What has recently been considered a quality car that is economically priced is now the butt of jokes and comments which equates Toyota to the classic lemons of the 1970s--the AMC Pacer, the AMC Gremlin and the Ford Pinto.

Can either brand right the ship? AT&T is trying, going head on with Verizon in the current "map wars" advertising battle. But, the key for AT&T will be reversing the troubles encountered by iPhone users so that a good number of those 21 million consumers are feeling more positive about the network.

How about Toyota? Other brands have crafted turnaround stories out of crisis situations. The quicker Toyota fixes the mechanical problems, the better. And, the more forthright they are about their problems, in media relations activity and paid communications, the more apt consumers will be to forgive them.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking Toyota should have gone on TV with commercials saying "we built our brand on quality. We have a problem. We won't sell another car until we fix the problem." They are in deep doodoo.