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Recalling Products, a New Brand Building Exercise by Marketeers

Dec 24, 2014 | Consumer Product | Future Market Insights

Branding is the process of creating a unique identity for a product or a service in the mind of the consumer. The only objective driving this motive is to create a lasting impression in the minds of esteemed consumers, both existing and the potential ones, yet to come. Branding is an integral component of marketing, as it intends to demonstrate to the targeted market area that you are the only one with the perfect solution to their problems. The cornerstones of a smart branding strategy are to deliver the message clearly, amass credibility, make connections with target prospects, motivate and pursue the buyer, and affirm their loyalty. The methods of working with these fundamentals of branding might differ for advertisers. However, the desired output remains the same.

According to Future Market Insights (FMI), many media agencies looking after the marketing strategies of various companies are looking at recalling products from market shelves as a way of branding. It was only last week that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, the glamorous car maker announced its plans to recall 3.3 million older-model autos across the globe due to faulty Takata airbags. FCA stated it will replace the airbag inflators on the driver’s side, as they have a tendency to blow up with excessive force, creating a possibility of shrapnel injuries to the driver and passengers. Although none of these airbags have been found faulty, the recall is based on the problem linked to this aspect of the airbags causing fatal injuries to at least five drivers in the US and one in Malaysia. FMI analysts believe the FCA’s move comes as a brand-building strategy to project the image of an excellent service provider who deals with not just pre-existing problems, but with doubts about potential problems as well.

The strategy of recalling products from the market does come at a cost. It comes with the risk of a negative impact on the company’s reputation. It raises questions about their research and development so far, the resources invested and spent on it, and the failure at delivering on a promise. But, has a business ever made it big without taking any risks? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’!

Big businesses with a smart and effective PR team will know the clever tricks of a swift recall and restitution. Experts at Future Market Insights suggest that reducing the time gap between recalling a product and reintroducing or returning it to consumers will have a positive impact on the willingness of buyers to make a purchase. The near-to-instant gratification is the real deal maker in this case. It does not create the trauma of losing either money or product, and thus leaves no scope for the hardship a buyer has to endure while recovering from a loss.

In addition to this, a valuable insight from Future Market Insights is that it is best to remain open, honest, and transparent about the issue at hand. The perfect example of this notion is Flipkart, an Indian online shopping portal’s recent debacle with its magnanimous sale, where it simply could not handle the crowd it pulled. The e-commerce giant responded by sending out a letter to their entire customer base apologizing for the mishap. Though the case is not specifically about recalling products, there’s something about branding that marketers can learn from Sachin and Binny, the owners of Flipkart. The letter makes a heart-to-heart conversation with its readers and the loyal Flipkart customers about the technical glitches that caused the colossal chaos. And it is with that, that advertisers ought to learn that honesty is indeed the best policy to gain, retain, and regain its customer base for a successful business.

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Future Market Insights