Branding and Risk Management

I have had a number of my friends, recently, discuss the importance of branding, that is establishing an identity by which one is known, especially online.  In my own case, that is “WRiskManager” or I like to joke RiskManager with the “silent W” (like the word “wrist”).  It is easy to remember and, I think, unique.

What is funny about branding is that I was asked what is my favourite (OK, I’m Canadian and we spell it differently from my American friends) “brand” and I have a distinct loyalty to Coca Cola (not my wife’s choice since she likes Pepsi) but I’ve always enjoyed Coke better than other colas.  Well, I did work for SunTrust (SunBank, N.A.) which was (I don’t know if they still do and are) where the original Coke recipe was kept and the largest individual Coke shareholder during my tenure at the bank.

The individual who asked me was prepared to hear McDonald’s or something similar but I picked differently (I have always been unique 🙂 ).  There are any number of brands/images, however, that have spent significantly, both in effort and money, to build a reputation and will do almost anything necessary to maintain that good/quality image.

This is where Risk Management really enters the discussion because I still remember (and I am sure many of you do, also) the debacle with which Tylenol was faced in the, I believe, early ’90’s and the excellent way they handled and built an outstanding image from what was a certain nightmare.  Can you imagine the cost they incurred, though, in recalling the numerous packages that were not contaminated and the lost short-term profits?  How many firms would contemplate doing that today, when many people seem to emphasize short-term profit over long-term reputation?

I only bring this discussion here in order to lead to another upcoming blog on “corporate greed”.  Here is hoping you look forward to seeing it as much as I do in writing about it.

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