Branding Speaker, Trainer, and Coach

4 Great Ways for Dealing with Your Goof


Target calls a plus-sized dress in the color “manatee gray” while the smaller- sized replica is beautifully named “dark heather gray.” Ooops!

Turn Style Consignment Stores announced its grand opening urging you to get there early. But, ooops, no address was provided.

Let’s face it, we all goof. But, how you deal with it matters. The best ways:

  1. Acknowledge the Problem ASAP – Don’t sweep it under the rug or pretend you won’t get caught because it this Internet-happy world you will!
  2. Issue an Apology – If you’ve offended anyone or a group, just spit it out. Target said: “We apologize for any discomfort this might have caused and are working to update the name of the dress to reflect Dark Heather Gray.”
  3. Fix It – Go beyond talking to doing; take any action steps you can.
  4. Incentivize Customers to Come Back – For one of my early clients in Chicago, we printed Bagel Bucks so that we could quickly apologize and give customers a reason to come on back for another bite.

When have you goofed and how have you fixed it? Please share your stories me in the comment below.


Image courtesy of digitalart /
  1. Do you know the story about the first shipment of Honda Civics late 68-early 69? They were so bad that they were dumped in the waters off of San Pedro

    If you watch clips of the downfall of General Motors during the 73 oil embargo women made the Honda Civic a very popular car because they were reliable and cheap to operate.

    Sorry I missed you in Anaheim a couple of weeks ago, working on a master project. 714-948-0265 Cindy Bender

  2. I messed up on an appointment time involving a number of people being inconvenienced and missing work.

    They were pretty OK about it but I was not. I gave them product to sell to make up for the money part (they were a salon using my product), but when we did actually meet, I took a huge bouquet of roses and a big bundle of spaghetti to cook up for the 50 lashes with the wet noodle that I deserved.

    A survey I had soemone go around and take in salons said that it wasn’t that i never messed up, but that I always fixed it that kept them loyal to me & my product.

  3. Oh, Dawn, I really like your response. I agree with you, going over and beyond the call of duty is best.

  4. I just received an email from GigMasters with the subject line of “Email Retraction.” I have no problem with the apology or the retraction, but I have a BIG problem with how they through their employee under the bus:

    “…one of our newer team members used parts of the interview to draft an email that would be signed off by him. (Mr. Petz.)

    Unfortunately, this team member did not seek Mr. Petz’s approval or the approval of GigMasters management before sending the email, as is our standard procedure.”

    See the problem? It doesn’t quite sound like a team to me. My recommendation: the buck stops with you and for this apology, written by the VP, she blames someone else which is NOT acceptable.

    What do you think?

  5. From my experience, this is exactly what Corporations do. ESPECIALLY members of upper management, in this case the V.P. Sure, they will apologize, for their people, but never take blame, or issue an apology for their own shortcomings.

  6. I think it is a shame, Bonita.

    I remember when a “team member” of mine sent an email to my entire list (thousands) giving the call-in info for a group webinar that was free to clients, but cost $97 for visitors. She wanted to “disinvite” these folks and send an apology email.

    Instead, I sent an email 2 minutes later with this subject line: My Goof is your Gain! I invited ALL to listen for free. I accepted all of the blame and had 20+ extra folks listen to my Words of Lizdom; not bad.

    Most importantly, I didn’t offend my readers of my team – a win/win for all.

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