A study of the effects of reconstructive memory points the way to dealing with the damage to a business’s reputation that follows an instance of negative publicity. The study contradicts the commonly held myth that it is best to avoid communicating for a time and let consumers “forget” an unfortunate incident. Instead, given what is now known about reconstructive memory processes, the crisis situation can be used as a means to reestablish a relationship with consumers. This research investigation proposes that postcrisis communication efforts should be focused on emotionally connecting with consumers via autobiographical-referencing advertising. Moreover, although the study focuses on crisis management, the lessons of reconstructive memory can be applied to all phases of brand management.
Braun-LaTour, K. A., LaTour, M. S., & Loftus, E. F. (2006). Is that a finger in my chili? Using affective advertising for postcrisis brand repair [Electronic version]. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 47(2), 106-120. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/197/