Continued from a couple days ago.

Like I mentioned before, no brand is immune to a brand shake-up when something unfortunate happens and your brand falls from grace. In my new book Brand Turnaround, I go into detail on some high-profile brands like Pirate’s Booty, Domino’s and The Red Cross.  I look at how they transformed from a brand gone bad to a brand back on their game.

One of the key strategies in these turnarounds was embracing the brand’s essence—its  purpose, distinction, promise and personality—in their recovery plan. With a strong brand essence, you will be more confident in dealing with a shakeup.

  • Be ready to answer the “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions.
  • Do a thorough inventory of all assets at your exposure and assemble a team of ambassadors.
  • Build a narrative to explain the situation and defend your brand.
  • Remember to never say, “No Comment,” and to respond in a timely manner to all major media contacts.

Once you’ve done this, it’s imperative to instill proper crisis media management, utilize social media tools, practice leadership, stay relevant and be distinct throughout the ordeal. Think carefully before every move, and know when to play offense, defense or throw in the towel.

All the while, you should understand the importance of change, and make an effort not to resist it. Oftentimes, people and companies as a whole imprison themselves by staying with what is familiar to them. Though this may seem comfortable and like the right thing to do, it can actually be counterproductive. The business world, global marketplace, people, social landscape and other brands are forever changing. Therefore, be adaptable.

Break free from the chains that will hold your brand hostage by:

  • Avoiding ego-driven decisions.
  • Taking responsibility.
  • Not relying on shortcuts.
  • Not just going with what you know, as opposed to seeking out new solutions.
  • Not denying consequences.
  • Not being afraid to lead and take charge.

Though breaking free from old chains may require higher costs, risk and pain, you will find that being open to change can result in your brand overcoming challenges and even becoming stronger in the long run. Remember that even if your brand isn’t guilty of anything, simple changes could be necessary.

Prepare yourself for unforeseen shakeups—both large and small—and consider these key points that can help you immensely when you find yourself scrambling to turn your brand around from a set back.

This blog is an excerpt from Karen Post’s latest book Brand Turnaround (McGraw-Hill 2011).