Things we learnt from Chris Cairns

  • There’s a gap between common sense and justice

  • You can be found not guilty and still receive a life sentence

  • We prejudge people’s opinions, negatively or positively, based on our perceptions of them

  • There’s a level of interconnectedness between events, media, organisations and people that at times is frightening

  • There’s no hiding

  • Organisations, people and institutions are more visible and accessible than ever

  • Scrutiny can be severe and social media unforgiving

Naturally, all of this applies to brands. They’re continually being judged.
Every brand experience is going to have an impact for better or worse on the brand’s reputation.

Brands become exposed when they stray from their moral anchor either through expediency or behaving in a way that is opposed to its values. It doesn’t matter if this through a rouge individual or if it is more systemic (Volkswagen).

Arguably, values and the behaviours that go with them are more important than ever. In a world that’s in a constant state of change they are one thing that is timeless.

All brands are going to stuff up at some stage – it’s impossible to get it right all the time – but if people can see that they stay true to their values they are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt.