Online Brand Reputation – Nalgene Quenches Thirsty Rumors

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Memorial Day weekend typically signifies the start of summer and, more importantly for some of us, the beginning of camping season. For me, this weekend would be the first big trip of the year, hiking 15-20 miles per day and drinking plenty of water along the way.

If you’re a backpacker, camper or outdoor enthusiast, you probably have a Nalgene water bottle or have at least heard of the company. In 1949 Nalgene introduced its first storage bottle for liquids; the bottles were produced for laboratory purposes. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Nalgene bottles became mainstream, used for recreational water storage and essentially replacing the canteen. Since its initial success in the outdoor market, the company has released a wide variety of products that have proven to be popular among a growing market. But Nalgene soon faced a treacherous trek into the wilds of reputation preservation.

In late 2007, outdoor equipment retailers began pulling certain Nalgene polycarbonate products that contain Bisphenol A (BPA) off the shelves. Some studies suggested that BPA could pose a significant health threat.

You don’t need to be a internet marketing genius to know that product health warnings spell trouble for business. So, what did Nalgene do? The company provided consumers with BPA information right on its homepage. Further into the site, visitors can find more in-depth BPA information, including FAQs, links to studies and all of the government agencies that have been testing and reviewing BPA for the past 50+ years. The EPA and the FDA, not to mention other nation’s regulatory organizations, have determined that BPA poses no health risk to humans.

That may be enough to reassure most people that BPA is safe, but what about the potential customers who still have their doubts? Nalgene now provides a full line of BPA-free products available online, including comparison charts showing statistics of BPA-free Nalgene products compared to the original BPA polycarbonate bottle.

Nalgene knew its audience enough to provide the information that they would care about and also provide an alternative product, just in case. Taking the extra step of providing so much information, rather than just giving a simple press release stating that the company disagrees with any study’s findings, will go a long way in giving consumers reasons to still buy Nalgene products.

When disasters strike and your brand reputation is on the line, providing the right information that consumers will be looking for is critical to keeping your business on the bright side of things. And what better vehicle to spread the word than the internet, the world’s top information resource? That’s where your consumers will be looking for news stories, scientific studies and the latest rumors. Take the extra step to optimize your content; you’ll appear before those rumors in search engine results and retain control of your online brand reputation.

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