Friday, March 25, 2016
How to avoid the devaluation of your brand?
The 2015 list of 500 top brands has been recently published including the changes in brand value compared to the previous year. Looking at the ranking, we can realize that the role of ethical communication is more crucial than most people would think. The importance of ethical B2B communication is best demonstrated by the recent Volswagen scandal. Due to the lack of trust and information exchange within the market, problems with the brand came only out when the cars were being tested: driven under normal conditions, they would emit up to 40 times the more nitrogen oxide.
The scandal over VW cheating pollution emissions tests casted a cloud over the whole car industry. What started in the US has spread to a growing number of countries. VW recalled 8.5 million cars in Europe, including 2.4 million in Germany and 1.2 million in the UK, and 500,000 in the US as a result of the emissions scandal. Just one day after the U.S. Justice Department sued the company for cheating on federal standards, the German automaker reported a 9.1 percent decline in deliveries of its namesake brand to 30,956 vehicles from 34,058 a year earlier. This discovery resulted in a fall in brand value by 18.9 billion USD and a fall in rank from 17th to 56th.
But we can look at other examples with well-known brands: independent lab tests showed some Samsung Tvs were rigged to use less energy during official testing conditions than they do during real-world use. Later on, a famous British inventor accused German companies Bosch and Siemens of doing the same thing, gaming energy ratings for their vacuum cleaners.
Based on the above facts, we can rightfully assume that internal auditors do not even question the top management’s incorrect KPIs. In fact, not the data that are being changed, since it would be too obvious, but the method of measurement is being altered. This results nicer figures and the fraud is more easily concealed. This occurs in all industries from cooling industry to bank services. The price these companies have to pay for such short term success is the devaluation of the brand, loss of competitiveness and the layoff of employees.
How can we avoid the deevaluation of our brand? We need to be honest, work hard and do not try to deceive our customers, employees and managers. We stand behind the brand of our company, we should take care of it.