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Why you Must Keep Your Brand Promise

The Honest Co. Isn’t Being Honest

The Honest Co. created its brand based upon delivering eco-friendly and organic products. It also delivered an “Honestly Guarantee” that its products were made without the chemical SLS/SLES. In fact, it boldly blogged about this ingredient as toxic!

And, guess what? The Wall Street Journal reported that its lab tests (tested twice!) decisively prove that SLS is contained in every single bottle of detergent.

The founder’s response by Jessica Alba was simply that the tests were wrong and that the company would continue to make Honest products. That’s it! No follow up, no commitment, no undertaking of the seriousness of these allegations and herein lies the branding problem:  a brand must take its promises to its consumers seriously.

When you compare Jessica’s response to that of Chipotle’s CEO, you’ll see the right and wrong way to rectify a brand image problem. Steve Ells confronted the problem; he didn’t accuse the CDC of misrepresenting the food contamination. Further, he apologized and took responsibility and took to the airwaves.

Today, the fast feeder has made grande changes to its food cooking and handling. And, to entice consumers to take a bite again out of its burritos, it’s offering BOGO promotions (Buy One, Get One Free.) Already, traffic is picking up at Chipotle demonstrating that the brand can and will win back customers.

Branding at its heart is about being authentic and walking your talk. And, if you go astray, that’s OK, but tell the truth and rectify the problems.

What’s your take? Please share in the comments below.

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