Don’t Call It A Comeback: Shea Moisture
Last week, Rich Dennis (Founder of Shea Moisture) acquired Essence Communication from Time. This is great news and represents Black Excellence at its finest. It was really good to see positive media coverage as well as all the posts from Black Twitter (see Urban Dictionary Definition). This is an amazing turn of events when you really look at it.
Just this past April, Shea Moisture was the subject of controversy when they released a “Hair Hate” ad that completely missed the mark. While it’s understandable for brands to try to increase their customer base, it’s also just as important not to alienate your core customers. After receiving major backlash via social media and other channels, Shea Mositure pulled the ad and issued an apology. Not long after, Rich Dennis appeared on The Breakfast Club to address the issue head on.
In business, it’s extremely important to have a Crisis Management Plan in place. Let’s take a look at 4 concepts Shea Moisture used in order to manage theirs and how they bounced back.
Admit Your Mistake – Tell the truth and tell it quickly. Shea Moisture did a solid job of pulling the ad and releasing a statement quickly. They were honest, genuine and concise. Recently we’ve seen companies such as H&M react quickly to controversy, however they did a poor job of being genuine and even received backlash for their apology.
Designate One spokesperson – When dealing with a Crisis, it’s important for a company to show a united front. Shea did that by following the lead of Rich Dennis. If there were conflicting statements from multiple people that would show signs of instability (see the Trump administration). Rich answered every question to the best of his ability during the Breakfast Club interview and was able to stay cool under pressure.
Build Positive Relationships in Advance – Shea Moisture has been a staple in the black community for years and their parent company Sundial was founded in 1912. They have always given back through the Sofi Tucker Foundation as well as other community programs. A company’s reputation plays a key role in Crisis Management because that determines how customers react to it. Do they boycott and stay away forever or do they give them a second chance? While some were disappointed at the time of the “Hair Hate” ad, overall the talk of boycotting Shea Moisture dwindled down. Time, as well as reputation, heals all.
Do What You Do Best – During and after a crises, companies have to show patience with their customers and take the time to win them back. The most efficient way to achieve this is by doing what they do best. Shea Moisture continued to provide the best product they could and over time, they were able to get through their drama.
I commend Rich Dennis and Shea Moisture for staying the course and bouncing back. It’s almost impossible to avoid Crisis. The Major Key (Shout out DJ Khaled) is how you manage the situation and move forward. Life is 10% What Happens To You and 90% How You React To It. If you have a business of your own, make sure you have a Crisis Management Plan in place from Day 1.
Dessie Brown, Jr.
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