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考研英语阅读泛读训练4

Brand rehab
品牌康复


Apr 8th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

A surprising number of companies spend some time in the clinic
相当多的公司都在品牌康复诊所里待过




THE venerable Augusta National Golf Club has been playing host to the Masters Tournament since 1934. But this year it is also playing host to another great drama, the relaunching of the most valuable personal brand in the world. Tiger Woods’s penchant for cocktail waitresses and porn actresses ended up costing an astonishing amount of money: two economists at the University of California, Davis, have calculated that his biggest corporate sponsors, such as Nike and Gatorade, saw as much as $12 billion wiped off the value of their shares in the wake of the scandal. But Mr Woods’s warm reception at Augusta suggests that he is well on his way to recovering his star power.

自从1934年以来,备受尊敬的奥古斯塔国家高尔夫球俱乐部就一直是美国大师赛的主办方。但在今年,该俱乐部同样主办了另一出大型剧目——重新投放世界上最有价值的个人品牌。泰格·伍兹对于鸡尾酒女招待和色情女演员偏嗜的结果是一笔巨额金钱的烟消云散:经加州大学戴维斯分校的两位经济学家的计算,赞助伍兹的那些最大的公司——比如耐克和佳得乐——在丑闻之后,看到有120亿美元从自己的股票市值上消失。但是伍兹在奥古斯塔受到的温暖表明他正在重现他的星光。

Brand Tiger is thus likely to join a long list of brands that have come back refreshed after a spell in rehab. These include not just the predictable roster of celebrity brands such as Martha Stewart and Kobe Bryant, but also a surprising number of solid corporate citizens such as Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. Brand-threatening scandals are becoming a regular feature of the corporate landscape, thanks to a toxic mixture of globalisation, which scatters corporate activities hither and yon, and the internet, which allows bad news to spread like wildfire. Oxford Metrica, a consultancy, estimates that executives have an 82% chance of facing a corporate disaster within any five-year period, up from 20% two decades ago. Indeed, just the day after Mr Woods made his return to golf, the American government fined Toyota over $16m for its tardiness in addressing safety concerns.

于是,“老虎伍兹”这个品牌可能要加入一长列的都曾经历过康复的苦痛,之后以崭新面貌回归的品牌当中。其中不仅包括像玛莎·斯图尔特和科比·布莱恩特这样能够猜得到的名人品牌,还有相当多的一批信赖度极高的企业品牌,比如强生和可口可乐。由于全球化和互联网两者的有害混合——全球化将公司的业务分散到四面八方,互联网使得坏消息能够像野火一样传播——威胁品牌的负面新闻正在成为企业景图上的一个固定组成部分。咨询公司Oxford Metrica估计在任何一个五年的时间段内,公司高管面临公司灾难的几率是82%,而二十年前的这一几率是20%。果不其然,就在伍兹回归高尔夫球场的后一天,美国政府因为丰田公司在应对安全顾虑上的拖沓,对其罚款超过1600万美元。

The key to a successful relaunch lies in making a cool-headed assessment of how much the scandal damages your company. Does it involve life and limb, rather than less consequential matters? Has it spread beyond particular products or particular divisions to afflict the entire corporate brand? If the answer to both questions is yes, then companies are well advised to go into collective overdrive; if it is no, then they can experiment with more nuanced responses, such as lopping off a tainted product or sacrificing a rogue division.

品牌再次投放成功与否的关键在于能否冷静地估量负面新闻给公司带来的损害。负面消息中包含的是否是致命的、对结果有着至关重要影响的元素?负面新闻是否已经冲破了某个产品或是某个部门,进而牵连到整个公司的品牌?如果两个问题的答案都为“是”,那么,公司非常应该通过集体的努力来攻克危机;如果答案为“否”,那么,公司可以尝试更细微的回应,比如砍掉一款声誉扫地的产品,或是牺牲掉一个有害全局的部门。

Marsh & McLennan and JetBlue provide good examples of companies that took a no-holds-barred approach to brand rehabilitation. In 2004 Marsh & McLennan was accused of taking kickbacks to recommend insurance providers to its clients, an accusation that went to the very heart of its identity as one of the country’s biggest insurance brokers. The firm was not content with issuing grovelling apologies and paying $850m in compensation. It also appointed a new boss, Michael Cherkasky, who was the head of its financial-investigation division, Kroll. Mr Cherkasky proceeded to de-emphasise the insurance business and boost other divisions, such as Mercer Consulting and Kroll.

MMC集团和捷蓝航空公司提供了很好的范例,两家公司都不拘一格地进行了品牌康复治疗。2004年,MMC集团被人控告在向客户推荐保险公司的过程中收取回扣。作为全国最大的保险经纪公司之一,这一指控直指该公司的核心身份。MMC集团不只满足于态度谦卑地发表道歉和拿出8亿500万美元的补偿费,还任命了一位新老板——迈克尔·彻尔卡斯基,他原是该公司金融调查分支克勒尔公司的总裁。彻尔卡斯基继续弱化了公司保险业务的重要地位,但却推进了其它的分支,像美世咨询公司和克勒尔公司。

In 2007 bad weather presented JetBlue with a nightmare of its own. Thousands of passengers were left stranded and one planeload of unfortunates spent eight hours sitting on the tarmac, with precious little food or drink to sustain them. The company’s founder and boss David Neeleman immediately recognised that this made a mockery of his promise to “bring humanity back to air travel”. He threw himself into dealing with the problem, issuing public apologies, telling his employees to contact passengers personally by phone and e-mail, producing a retroactive passengers’ “Bill of Rights” and ponying up around $25m in compensation.

