'Courage under Fire' a must for Brands

Its a pity that Silvio Berlusconi had to have his teeth broken, nose fractured, and lip bloodied. Yet in many ways, Berlusconi should be thanking the mentally deranged guy who did this to him. Because it gave him an opportunity to show the tough guy he was, despite cowardly attacks. In fact, it seems after the attack Berlusconi tried to climb on to his car to show he was all right, before being driven away.


Post attack, within hours, some 20,000 people had signed up to Facebook groups lauding Mr Tartaglia, the attacker as a hero. But Berlusconi needn't fret. This is only natural considering there are many in Italy who detest him. Despite the scorn heaped by his opponents, the bloody attack and its aftermath of exhibition of 'courage' will only cement Berlusconi's popularity with his supporters. They will see him as a 'courage under fire' kinda hero.

Brands too fall prey to 'attacks'. From opponents or even plain loonies who just can't stand the brand. We know of loonies like the PETA attacking KFC, Greenpeace taking on Apple, and so on. At such times, its wise to respond either by ignoring the loony in question or by shrugging off the 'hit' and exhibiting studied defiance. Note, any response to attacks must be dignified and elegant, not reek of amateurish retaliation. That is, it mustn't be an eye for an eye.

Consumers like people are enamored by courage and grace under fire. That requires that at certain times, people and brands respond. Measuredly and with dignity. That may mean standing up and showing your supporters you're okay, or releasing a statement via the media, that as much as you are hurt by the attack, you aren't fazed. That you would continue to strive at giving your customers even better value for their money.


That is the power of strong brands. We know how Enron denied the allegations against it.

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