Imagine this scenario: your brand is associated with food safety crimes that killed 6 infants, caused over 50,000 more to be hospitalized and harmed around 300,000 children overall. One of your executives was sentenced to life in prison and two associated persons were executed as a result of crimes and negligence. Fines and scandal drove your company into bankruptcy.
Fellow business leaders and marketers: What would you do?
It's not a hypothetical. That brand is Sanlu, the company behind the 2008 Chinese baby milk scandal. When Sanlu went bankrupt the name and logo were purchased by a firm now called Zhejiang Sanlu. And apparently what the company's executives believe you do is:
1. Lay low for a few years.
2. Relaunch the brand in an adjacent category.
We kid you not loyal readers. The Sanlu brand, abhorred by consumers throughout the world's most populous country, is being relaunched as a line of organic noodles.
Typically, we might comment on the company's 'Natural Taste' tagline and its lack of distinction. Or on the poorly-written English version of their website. Or on deciding to call their toll-free corporate number the "Delicious Hotline." But these blunders pale in comparison to the sheer chutzpah of bringing this brand back to market.
It is, to put it charitably, an audacious move. So audacious, in fact, that the only people braver than the ones relaunching this brand are the people who dare to try its noodles.