A chocolate package can make you lose a fortune!

A chocolate package can make you lose a fortune!

Nov 24th, 2009

Crises are generally defined as decisive moments, particularly in times of danger or difficulty. Times of danger or difficulty can arise because of various hazards, i.e. of natural, man-made (voluntary or involuntary) and public opinion/media type, hitting the organization or the system under consideration. However sometimes even a chocolate package can make you lose a fortune!

Any hazard type can generate harm, losses, i.e. consequences, which can be limited to physical losses, or evolve into image related damages. These last ones are sometimes more difficult to fix, especially if a corporations ends up looking like an arrogant monster that “could just come in and throw lots of its money at a problem that was more than just a money issue…” (Albrecht, 1996).
Sometimes poorly managed issues, or poor risk communication, can lead to trigger public opinion/media hazards, like boycotts, blockades of facilities, strikes, media campaigns etc.
In studying potential for crises one has to remember that “instead of the past determining the present (the historic approach), future is colonized by risk, and therefore determines the present.” What that means is that we cannot only look at the past (statistical approaches) to predict the future.

A vivid example of a “new crisis” is a relatively recent “Chocolate Scandal” in Switzerland. A major (world renown) food company, famous for a celebrated chocolate brand, sold in the same identical package since decades decided to mandate a worldly renowned architect and designer to repackage the brand. As soon as the new, very attractive, space-age package was on the shelves of supermarkets people responded with a double outcry. On one hand they had lost their beloved traditional package (a classic type of crisis), and on the other, the new package was an environmental monster, due to its volume, and not recyclable (“new” type of crisis).
What was born as a show-off design and marketing turned out as a loss estimated at 24% of the annual sales volume.
A simple equation for your thoughts: Future does not generally coincide with the past, and as we move forward they will diverge more and more! Beware.

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Category: Consequences, Hazard, Risk analysis, Risk management

One response to “A chocolate package can make you lose a fortune!”

  1. […] risk” that ended up costing an arm and a leg to a famous US airline, please look at Post1 and Post2 Posted in Acceptability, Financial, Hazard, corporate, crisis, decision, management, operational, […]

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