While most companies spend their time gaining consumers’ trust, Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Uber are spending millions to win it back. All three took their own approach in highlighting their roots, how they failed to meet expectations, and how they’re going to fix that.
Rebuilding consumer trust isn’t the same thing as gaining consumer trust. The latter typically revolves around a product they need or how a company is able to offer it in a more effective way. While difficult, but not impossible, regaining trust is a monster of it’s own. Successful campaigns can range from highlighting their past, featuring a new outlook, or simply admitting their failure with an apology. But for major brands like Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Uber, there is no cookie-cutter formula; the message has to be real.
2017 was not kind to Uber. The rideshare company faced multiple #DeleteUber movements, leading to over 400,000 app deletions in January of 2017, a lawsuit with Alphabet over stolen self-driving documents that would have been the end for most companies, and a good handful of executives resigning amidst the revelation of their disgusting work culture. This was just by June of last year. The following months proved just as difficult.
So how is Uber branding its way out of this mess? They’re finally listening to their customers. They’ve introduced new updates that give riders more control, like being able to rate and report their drivers mid-ride. The app has seen an overhaul, along with safety features that give access to an emergency 911 button. Riders can now view the last month of the driver’s insurance record. So, while they’re aiming to win back their driver and riders’ trust, they’re really rebuilding the overall ride share experience.
Wells Fargo will be the first to admit that they’ve lost their way, according to their latest ad “Earning Back Your Trust.” For some, it’s fallen on deaf ears as the company has continuously let down their customers. Most of their issues started with unrealistic quotas for employees, which led to them doing what “they had to” to keep their jobs. Customers had debit accounts, credit cards, and other types of accounts opened in their name with fake email addresses, all without customer consent. Some even reported that their “real” accounts had funds transferred to the fake accounts. Combine that with late fees and other charges on the accounts, things were not good.
If history has shown businesses one thing, it’s not to mess with the peoples’ money. Wells Fargo hit a bit of a wall once an investigation showed that they’d been doing just that for several years. The company has reflected on the last few years, recommitted to their customers by ending product branch goals, and are banking big on connecting with their 1850’s image of trust.
Similar to Wells Fargo, Facebook is betting big on their roots. In its early days, the platform was a simple way to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues. Spam and fake news took over, which for the most part, many didn’t mind since that was the general internet experience. But the recent election showed how dangerous both can be. Then Cambridge Analytica happened.
Like Uber and Wells Fargo, Facebook says they are making major updates to their platform, all while reconnecting with the good old days of Facebook. The past year we’ve seen Facebook break away from serving branded content on feeds, to prioritizing content from friends and family. Their recent update limits third party apps from accessing personal information. If they do, they’re forced to explain to the user why. They’ve created a new algorithm and have hired more employees to cut down on spam and fake news.
Time will tell if recent efforts from Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Uber will undo the past couple of years. Fortunately, all three have the bankroll to rebrand and survive. All three could continue doing business the way they were based on the tiny fines and repercussions they were given. The only way these companies would really be affected is a mass exodus of customers. Ironically, customers at this point won’t do that because they “can’t.” They technically can, but it’s unlikely. The average Joe’s typical day revolves around Facebook, Uber is the most reliable ride-share service available, and Wells Fargo is the 3rd largest bank in the US. Hopefully, these companies realize their power and respect the responsibility going forward.