A Discussion on Digital Media & Communication Trends
There is a lot that Apple can learn from Wendy’s. (Though, you could argue that Apple is off to a great start. Read In Crisis the Answer is Always Classy – Just Look at Apple) Both companies’ founders died, leaving them without their iconic visionaries. Prior to their deaths, both companies had to pull their founders back into the fold in order to right the ship after several organizational missteps.
When in crisis of identity, sometimes the simple approach is the best. Forget all of the theories (Read post on crisis communication theory here) and get back to the organization’s core values.
When managing the identity crisis created by Dave Thomas’s death, Wendy’s made the mistake of going off script. They paid tribute to Dave Thomas organizationally, but did not keep his values at the core of their operations or marketing strategies. This created chaos and a floundering franchise that took a decade to correct. In the wake their interim CEO left bad product decisions and crafted one too many men dressed in Wendy’s wig commercials. After asking the question: “What would Dave do?” They have been able to regain market share and consumer confidence. Using an animated version of Wendy, Wendy’s created nostalgia to recapture the consumers’ imagination. Additionally, they recently named the first hamburger after their founder: “Dave’s Hot N’ Juicy Cheeseburger.”
As Apple embarks on a journey without Steve, they should keep the following ideas in mind.
*Graphic courtesy of David Owens-Hill. Follow him on Twitter @owenshill
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