Apple demonstrates how to handle product recalls

On one hand there are companies like Merck, Pfizer, and Guidant that have clearly taught us how not to handle a product recall, we now have an excellent example of how to handle a product recall.

It is important to understand that products may have poor design, have manufacturing problems (at least with some lots), and other unforeseen problems happen years after a product launch. Users are smart enough to appreciate that this will happen. What is important is to respect the intelligence of your customers by admitting mistakes, compensating the customers, fixing the problem, and moving on.

That is exactly what Apple has done. With their latest iPod Nano product, the customers (who also happen to be quite savvy and wasted no time in blogging about the problem) were the ones to immediately highlight the problem. While, in my opinion, the company responded pretty quickly, several users are incensed that it took the company so long and some of them had to really push it hard in the blogosphere to make the company listen. In any case, the company has admitted that the problem is there and it will simply replace the faulty units. In other words, end of the story – the way all product problem stories should end (quickly).

So what does it mean for you?

Learn from the terrible approach that drug firms take. Product problems are part of business (though every attempt should be made to address them before launch) and if you respond in a professional manner, you can focus on what you do best rather than spending your time in courts.

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How to target American Hispanics?

You would think that considering the buzz about the Latino population in the United States, mainstream marketers would be paying attention to them. It so turns out that not all do. While companies like Wells Fargo and Sears have done good job of creating a unique place for them, the vast majority of American corporations either ignore them altogether or are happy if they provide a Spanish menu for their customer service phone number.

Companies that ignore the Hispanic population do so by deliberately missing out on a growth opportunity. According to HispanTelligence, the current Hispanic purchasing power is $700 billion. They also tend to be young, style-conscious, ready to move up, and also having more babies. Despite this, iProceed research shows that many companies do not make an effort to reach out to Hispanic people. What shocked us the most was that despite having a very strong culture and shopping styles, the advertising in Spanish language was a fraction of what is spent overall. The online advertising spend in Spanish is so small that there is no incentive at all for publishers to have Spanish content.

How to reach out to Spanish speakers?

    Do what ABC Television is doing. Starting this season, the network is making its primetime programs available in Spanish. Just imagine millions of people who are addicted to soap operas not even knowing about the existence of “Desperate Housewives.” “Almost half of the 41 million Hispanics in this country watch only or mostly Spanish-language television, and we want to bring that audience to ABC,” the company said.
    Do it the right way. In one study that we conducted, we found that many advertisers that were advertising on Spanish language content online were either doing so in English or the landing pages were in English. To me that is wasting your money. I would suggest Spanish ad copy, landing pages, and customer support.
    Don’t just translate. Design it for them from scratch as if they were your only customers. Then only will you see results.

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