Protecting brand policies
Continued from page 3
New England Consulting Group's Stibel noted that brands embroiled in future controversies should not “stay on the sidelines” for fear of offending people who disagree with brand policies. Because Denny’s and Buffalo Wild Wings have their no-gun policies to protect their customers and provide an optimal experience, they should not worry about losing the favor of people who would forgo a visit to their locations if they could not carry in a gun.
“Be proud of what you say, knowing that not everyone will agree,” he said. “You’re never going to make everyone happy, and that’s not a bad thing. The only time you make everyone happy is when you’re benign. You have to do the right thing for the right groups of people.”
If the controversy is playing out on Facebook, he added, that is where a proactive response should go.
“You need to engage wherever your consumers are likely to be engaged,” Stibel said. “If they see you not engaged, they may attribute that to weakness or fear. But you should be proud of your good policies, or anxious to fix bad ones. If politics has no role in the restaurant business or on your Facebook page, say so.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: February 15, 2013 An earlier version of this story incorrectly recounted the Jan. 1 incident at a Belleville, Ill., Denny’s location. All the police officers who left the diner that day were in plainclothes rather than official uniforms, not just the one female officer asked to leave because she was carrying her issued firearm.
Contact Mark Brandau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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