Many leaders react to outside threats to their brand (dissatisfied customers, cantankerous critics, unruly competitors, etc.), while ignoring internal risks that could be even more damaging. However, individuals within the company who may not intend to do harm, may inflict as much or even more damage to your brand. Consider the manager who forwards a confidential email to the wrong person, the CEO’s snide remark that’s secretly recorded, or employees who upload at-work pranks to the web. These internal saboteurs may not set out to destroy brand equity, but the impact can be just as devastating as the acts of a willful saboteur.
Today, some risk intelligent companies are adapting the strategies and tactics of counter insurgencies to reduce brand threats, both internal and external. There are 3 steps toward a solution.
1) Plan for the worst. Look at brand risk just as you would a financial or strategic risk. Plan for the consequences of an attack.
2) When your planning is done, rehearse, and be proactive. Enroll everyone within your organization in brand risk management. Engage employees in monitoring and reporting internal and external threats. Build your organization’s ability to anticipate, track, report, manage and respond to internal and external brand threats.
3) Learn and adapt. Pay attention to how other organizations respond to brand threats. Learn what works and what doesn’t. Sabotage tactics are constantly evolving; your brand defense must change as well. Embed this knowledge into your plan as you move forward.
Be the pro-active, brand defense hero your company needs now by attacking these issues head-on.