Posts Tagged ‘Akio Toyoda’

Toyota’s making it right . . . finally

Have you seen the new “Making it right” commercial Toyota’s running?  The one where they capitalize on nostalgia and Toyota’s good name to try to woo customers back to the showrooms?  The strategy is good for the situation Toyota finds itself in but I shake my head that they have to run them at all.  It’s another great example of how one of the strongest brands in the world can flush itself down the toilet, lose millions of customers, tens of millions of dollars in sales, then spend millions more trying to paddle their way out of a mess they didn’t have to get into in the first place.

Put customers first

All they had to do was put their customers first, as they’ve done for more than 30 years and continue to build cars that were beyond reproach.  But instead they took the short view and ended up paying and paying and paying in the long run.  It will be years before Toyota’s brand fully recovers – if ever.

Do the right thing

It’s simple: do the right thing.  Solve manageable problems while they’re still manageable.  Admit, apologize, take whatever beating you have coming to you and make a big deal of what you’re doing to fix it.  But do it before the media and government commissions pounding your brand on a daily basis and your formerly loyal customers are screaming for your head.

Take action immediately

There must be something I’m missing here because I don’t see that this is so difficult.  In fact it’s simple logic: look after your customers.  Take action and resolve the issue immediately.  The obvious answer is that someone didn’t want to admit that this happened on his or her watch and that Toyota is big enough and fat enough that this someone thought that he or she could get away with it.

Make it right

It looks to me like some corporate heads should be rolling if they’re not rolling already.  Akio Toyoda, the company’s president, says he takes “personal responsibility” for the company’s problems.  So is he going to do the honourable thing and resign?  Well, no.  Instead he’s going to lead a campaign to “Make it right!”.  That’s very noble but let’s face it, if he’d provided the leadership to make it right in the first place he wouldn’t be in this mess.

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Thomas Moss is a speaker, writer and coach who provides business communications services, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Vaughan, Brampton and Mississauga. Service is also available outside of the GTA.