A BC brewery owner was in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. It serves as a business lesson of what not to do in the highly-charged environment that we live in these days. We all get frustrated. We all yearn for pre-pandemic normalcy. We can all find things we don’t like about new rules. And we must all learn that sometimes it’s best to keep our opinions to ourselves.
Lesson 1: Think it through before saying it out loud.
As of September 27th, most businesses have to ask for proof of vaccination from customers before letting them in. The brewery owner posted to Facebook that he would change his operational model to avoid doing that. Bad move. He quickly changed his mind, but the damage was done.
Lesson 2: Keep your brand separate from your personal opinions.
Time and time again, we see business owners making statements that have more to do with their personal beliefs than their business. The brewery owner initial stated that “vaccine passports are unconstitutional,” then later explained that he wanted to be inclusive, so changed his operational model to one that wouldn’t require a vaccination check.
Lesson 3: Not all publicity is good publicity.
There are quite a number of ways to capture the attention of the news media. Choosing to use a negative stance of any sort, isn’t usually the way to go. Do something positive. Make a donation to charity or offer discounts to first responders. Make your facility more accessible. So many options.
Lesson 4: Know your market before you take a stand.
The majority of Canadians and BC residents are vaccinated. Did this brewery do market research to support trying to cultivate a new target market of anti-vaxers? Doubtful. So now, how many past customers aren’t coming back either?
Lesson 5: Consider the long term for all business decisions.
Even in a crisis situation, you need to consider the long-term impact of business decisions. There will be circumstances where the long-term impact is less important, like getting employees out of a burning building is more important than saving the building itself. And, there will be circumstances where you just have to deal with the short-term annoyances to keep moving your business forward.