Maclaren’s Challenge

12 Nov , 2009  

Things are not looking great for Maclaren.  The British stroller company announced this week that it was recalling more than a million strollers that it had sold over the last 10 years because there are 12 reports of finger amputation due to the strollers.

The recall news has spread quickly all around the globe; it was headline news in the U.S. and Europe. 

You can read more about it here:


One big problem is that the company apparently can’t keep up the consumer calls and web contacts.  This makes Maclaren seem poorly prepared.

Maclaren now has to recover from this rather striking bit of bad news.  To do so I recommend that Maclaren do several things:

1.  Hire more people to answer the phones and expand website capacity as soon as possible.

2.  Communicate, communicate and communicate some more.  Let parents know that the company takes this seriously and is doing everything it can to address it.  Use PR and advertising to get the message out and own the discussion.

3.  Create a process to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  I’m sure the company already has processes in place but I would create some more to reinforce safety and to have something to talk about.

4.  Treat people equally.  In Europe people are upset because they feel Maclaren has different standards; the company is doing a recall in the U.S. but not everywhere.  This is not a smart approach.

5.  Dial back on marketing spending for several weeks, but then promptly return with support highlighting the positives.

Brands can bounce back from negative news.  But it isn’t a given; Maclaren needs to be bold and quick.

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