This week saw a swift drop in the stock market as Standard & Poor’s threatened to cut the U.S. credit rating amid talks that the debt ceiling will not be increased possibly resulting in the U.S. defaulting on their loans.
It was the effect that this statement had on the stock market that hammered home the concept that when it comes too the permissions of a brand, the job of maintaining those permissions is much easier when a large amount of trust is unquestioningly granted by the customer.
With regards to Standard & Poor’s, it was not that long ago that they told investors that mortgage backed securities were an AAA investment. This has since proved to be quite the contrary. At the end of the day, no one has a crystal ball and much like a weatherman who tells you it will be sunny and it rains or there will flurries and it blizzards, S&P’s rating system is only their opinion based on a variety of factors they have deemed to be important. And like with the weatherman, we continue to tune in, to listen and to dress accordingly.
In most instances once a brand wrongs its target audience, maintaining and recovering the permission that the brand once possessed becomes a difficult, sometimes impossible, task.
There is a team trust exercise in which a person falls back into the arms of their teammates. It is an exercise in which you only need to be dropped once to lose trust forever. In the case of Standard & Poor’s, their consumer’s have granted them what appears to be more permission leeway than is granted to the average brand. They need to acknowledge this granted tolerance and remember that while they have permission now, the village eventually did let the wolf get the boy who repeatedly made a fool of them.