Like a stock portfolio, each relationship type offers a brand higher or lower growth opportunities and risks. The type of relationship is particularly relevant in brand crisis events. When a brand is hit by a crisis, it is not necessarily the most successful strategy to focus exclusively on protecting positive emotional relationships. At-risk relationships are affected more than others and can lead to a significant decline of brand value.
Our cases highlight that at-risk relationships represent a critical, but often overlooked, aspect of a brand’s relationship portfolio. Risks range from negative word of mouth that might have a negative impact on potential new customers to clear retention risk. Marketers should manage these risks proactively by identifying and investigating the nature of their customer relationships and by responding frankly and credibly to crisis events.