Samsung Galaxy Note 7….a crackingly brilliant crisis response or are they a bit burnt out?

Photo by Lucy Hayball 2016. Logo: Samsung Electronicals 2016

If you haven’t heard about Samsung’s recent crisis, I’ll be surprised.

Samsung recently recalled and stopped production of their new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone less than two months after they launched it. This smartphone was due to be their flagship device until reports came in that 35 of them had set on fire. Before they knew it, Samsung had a global crisis on their hands.

But how did they respond & did they fall victim to the crisis response trap?

Samsung chose to respond to this crisis by initiating a global recall of all devices. Only 35 of the Note 7 devices sold were reported to have faulty batteries leading them to catch fire. This 35 is out of 1 million sold worldwide. Samsung could have chosen to attempt a ‘damage control’ approach and recall the devices in those particular areas or countries. However, the organisation chose to recall all the devices that they have sold across the globe.

A recall of this scale proves to us, the consumer that the brand accepts the seriousness of the problem. The fairly quick decision also showed to us that Samsung wanted the problem to be addressed quickly. The organisation issued statements, some criticised for being dull and boring, but you have to give it to them, they have been transparent. Other statements have included details on how to return devices and apologising to consumers whilst reassuring them over safety concerns.

No organisation is going to escape a crisis without some damage to their reputation. No matter how much PR they use, consumers across the globe will be sharing it on social media and news outlets will still be covering the story. However, the move that Samsung took was the best one to attempt to save their brand reputation. Yes, they’ve mucked up, but they’ve done what we as consumers would’ve wanted them to. At least they did something.

However, the worst thing for them after the crisis itself was the timing. What worse time for this to happen than the lead up to the release and sale of the iPhone 7. HNGN News predicted that Apple would gain 5-7 million users due to this failure and lack of trust in the brand.

So what does this mean for Samsung?

They are going to experience a rocky end to the year. Samsung will really feel the cost of this error but the bigger thing to note is that they dealt with it well. We should understand and respect the brands behaviour and response to this matter.

All in all, I think that they dealt with it as best as they could have. Yes, they had a tricky start when reports first came out but they did act quickly. They kept consumers updated and have recalled all devices. This is all well and good but it will be interesting to see how Samsung handle the crisis on from here….

2015 Victims: Volkswagen, Fifa, HSBC, Sports Direct

2016 Victims: Samsung, Emirates (and still Sports Direct..)

Which one of the ‘big guns’ are next for a lesson in Crisis Management in 2017?

Luce xo

(P.S – Sorry if it seems I haven’t posted in a while! Second year has been manic and I haven’t stopped. I have to do two blogs as part of my assignments so on top of this one, I’ve got another 2 to look after! I will be doing my best to keep Sunday my ‘blog post’ day but bear with me if it is a bit later some weeks :))


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