Strategy for the protection of brands reputation - Part 1 : Hazard Identification
For a food industry entrepreneur, defining the best strategy for protecting his brand raises more and more questions of agony. What dangers to protect? How far to go ? What strategy for communication and differentiation? ....
The first step is to have a clear view of the threats to his brand (s).
Personally to avoid forgeting anything and to allow a first level of prioritization I recommend listing all the dangers that come to mind using the following four classifications.
Of course some questions are redundant and the same dangers will appear in the four classifications but to ask the question from a different angle will make it possible to avoid ostentatious omissions.
The target of the danger: who is threatened?
• the consumer due to microbial contamination, a questionable nutritional value? Or an undeclared allergen?
• the consumer indirectly (in the case of environmental impacts that could ultimately affect the health of the consumer)
• my trademark itself: reputational or regulatory risk, or both (eg breaches of the animal welfare rules in slaughterhouses ...)
What is the type of danger ?
• Is it an intentional hazard (fraud, terrorist attack, non-compliance with ethical rules - forced labor, pollution)
• or accidental (contamination due to a technical incident or a "classical" non-quality)?
• or is it related to the product itself (allergen composition)?
Is the danger easily identifiable and evaluable?
• Danger known because regulated directly applicable to my company: FSMA, Food Law, FIR, REACH, FALCPA ...
• Hazards not mentioned in the regulation but classically managed in my profession: GFSI rules on the validation of direct suppliers.
• Known but difficult to assess dangers: forced labor in complex supplychains ...
• Unknown or emerging hazards: controversial substances with divergent opinions, risk linked to macro-environmental components (change of supplier and therefore composition due to a climatic incident, policy, etc.)
Origin of danger ?
• Internal to my company: production conditions, mislabelling or misinformation of my customers or consumers due to my IS unconsistency.
• External: dangers related to my extended supply chain and its macro-environment (upstream and downstream).
To be effective, this review of hazards also requires
• An efficient market and regulatory watch organization
• A contextual analysis (type of market, attitude of the competitors, targeted consumers, types of products and components ...)
That will be the subject of the next article in this series.