26 December 2009

One Audience, Two Responses

How fast should a brand react when child safety is in the balance?

A couple of weeks back I'd blogged about Maclaren, and the fracas that started with its product recall in the USA on 9th November. A few days ago, the 23rd Dec edition of Singapore newspaper TODAY carried a report that the local distributor of Maclaren had (finally) contacted its 1,000 customers who had purchased the affected strollers to collect safety covers for the stroller hinges to prevent injury to stray fingers.

Is 44 days a reasonable time for a company to respond to a threat to its goodwill and reputation? (And we haven't even begun talking about customer safety.)

Consider this: Swedish furniture giant IKEA announced earlier this week (on 22 December) a global recall of 5,474 children's high chairs after IKEA received 11 reports of malfunctions of the locks securing the seat to the frame of the high chair. "As soon as we started to get the incident reports, we decided to stop selling the product," an IKEA spokesman said. The company is discontinuing the product and issuing a full refund to all purchasers of the Leopard high chair.

Two different companies, serving -- in this case -- one single customer segment. No prizes for guessing which one has earned my respect and trust.

1 comment:

Yee Foong said...

Which reminds me, I need to get my Maclaren safety cover!