How to Handle a Brand Crisis: Pai Pai Tells Us How He Dealt With ‘Cancellation’

Being an entrepreneur means that you never stop learning or training, no matter how many years you've been in business.

  • Mistakes are what will teach you how to continue growing and strengthening yourself as a brand.

If there is something that you have to take good care of when you are an entrepreneur, it is the reputation of your brand. This remains and represents the values of the company and the trust that consumers have towards it. But, from the largest companies to the small SMEs, they can have moments of crisis and put their prestige at stake. No one is exempt, but you can learn from it.

At the end of the day, we are humans and not robots who manage, build and make our little offspring grow: the brand.

The Pai Pai case

A few months ago, the Mexican beauty brand Pai Pai launched three shadow palettes, which is known for alluding to the traditions and culture of the country and in this way names its products as Christmas Eve, sphere, punch, horchata, peony, cempasúchil, copal, cocoa, among others.

However, part of the eyeshadow collection included the A la Mexicana palette, which contained earth tones in yellow, brown, gray, and red. But these had names that did not appeal to the general audience and as a consequence caused a negative response. In the networks they are branded as classist and racist by calling the lighter tone “norteña” and the darker “southern”, that is, regionalize.

The result? A brand crisis

The million-dollar question; How to manage a crisis that you did not know was going to come? If we open the panorama, 2020 was a year of unexpected events for everyone, not only in health but also economically. Managing a company in that context is already daunting, now it adds an image problem, it becomes the nightmare of any entrepreneur.

Karen Rodarte, one of the founders of Pai Pai, and Andrea Ibagüengoitia and told us how they handled the crisis and the steps to follow to work on preventing it from happening again.

Thinking about consumers

For Karen, the first and most important step is to always put herself in the consumer’s shoes. “The main thing for us is them. Our community because, in the end, they are our family ”.

Take actions

For many companies, the easiest thing to do is keep quiet, wait for the fury of the moment to pass, and wait for it to be forgotten. However, for entrepreneurs, this can mean a huge loss, because everything has been built brick by brick and their “offspring” cannot give up.

The companies that prevail are the ones that act. That is what Pai Pai did, realizing what was happening on the networks, they took action and issued statements explaining the situation, offering a sincere apology to all who could feel offended and talk about the issue: racism.

“We read all the comments we received and it was that we began to do analysis and created a new email called social@paipai.mx where we open so that they can express themselves openly by writing to us and commenting on any issue they have doubts about or are uncomfortable about they would like to know, ”explains Karen in an interview for Entrepreneur in Spanish“We showed our faces and did not hide.”

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