How a Product’s Image of Quality Can Quickly Evaporate

Maclaren’s Stroller Recall: A Stumbling Response Online (Time)

Product Recall Affects BrandWhen managing marketing decisions there is always the risk that something unforeseen can damage the reputation a company has spent years building.  Here is story where that may just be the case.  Maclaren is a well-known manufacturer of baby strollers that is well regarded for producing quality products.  But the company faces a very large recall of its strollers (over 1 million) because of serious injuries that have occurred to young children.

But to add to their problems Maclaren has had difficulty handling the recall and especially with their ability to handle requests made to their website.  Several consultants say the fact they are in the children’s market makes things even more difficult.

“Anything relative to child safety tends to be off-the-charts viral,” says Pete Blackshaw, a brand consultant for Nielsen Online. According to Blackshaw’s data, new mothers are three times more likely than others to use social media and start blogs. 

As of Monday afternoon, a Twitter account called @MacLarenStrolle was linking to Web pages that don’t exist. Another, @maclarenbabyUK, posts links to new Maclaren products, but there were no posts addressing the recall.

What will Maclaren need to do to regain customer’s trust and how will this likely play with retailers handling their products?

Image by Irish Typepad

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