How Ikea can rebound from its plummeting reputation

After a handful of crises and some terrible PR in the last few months, the self-assembly furniture chain’s reputation in the U.S. has taken a huge dip. What can it do to recover?

Communicators and PR professionals often talk about the damage that crises can do to a brand. It’s rare, though, to see just how powerful the effects are as clearly as in this chart from YouGov’s BrandIndex, which depicts Ikea’s plummeting consumer perception in the United States.

Just a few months ago, Ikea had its highest reputation rank ever, scoring 25 on YouGov’s chart. Now, it’s at the lowest point in more than three years, down to just 5.

YouGov attributes the precipitous drop to three factors:

“The relationship between an organization or a brand and its constituents is like any other human relationship,” says Robert Holland of Holland Communication Solutions. “It’s built on trust, which takes a lot of time and effort to build up, but only a moment to tear down. Once that trust is compromised, it can take even longer to rebuild.”

What can Ikea do to earn that trust back? Communicators offered their advice.

The larger question

Shel Holtz of Holtz Communications + Technology and Tripp Frohlichstein of MediaMasters Training say the big dip in customer sentiment may not be that big a problem if sales are holding relatively steady.

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