Branding disasters: cautionary tales for businesses

Vancouver Public Library picks offer expert help with warding off business catastrophe

How do you protect your brand in a world where it is one viral tweet away from a potential disaster? With this book list, selected by Vancouver Public Library’s experts, learn how to avoid branding calamities, or how to rebuild after one. Plus, read about other people’s epic mistakes to put your issues into perspective (and make you feel better about your own missteps).


Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time by Matt Haig

Matt Haig presents a compilation of 100 global branding failures in recent history as a learning opportunity for marketing and public relations specialists and entrepreneurs who do a bit of everything. Each chapter is organized based on the type of failure, such as public relations and rebranding. Haig maintains a light and humorous tone to offset the serious nature of this issue.


Crisis Communication in Canada by Duncan Koerber

In today’s digital age where social media has become strongly intertwined with our lives, people have the ability to share criticism about a business or brand that may go viral. All companies are vulnerable to critical moments, and steps must be taken to shelter your company’s reputation. Duncan Koerber shares a Canadian perspective on crisis management through theory and practical advice.


Reset: Business and Society in the New Social Landscape by James Rubin and Barie Carmichael

With public opinion now acting as judge, jury and executioner, it has become more important than ever to take charge of your corporate identity. Rubin and Carmichael cover strategies that businesses can take to proactively manage their brand’s image, mitigate common risks and even rebuild public trust in the face of disastrous setbacks.


Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit by Anne Bahr Thompson

In need of a PR boost for your business? Anne Bahr Thompson suggests jumping on the “brand citizenship” bandwagon by adopting corporate behaviours that show you care about more than just the bottom line. Whether this is achieved by implementing equitable employment standards, dealing fairly in the global marketplace, engaging in environmentally sustainable practices or giving to charitable causes, Thompson argues that investing in the social good will pay out dividends in the long term – for both public image and profit margins. 


The Post-truth Business: How to Rebuild Brand Authenticity in a Distrusting World by Sean Pillot de Chenecey

Sean Pillot de Chenecey is a marketing expert and has worked with companies like Swatch, Heineken and Unilever. His method is to combine branding with worldwide ethnographic research. In this book Pillot de Chenecey diligently puts together a wealth of practical insights into the debate and issues around conscious capitalism. Read it to find out how ethical rebranding can build trust and become part of an authentic consumer experience.