Papa John's

Papa John’s brand is hurt when consumers feel they don’t care about employees healthcare. (Photo credit: jumbledpile)

It can take years to build your brand. The idea is to create trust with your consumers and build a long standing relationship.

The problem can be that businesses, especially those that have good brands, think that because they have one then the work is done. They forget this is an ongoing process and the years you put into building consumer loyalty can be gone in the blink of an eye.

The recent discussions regarding healthcare for employees is impacting a few different companies. Anti-Obamacare businessman and Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter has been very vocal that he doesn’t like being forced to offer healthcare to employees and that to do so would require him to raise prices and cut employee hours.

Another businessman who agrees with Papa John’s CEO is Zane Tankel, the CEO of Applebee’s franchisee Apple-Metro. Tankel made similar comments that Obamacare was going to force him to cut back on hiring and look at cutting employee hours.

Of course they aren’t the only business people who feel this way but their vocal comments have caused their businesses to suffer. Both have had their comments repeated in other articles and on TV shows discussing the issue.

The perception is that these businesses don’t care about employees. The customers who frequent these businesses have other options on where to get pizza or where to go for a casual dinner.

It would be dangerous for these companies to feel they haven’t heard that much backlash from their customers. But not everyone is going to send you a letter or leave a post on your Facebook page. Instead they will learn about your comments and let you know by taking their dollars elsewhere.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and these business owners have a right to feel this way. But by saying things before you consider the consequences they are risking their company brand.

Your brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. Once you lose the trust and support of your consumers the cost to get it back, if you can, could be much more than the costs you would incur with paying for healthcare.

You can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and mc.sandymiller@gmail.com