2007年,坏天气给捷蓝公司带来了一场噩梦。数以千计的乘客滞留机场,还有一飞机的不幸乘客坐在柏油飞机跑道上足足有八个小时,只有数量极少的水和食物来维持。公司的创立者和老板大卫·尼尔曼立刻感觉到这个事件很是嘲讽了他给出的承诺——“将人性化服务带回到空中旅行中”。他于是非常积极地处理这个问题,发表公众道歉,叫员工通过电话和电邮与乘客亲自联系,拿出一个具有追溯效力的乘客的“权利法案”,支出2500万美元作为补偿金。

The JetBlue case underlines two of the most important rules of successful crisis management. First, the boss needs to take charge. This means sidelining corporate cluck-cluckers such as lawyers (who worry that any admission of guilt will lead to lawsuits) or financial officers (who obsess about the bottom line). It also means putting the survival of the company above personal considerations (Mr Neeleman stepped down three months after the crisis). Many of the most damaging crises, by contrast, have resulted from foot-dragging at the top—as appears to be the case with Toyota today.

捷蓝公司的案例突出了成功的危机公关所要遵循的两条最重要的法则。第一条,老板需要亲自负责。这意味着像律师(担心承认任何过失都可能导致法律诉讼)和财务主管(过分注重底线)这样的杞人忧天者要靠边了。还意味着将公司的存亡放在个人考虑之上(尼尔曼在危机发生三个月之后离任)。而与此相对照的是,许多最具破坏性的危机是由于公司高层的拖后腿——现在的丰田公司看起来就是这样的情形。

The second rule is that crisis-racked firms should redouble their focus on their customers. One former aide to George Bush junior, David Frum, tells the story of another, Karen Hughes, who sees a small plane towing a banner reading, “Jill, please come back. I am nothing without you. Jack.” Her response is, “Wrong message. It’s too much about you, not enough about her.”

第二条法则是备受危机困扰的公司应该加倍将重点放在顾客身上。曾在小布什身边工作过的助手大卫·弗鲁姆讲了另一个布什的助手卡伦·休斯的故事,她看到一个小飞机拖着一条横幅,上面写着,“吉尔,回来吧。没有你,我什么都不是。杰克”。卡伦对此的反应是,“错了。太多的关于你了,而关于她的则不够。”

Companies have a habit of acting like Jack when their brands are in trouble—talking endlessly about how they are fixing this or reorganising that. But most successful decontaminators look at the world’s from Jill’s point of view. Johnson & Johnson’s handling of the Tylenol crisis (when an unidentified attacker poisoned some bottles of the painkiller) is the gold standard of crisis management because the company simply recalled all Tylenol without hesitation or demur. Similarly, Edward Breen, the boss of Tyco, rescued the conglomerate’s reputation after his predecessor, Dennis Kozlowski, was imprisoned, by launching a public-relations campaign that focused on what the company’s products do to improve people’s lives.

在品牌遇到麻烦时,公司习惯于杰克一样的表现——无休止地讲他们正在修整这个,或是重组那个。但是最会净化品牌的公司则是吉尔看世界的角度。强生公司处理泰诺林危机(一个身份不明人士在一些装有这种去痛药的瓶子中投了毒)的办法是危机公关的黄金标准,因为该公司毫不犹豫、没有一丝迟疑地召回了所有的泰诺林。相类似的是,泰科公司的老板爱德华·布里恩在其前任丹尼斯·科兹洛夫斯基坐牢之后,通过发动一场公关运动,挽救了集团的声誉。运动的主题是该公司的产品怎样做才能改善人们的生活。

Never waste a crisis
一次危机也不浪费


Crises can even give brands a long-term boost, provided the rehabilitation is properly handled. Coca-Cola emerged stronger from its disastrous recipe change in 1985. In response to widespread outrage from customers, it reverted to the original formulation within three months. The whole episode reminded consumers of their fierce attachment to Coke, and thus ended up increasing sales. Tiger Woods, too, could well emerge with added lustre from his own debacle. There is nothing Americans like more than a redemption story—particularly when the man being redeemed is supremely good at his job.

如果康复手段得当,危机甚至能够给品牌以长久的推动。可口可乐公司在1985年那次灾难性的配方更换事件之后以更强的表现复出。为了回应来自顾客普遍的愤慨,可口可乐在三个月之内重回原有的配方。整段插曲让消费者意识到他们对于可乐的强烈依赖,于是,曲终部分是可乐销量的增加。同样,泰格伍兹也能够很容易地从溃败中带着比以往更多的光辉复出。美国人最喜欢关于救赎的故事——特别是当被救赎的这个人本职工作还做得特别棒的时候。

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