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Hardbound

Building Resilient Brands
Paul Writer's Jessie Paul emphasises the importance of securing your brand's reputation in the age of social media

You put your social media in charge of an unpaid intern. He or she tweets something totally inappropriate — what should you do? Or, you put your testing program in charge of a bunch of PhDs. Unfortunately they decided to cook the numbers and trust in your brand is at an all time low. Can you fix it? A customer says that your milk makes a rubbery substance rather than yoghurt. You know thats impossible, but the lady is getting a lot of interest on social media. How do you prove her wrong? Should you?  

Priests, waitresses, homemakers, interns, employees, ex-employees, scientists — the cast of those who can damage your brand is diverse. The many examples from around the globe make this book come to life. You start feeling uncomfortable — you realise that your carefully nurtured, petted, manicured and polished golden goose of a brand is constantly under threat from within and without.  

This has always been the case, of course, but social media adds a dimension of speed and immediacy. It allows even a one-off freak error to be multiplied and amplified a million times. Social media takes a local crisis and blows it up to a giant-sized global one within hours.  And it puts immense power in the hands of individuals to create a crisis.  

The vast amount of research on what all can go wrong in the bright new world of a social-media influenced global marketplace would be sufficient to make the book readable. But that is not its purpose — the book wishes you to learn from the misfortune of others to avoid making the same mistakes. The authors use the examples to teach us how to deal with the crises that are part of every brand owner's life.

What allows some brands to survive a massive assault on their reputation without significant financial damage? How do some brands deflect these attacks? Is it alright to fire a person, who sends out an offensive tweet by mistake? Is putting customers first — rather than offending employees — always the right thing? The book answers this and more with examples for each situation. 

As you read the book you find yourself itching to start planning a state-of-the-art defence system to protect your brand from all possible damage. You could 'do-it-yourslef' it but the authors have brought their expertise to create a playbook you could use instead. It has various chapters dedicated to the phases of crisis management which bear testimony to Venke Sharmas diverse experience in marketing.

Even as there are many books dedicated to the joys of digital marketing, there are very few (or none) devoted to its darker side. And thats what makes this book an essential read for any brand owner. It shines a light on the dangers lurking in shadowy corners and arms you with an arsenal to defend your brand. The Playbook is a great takeaway and will save you much time in getting your brand the armour it needs to be indestructible. 

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