Originally published in the Austin Business Journal, March 8, 2004.
“In light of Martha Stewart’s guilty verdicts, what can a company do to protect its branding and reputation?”
Martha Stewart is a case history from which few companies can draw direct parallels, as only a handful of brands are built so completely upon the personal reputation, expertise and personality of a single individual. But there is a lesson in this for all marketers:
Tarnished brands are resilient, IF the quality of the product is pleasing to consumers. Product satisfaction will gloss over a variety of brand ills.
My personal prediction is that the Martha Stewart brand will survive. Why? Because of the reservoir of goodwill built up over the years by a marketer that has been smart about providing products that fit the tastes and expectations of customers.