Mar 12, 2019

The phoenix companies: How brands bounce back from crises

Looking at the Axios Harris Poll 100 reputation rankings, it's interesting to see how differently some companies have responded to crises.

Data: Harris Polls; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios
Data: Harris Polls; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

What we're watching: Rising from the ashes of controversy, some brands have been able to overcome major scandals, while others have struggled to regain public trust.

Why it matters: Brands that have faced major public scandals over the past few years that have been able to recover in public reputation are those that have fundamentally sought to change the culture or DNA of their companies post-scandal.

  • General Motors, which faced two of its worst scandals in a row with the 2009 bankruptcy and its 2014 ignition recall scandal, has largely won over the public over the past few years. CEO Mary Barra has been credited for taking ownership of the crisis and revamping GM's culture in response.
  • Volkswagen, which was slow at first to respond to the diesel emissions scandal of 2015, has been able to turn around its brand and business, by pouring billions into a company reboot that focuses on electric car production.

Meanwhile, Boeing is now grappling with its nightmare scenario of deadly back-to-back 737 MAX 8 crashes.

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