Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
6 May 2010
BP’s Leaking Brand Problem
Straight from BP’s website: “…a revitalized BP is driving innovative, efficient and responsible operations.”
BP’s situation in the Gulf of Mexico as it fights leaks from a well that was damaged when a rig exploded will continue to get worse – even if the environmental damage is not as severe as predicted.
“It is another example of a company saying they have a brand, but when push comes to shove, failing to act like one.”
BP represents “big oil,” an industry that has maintained historically high profits even as the economy has slowed. Much like Goldman Sachs, BP will appear before Senate committees and be held up as the poster child of what is wrong with big oil.
BP’s initial lack of responsiveness and still lethargic approach to this potential environmental disaster plays exactly opposite of the image (I dare not say brand) that BP was trying to portray. This accident and its subsequent response is not the action of a “responsible operator,” rather it exposes BP face without its makeup on.
BP has a very serious problem that goes beyond its current problem and its unqualified PR disaster. It is another example of a company saying they have a “brand,” but when push comes to shove, failing to act like one. Brand is more than a simple marketing campaign or fancy visual identity. Brand, when it is executed properly, drives everything a company does, at every step, regardless of the cost or the conditions.
It is in an event like this where a company’s brand should epitomize its actions. Too bad for BP this unfortunate spill flies in their brand’s face. BP has got some serious damage control ahead of them, and it is just not in fixing their leaking well.
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