Brand strength beyond optics

January 2024, Written by Debbie Spence


Lessons from the Qantas brand decline and British Post Office’s crisis highlight the importance of proactive brand management. Investing in corporate branding is a moral imperative for resilience in today’s business landscape. Companies must prioritise societal welfare over optics for lasting brand trust. It’s time to shift the conversation towards a commitment to human well-being, cultivating cultures of transparency and preserving brand image.

The latest Brand Finance Australia 100, 2024, provides insightful perspectives on the resilience of strong brands in key industries.

The decline in brand value for airlines, notably Qantas, reinforces the reminder that reputational issues have tangible consequences on brand strength. Qantas’s 22-place drop in brand strength is attributed to negative media coverage—perhaps a consequence of prioritising optics over genuine commitment to customers.

As we examine this, I can’t help but draw parallels with the current brand crisis facing the British Post Office, where Sub-Postmasters grapple with the fallout of Fujitsu’s Horizon software scandal. The impact of the Horizon software mistakes on Sub-Postmasters’ lives and the subsequent media scrutiny emphasise the vital need for proactive brand management.

In today’s business landscape, investing in corporate branding is not a luxury; it’s a moral imperative. Companies like Qantas and the Post Office must acknowledge that their resilience to economic challenges and reputational storms directly correlates with upholding their societal expectations and commitments.

Moreover, securing brand trust hinges on standing behind a clear brand purpose that serves society. I wonder if it’s time to shift the conversation away from a focus solely on economic resilience and instead champion a proactive commitment to human well-being. By supporting a business ethos where companies, like the Post Office and Qantas, prioritise societal welfare, they not only enhance their brand trust but also contribute positively to the communities they serve.

Let’s choose what’s right over blatant optics and commit to transparency for the sake of preserving brand image.

Sending support to all those affected Sub-Postmasters and their families, and hoping they receive due compensation for this appalling miscarriage of justice.