product recall

A product recall involves a company retrieving or requesting a return or exchange of a product after defects have been discovered in it.

They usually occur as a result of safety concerns related to a manufacturing or design defect in a product. Recalls can damage a company’s reputation and lead to a decline in sales.

Recalls may be reactive which is when an organization makes a spontaneous decision to reverse damages to the image of a brand.

For instance, a business may remove the affected product from its supply chain. The recall may also be reactive, in which an organization is obliged to promote the recall.

Recall Management Strategies

Recall management strategies depend on many factors, which include the type of product being recalled and the impending danger posed by its defect. For instance, smartphones will be recalled differently from medicines.

A successful product recall should involve the following strategies-

Being Proactive

To be proactive during product recalls, it is important to have information about the location of all the products being recalled, and a suitable product retrieval process.

The ERP system of a business must rapidly report the location of products., it is wise to assign a recall management team and align with a third -party retrieval service provider. There also has to be an announcement platform ready for use.

Knowledgeable Communication

During product recalls, customers want answers that satisfy their product safety concerns.

It would be wise to have a product recall manager who ensures people are trained to represent the company, and who coordinates the work of the product retrieval and PR teams to avoid mixed messages.

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This manager should also know all the technical details of the recalled product.

Cooperation with Government Agencies

A business should have an ERP system that manages the information about the recall end-to-end in its product supply chain. This would help optimize cooperation with government agencies.

If a business has all product-related data, from sourcing and raw materials to delivery and in-field tracking, it is easier for regulators to approve product recall actions as soon as possible.

Product Recall Examples

Toyota’s Floor Mat Recall

In 2009, Toyota recalled 3.8 million vehicles in its biggest US recall , in which dealers had to remove mats linked to a number of serious incidents.

This was due to the potential for gas pedals to get stuck in floor mats and cause unintended acceleration as well as other concerns.Toyota analysts concluded that there was a design flaw with the floor mats. The cost of the recall was approximately $2 billion.

Coca Cola’s Recall

In December, 2021, Coca Cola announced a recall of three different Minute Maid products due to potential contamination of metal bolts and washers.

Additionally , Sprite 12-ounce cans and Coca Cola 12-ounce cans , with a particular date code, were voluntarily recalled.

The company issued a formal statement explaining why they took such action. According to the statement, such action was necessary to provide high-quality and safe products for consumers .

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.