There are times when employees or agents in a luxury real estate marketing company do not comply with the ethical standards set forth by real estate governing bodies and your brand becomes at risk.  As a company owner, how are you going to handle this crisis?  Take a page out of Apple’s play-book when it comes to crisis/risk management.  A recent event in China is a case in point.

Some Chinese entrepreneurs are manufacturing and selling faulty, counterfeit Apple power adapters. One woman was electrocuted as a result of using a counterfeit charger and another is in a coma. Is Apple at fault? No, however, their brand name is stamped on the faulty products!

Apple treated this crisis as an opportunity to turn a rotten apple into a golden public relation coup. The following excerpt from their website announcement applies to anyone in the world who has encountered a counterfeit Apple charger:

“Starting August 16, 2013, if you have concerns about any of your USB power adapters, you can drop them off at an Apple Retail Store or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider. We will ensure that these adapters are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

If you need a replacement adapter to charge your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, we recommend getting an Apple USB power adapter. For a limited time, you can purchase one Apple USB power adapter at a special price — $10 USD or approximate equivalent in local currency. To qualify, you must turn in at least one USB power adapter and bring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to an Apple Retail Store or participating Apple Authorized Service Provider for serial number validation. The special pricing on Apple USB power adapters is limited to one adapter for each iPhone, iPad, and iPod you own and is valid until October 18, 2013.”

They know that moaning and groaning about these counterfeiters will accomplish nothing.  Instead they understood that the reputation of the brand is at risk.  With this brilliant move, they have proven that Apple products are the gold standard and have insured customer loyalty.

Crises do happen!  Manage the risk of a tarnished brand by demonstrating the best of your company values, thus creating a public relations opportunity.

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-


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