Positivity After A Crisis
Brands and Individuals Seize an Opportunity for Positive PR
Chen tweeted to Sina Weibo
that for any of his followers who
had their Japanese car smashed
during rioting, he would replace it.
Japanese cars were
targeted during a spate
of anti-Japan protests.
FAW Toyota and Canton
Steam Toyota were also
quick to offer compensation
packages to customers
whose car was damaged.
In September, rioting against the Japanese government's purchase of the Diaoyu Islands erupted in many cities across China. Rioters in the streets
soon turned their violent anti-Japan protests against Japanese car brands. Chen Guangbiao, who became China's most famous philanthropist with his
high-profile contributions to Sichuan Earthquake victims in 2008, took to Sina Weibo on Sept. 18 th to promise a new car to each of his followers
whose own Japanese car had been smashed. Toyota also published compensation schemes for the owners of attacked cars.
Positivity After A Crisis
From Crisis Comes Opportunity
Chen Guangbiao held
a ceremony to hand over 43
new (Chinese) “Geely Emgrand”
cars to replace smashed
“Geely Emgrand” grew
significantly in the wider
public’s awareness, generating
a substantial volume of
positive comments .
Toyota’s “Zero Burden” Case 2
compensation plan was widely
promoted on television and online.
The activity had a significant and
positive effect on Toyota’s brand
image amongst Chinese netizens at
a sensitive time for Japanese
business in China. It established a
sense among netizens that Toyota is
a caring and supportive company.
As we move through the “Web 2.0” era, crises and opportunities can be fleeting but eminently powerful.
Seeking Opportunities: Although a brand may have no direct association with a hot topic or event, through ongoing monitoring clever positioning it can leverage this opportunity,
as in Case 1, to bolster brand image and generate awareness.
Respond to Crises: Negative events can befall even the best prepared brands. However, if a brand has the tools and training to recognize an emerging crisis take swift and
positive action, as in Case 2, they can actually generate a positive image and establish their good reputation in the long term.
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