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How to Save Your Personal Brand when The Corporate Brand Stumbles

5 Strategies for Recovering Your Reputation from the Wells Fargo Fiasco

December 28 ushered in what many trust is the last fine levied against Wells Fargo & Co: $575 million to every state in the union including Washington, DC. In sum, this payment brings the total fines to more than $4 billion since 2016 stemming from illegal sales practices!

I’ve spoken to many Wells Fargo employees who are not part of the banking division claiming that the negative publicity doesn’t harm their business. Wrong! To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, “A sinking tide sinks all boats.” To readers and consumers, Wells Fargo = the covered wagon bank and it’s guilty of countless scores of consumer deception.

Yet, if you work at Wells Fargo, there’s hope. You can restore your reputation with these suggested strategies that work whenever there’s a branding crisis.

  1. Turn Lemons into Lemonade – Address this issue during every single new interaction. You must simply assume your prospect has heard something so discuss it from the get-go.

  2. Apologize – I get it; you work in the Wealth Management Division; you had nothing to do with the scandal. Apologize anyway. Hopping on the defensive simply isn’t a good move.

  3. Create Your Own Guarantee – Since many of the fines were for making moves without the account holder’s express permission, draft your own Bill of Customer Rights. I, for example, provide my clients with their coaching bill of rights where I promise to be on time, focus, never coach while driving, etc.

  4. Explain – Know the facts of this case upside down and backwards. Plus, share the safeguards that are now put in place.

  5. Provide Recourse – Let clients know about oversight; tell them how to report an incident with a supervisor’s contact info.

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