Our Brand Is Crisis


A friend of mine works at Nordstrom in design. She posted on Facebook that she and her co-workers received an email from the three Nordstrom brothers condemning the Muslim ban. In it they reiterated their “values of diversity, inclusion, respect and kindness” to their employees of which “thousands…are first and second generation immigrants”. A buoyant and positive brand narrative.

Days later (in a ‘totally unrelated move’) Nordstrom dropped the Ivanka Trump line. The POTUS sent out a condemning tweet. Kellyanne Conway went on FOX News asking the viewers to buy her boss’s daughter’s products. Federal laws were possibly broken. Apologies were made. Then rescinded. Pretty much a PR disaster.

After taking a slight hit as a result of the tweet, Nordstrom’s stock price did something interesting. It went up. A lot. So did sales. It seems that valuing and protecting the people that work for you is good for business. 

Brands that are built on celebrity rise and fall on the actions of the ambassador’s associations. When that persons name becomes synonymous with a chaotic and negative narrative, is it any wonder the brand is damaged?

photo credit: Grégoire Lannoy @flickr.com