So, in a world where scorched earth politics rule how could such a smart organization have been so blind as to get caught in this kind of a no-win spiderís web? No doubt, Komen has done a lot of good, but they seemed to have stepped on a land mine when they withdrew their funding for Planned Parenthood. This resulted in a huge outpouring of apparently ardent supporters of Planned Parenthood resulting in an instantaneous implosion of the Komen brand. In this day it doesnít matter how good you are if you cross the political line your reputation is toast.
Now that the spotlights are on the mechanism of the Komen organization and not on the pink ribbons those are seeking to ammunition are finding it. From Nancy Brinkerís enjoyment of the pay and fringe benefits of a corporate CEO, to how much of the money is being used to fund breast cancer research? This crisis isnít over by a long shot.
Not only are those who believe Planned Parenthood was wronged by the withdrawal of financial support by Komen, but also those who believe that Brinker did the right thing by withdrawing support are now equally angry. Brinker is truly in a ďdamned if you do, damned if you donítĒ predicament.
On top of it all, Komen SVP of public policy Karen Handel resigned over the matter. I don't think Handel's resignation by itself will restore the brand, but it is a singular action that will be seen as making an effort. It will be the future steps that determine if the brand can rebound.
What could the Komen organization have done differently? Basic ďbrand alignment.Ē The brand concept must align the business processes, and with the culture of an organization. Only then does the behavior match the communications. Business processes, culture, and communications are all equal partners in the process of building an enduring brand.