Can you market your way out of a bad reputation?

People who work in marketing typically play a significant role in defining their company’s brand and reputation.

But it’s important to remember that marketing isn’t necessarily the result of people who “do marketing.”

Marketing is about the specific actions and functions that determine and shape how a company is perceived in the eyes of its customers and the public.

And when things go badly, it can become an absolute nightmare.

Robinhood’s PR fiasco

Take Robinhood as a prime example. Because of the massive outages suffered with its stock trading platform, in the midst of two majorly intense days of market activity, Robinhood’s short and long-term reputation is on the line.

It’s unfortunate for those working in Robinhood’s marketing operations, because no matter how much of a positive image you try to project, it’s highly likely marketing actions themselves will not overcome a reputational black eye.

Instead, the result will be just the opposite: amplifying the company’s negative image and reminding everyone what happened.

Robinhood’s downtime will have cost their customers many millions if not billions in lost stock trade opportunities. As a first, all-important face saving measure, the company sent out an email to its customers from the co-CEOs.

Besides the standard formalities of apology and regret, the correspondence invites customers to get in touch directly with the company to address their concerns. Robinhood has stated they will offer compensation to customers on a case-by-case basis.

Please reach out to us here if you were affected by this outage so we can work with you directly to address your concerns.

This statement, together with the follow-on measures to remunerate customers, could well save Robinhood’s future. It’s not a marketing-specific action, but really does serve as such.

Marketing is a business function, no matter how it is carried out, regardless of whether it’s from someone on the marketing team or anyone else.