Thursday, February 11

Toyota and Consumer Trust

Toyota has certainly been in the news lately with its very high profile recalls, and sadly for the brand it comes at a time when corporate distrust is still running a sustained high. The backlash that the brand is getting is an indication of a public now frustrated. Frustrated with corporate "mistakes", frustrated about not being the warned, and frustrated about potentially not being told the truth.

The problem with Toyota's woes is that there doesn't appear to be an end in sight. The problem doesn't feel contained and it doesn't feel like it's being managed, which just leads to the distrust. Especially coming from a brand that has now infiltrated American households and pop culture. Perhaps the crisis is starting to fade now, but I think everyone is waiting to see if another shoe will fall. It is all certainly affecting how consumers feel about the Toyota brand.

I was quoted in an online article yesterday, asking my advice for Toyota. You can read it here:

I have always held the belief that managing any kind of a brand communications dilemma should always be met with honesty and transparency, with as much information as you can possibly know. Tylenol set the bar high back in the 1980's for sure.

What's your experience? Jim

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