A sinking ship

January 20, 2012

How will the recent Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster off the coast of Italy impact Carnival Corporation's corporate brand?

News of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster has been making waves. Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Costa, is American-British owned and currently the largest cruise ship operator in the world.

The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, has been placed under house arrest by an Italian court and is being charged with manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the wreck of the 120,000-ton cruise ship. Carnival Corp. and Costa have both issued statements regarding the tragedy, but what else are they doing to prevent the their corporate brand from sinking along with the ship?

During a crisis of this magnitude, the corporate brand will inevitably suffer, but the extent of damage to the corporate brand can be managed, assuming that all other factors impacting Costa Concordia are in “ship shape.” There are safeguarding tools that companies in crisis can proactively take to manage risk.

The key areas that affect the corporate brand of a company are overall reputation, perception of management and investment potential. These three attributes are essential in monitoring and managing a strong corporate brand through the good times and bad.

The one sure thing is that every crisis has a turnaround point. The chart illustrates profiles of loss and recovery — attributes that can be categorized, evaluated and monitored.

Typical brand crisis

Analyzing this data provides us with the unique ability to help companies determine if the are investing adequately, overinvesting or underinvesting in their corporate brand.

Carnival Corp. will need to put concentrated effort into rebuilding their favorability and the perception of management in order to regain the trust of their customers and restore their corporate brand.

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