Along with the rest of North America, my husband and I sat captivated by Oprah‘s interview with the man who’d defied all odds and risen to unbelievable heights of success. Now he was confronting a ton of lies he told with a stoic grimness. As a brand marketing expert myself, I was intrigued by this article. I share with you some of the lessons of how to pick up the pieces when a brand screws up.
Joey Reiman, the founder and CEO of an Atlanta-based branding consultancy and author of The Story of Purpose (Wiley, 2012), thinks that story could still have a happy ending. “Lance could become Sir Lancelot if he had a greater purpose,” Reiman says. “When brands don’t operate for a purpose beyond themselves, they get into trouble.”
Tactically there are three things Lance should do to redeem himself, says Reiman.
1. Speak directly to the people. Armstrong can make a heartfelt apology while reminding people of what was admirable about him.
2. Ride for redemption. Reiman suggests a cross-country ride, stopping at hospitals and schools in every city to speak to children about cheating, lying and bullying.
3. Do an act of good faith. Armstrong should ask everyone to hand in their bracelets and offer, for each one returned, to donate an amount of money out of his own pocket to the treatment of cancer patients.
When businesses and brands screw up, they need to acknowledge, act and apologise. Memories are short when what you’re doing now is much more relevant and believable and stands for something bigger than making money.
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- A Reaction to Lance/Oprah: Get After Bullies (jayjamison.com)
- Did You Watch Lance Armstrong’s Confession? (q104.cbslocal.com)
- Rebranding Lance Armstrong (theatlantic.com)
- Lance Armstrong’s confession: The PR verdict (mumbrella.com.au)
4 comments on “Can Lance Armstrong Rebuild His Brand?”
Chala, everyone is talking about Lance Armstrong and criticizing his wrong doings. Today I was reading his interview in paper and thought a bit. Why to criticize him. Should we really?
First, at the end of the day atleast he confessed (though WADA & USADA still thinks he hasn’t confessed all). May be in pressure or whatever the reason be, but he confessed and apologized to the people of America and athletes. And that is the biggest thing I guess. There are lots of people across the globe who have been cheating and are in wrong doings but have they ever felt to confess those and apologized? No and they will never.
Second, he has been doing for cancer patients and played a major role in it.
Yes he did cheat and his career is all fake and full of lie but I believe confessing and apologizing needs strength. What you suggest on this?
I agree with you and I’m a huge fan of forgiveness and second chances. Everyone’s entitled to start over (and over and over.) The artcle gives a few ideas on how he can do just that. Glad you enjoyed!
Thanks Chala for this wonderful and informative article. 🙂
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