Three heated lessons from the Crock-Pot Crisis

January 30, 2018

Busy families love slow cookers. What's not to love when all you have to do is pile in the meat, vegetables, and herbs, and presto! Eight hours later--dinner.



But recently, the Crock-Pot brand came under some reputation damaging heat.




An episode of America’s beloved TV show, This is Us, showed a faulty slow cooker causing a fire and ultimately the death of one of the show's beloved characters. Emotional fans took aim. They blasted the company on social media. Some even made a show of throwing out their crockpots.


The Unpredictable


The episode blindsided Crock-Pot. No one could have imagined such brand damage could occur from a blip mention on a television show.



Three Lessons Learned


How can you avert such reputation damage in your business?


Here are three take aways from the Crock-Pot Corporation's missteps.


One: Have a presence on social media and monitor your accounts. It’s hard for me to get my head around Crock-Pot not having a Twitter account. Without an account, they didn’t see the immediate backlash. They had to scramble to set up an account and then react to emotional Tweeters. I can think of a few things they could have said early on lessen the impact. Crock-Pot might have immediately touted it's product's safety; commiserated with fans about their love for Jack, too; encouraged devoted Crock-Pot fans to declare how great the appliance is; among others.



Two: Expect the unexpected. The Crock-Pot brand has been around for over 40 years. I remember my mother buying our first slow cooker. We loved ours then and I love my own Crock-Pot today. Despite being a household name, a brand is NOT exempt from reputation damage. Assess your vulnerabilities. Your business or organization may not anticipate every scenario but you’ll be leaning forward all the same.


Three: Call on your advocates. Ask them for some not-so-subtle endorsements. Crock-Pot has stated that if the backlash doesn’t subside, they may ask the NBC network to speak on their behalf.




The bottom line is: Social media is prevalent. It’s where your customers are. To manage your reputation and avert crisis, you MUST be a part of the conversation.


Have you ever been blindsided by an incident?

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