When Tylenol had to contend with tampered product in October of 1982 they did not solely defend the quality of their product. No one lingered in questioning the original recipe.
However Tylenol had to first remove the contaminated product ($100 million worth) AND THEN address and reinstate confidence in their PACKAGE. Which then went on to establish a standard for safety in packaging. Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Tylenol, had a long established and visible credo: written in the mid-1940’s by Robert Wood Johnson.
The first sentence of the 308 word credo:
We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services
And the last sentence:
When we operate according to these principles, the stockholders should realize a fair return.
What we do in the process of marketing may seem invisible, harmless, a part of life no one pays attention. As Shakespeare expressed it
“Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth…..”
But when we look at how Johnson & Johnson handled the tragedy and crisis of Tylenol in the 1980’s, the Credo of Johnson & Johnson saved them from
“mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”
A corporation, a business, an institution can be unlike humans who have a six or ten decade existence, a mortality. And so the fleeting bubble reputation (or as some have expressed it to mean fame for participating in a project one believe’s to be meaningful but is, in fact, not worthwhile.) of social media in all it’s benefits and pitfalls will eventually pan out to be a shadow of a well written and executed Credo in the life of many businesses and even the heritage of a family handed down from generation to generation.