At home we recently bought some new cooking scales. Unfortunately when my wife opened the package the battery cover kept on falling off. She could have taped it on and moved on. Instead, she called the company that sold it to us and asked for a new battery cover.

They said that they wouldn’t provide her with a new battery cover, but they could provide a complete new set of scales.


Yes. A. New. Set. Of. Scales. BOOM!

A few days later, a completely new set of scales arrived. Boy, did we feel like this company delivered over and above ‘just doing the right thing’ when the wrong thing had happened. We would have settled for a new cover. Seriously. Now they have turned a mildly disappointing experience into a very positive experience.

This brand has learnt how to be ‘Flawsome’. I love this definition of what flawsome means:

“Brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor and dare we say it, some character and humanity.” HT: Trendwatching

Everyone makes mistakes, they are part of life. Human error, call it what you will. Mistakes happen even to the best of brands. Take Apple for example. I love all things Apple. So imagine my disappointment when I heard about their awful stuff-up with their new Map App.

But what defines mediocre brands from exceptional brands is how they respond. Tim Cook wrote an exceptional apology letter to Apple customers. He even recommended other brands Apps while they are fixing their Maps App.

Simply Flawsome!

O.B. Tampons recently had a shortage of one of their products which customers loved, so they issued a very humorous and creative apology. They created this really cool video that could put your own name in it and play back in a personalised way. I tried to get it to play ‘Steve’ but for some reason it wouldn’t ;-). Here is the another version of the video. What you may not see is that they give you a discount on your next purchase which I think is a great idea.

Even more Flawsome!

How not to be flawsome

1) Ignore the mistake and hope it will go away. Here is a great social media example where a brand just didn’t respond to public complaints.

2) Make a conditional apology. I had terrible experience with a Credit Union.

3) Or just ignore requests for an apology like United Airlines did too much to their chagrin as a result the customer created this great viral video.

How to be flawsome

Everyone makes mistakes, we all do it, even the best of us. The Axiom if there is one here is not how you stuff up, but how you respond when you stuff up that counts. Here are some ways you can here:

1) Say sorry. Mean it. Attach no conditions to it.

2) Repay over and above what the mistake was.

3) Make your flawsome apology socially shareable.

I think it was John F. Kennedy where I first heard this quote “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

Being flawed can give any brand in crisis with opportunities to redeem above and beyond the initial wrong. The question is what will you do?

Have you ever seen a brand act flawsome or not before? Comment below.