Tesco has seen its fair share of negative press in recent years – from the accounting fiasco to the timeless horsemeat scandal – its fair to say that they’ve struggled to keep their powder dry since 2014.
Last week, Tesco announced that they’d be scrapping the controversial tampon tax – whereby tampons and other female hygiene products are not tax exempt like other medical necessities – making them the first supermarket to do so.
This week, Tesco revealed plans to scrap single-use plastic bags in all of its stores – customers will instead be offered a reusable 10p ‘Bag for Life’ in an attempt to do ‘the right thing’ for the environment and local communities. This makes them the first UK supermarket to do so. Is Tesco becoming the ethical trailblazer of the Big Five?
These two moves, which have been made in as many weeks, appear to represent major strides in redeeming their burgeoning reputation – but, if they had attempted such a move a year ago, they would more than likely have been criticised for cynically trying to win back public support – why?
Repairing a damaged reputation is all about biding your time, and working quietly behind the scenes for a bit, while the storm abates. Timing is crucial when dealing with a PR crisis; get it wrong, and you risk ending up in a worst position than when you started.
A brand can only begin to rebuild its reputation in a meaningful way after the initial media frenzy has subsided. As tempting as it is to start shouting about all the good you’re doing straight away, patience is key.