As refreshing as it is to see Rihanna back in the spotlight (See Part 1 below), there is a flip side to that picture. It’s the story of a young man, who had a successful career, millions of fans, and a world of possibilities at his fingertips. He is Chris Brown…now infamously known as Rihanna’s abusive ex-boyfriend, and this generation’s poster-child for domestic violence.
Following the incident with Rihanna, Chris Brown, the talented singer, dancer and actor lost his boy next-door appeal, and found out what it’s like to be blacklisted. He lost endorsements, fans, shows, radio spins, and even had industry peers keeping their distance. The Chris Brown brand, once so bright, is now in the background, hoping to regain its spark.
Still shocked by Chris Brown’s violent act toward Rihanna, his supporters and critics, are both curious to see if he can rebuild his brand and regain the fame he once knew.
These 7 Lessons, inspired by Chris Brown, will help you rebuild your Brand after a crisis:
1. REALIZE the magnitude of your mistake. Instead of looking at the severity of his mistake, and being sensitive to how people would perceived him, Chris Brown initially appeared to go on with life as usual. Shortly after the incident, he was seen smiling on jet skis, wearing a $30,000 chain that said “Oops”, and responding nonchalantly in interviews. He needs to do a better job showing the public that he realizes how serious his actions were, and that he understands that consequences are warranted.
2. REFLECT on why and how you lost control of yourself. The incident with Rihanna seemed so off-brand and out of character for Chris Brown. So naturally, the public wants to know why it happened and how it was possible for him to lose control and react so violently. In several interviews, Chris Brown avoided answering questions about what caused his outburst, opting for privacy. By not responding, he missed many opportunities to convince the public that he’s not really the violent man that showed up that night. He needs to reiterate that the incident was completely out of character for him, and that he’s taking steps to make sure that side of him never surfaces again.
3. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your action. Chris Brown turned himself into the police, and initially took responsibility for what happened. He also publicly said that he was willing to accept the consequences for what he did. Although he verbally assumed responsibility, many of his public appearances and actions, since the incident, were perceived as immature and insincere. In order to get public opinion on his side, he needs to put forth extra effort to make sure his actions and non-verbal cues match his words and true intentions.
4. Show REMORSE for the hurt and disappointment you caused. Before speaking publicly, Chris Brown should have taken more time to shape his message and find a better way to connect with his audience on an emotional level. He’s had a difficult time convincing the public that he deeply regrets acting violently toward Rihanna. The tone, body language and the words used in his interviews portray him as a man who feels sorry for himself, and not sorry for those he hurt and let down. To appeal to those disenchanted supporters, he needs to show his audience the heartfelt remorse they’ve been waiting for.
5. REPOSITION yourself as a better person. As much as he wants to hurry up and put the drama behind him, he can’t just move on pretending like nothing ever happened. Chris Brown has to show that he’s learned valuable lessons from his mistakes. He needs to take those lessons and focus on living a positive life that proves he’s becoming a better person.
6. RE-EARN the trust, credibility and support you lost. Since no one is perfect, you can always plead your case for a second chance. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Chris Brown has to consistently work hard and remain patience as he attempts to re-earn the trust he lost. His audience is still digesting the incident, and expressing their emotions about what happened. He has to show that he understands their hesitation to embrace him, and prove he’s willing to do what it takes to regain their support.
7. Invite your audience to be a part of your REHABILITATION. Chris Brown is in a great position to help young people learn from his mistakes, so he should take specific actions to raise awareness for the issues he struggled with. For example: He can speak up about why violence against women is wrong. He can host benefit concerts to raise money for battered women and children. And, he can host a TV special about his experience and the importance of finding constructive ways to express emotions without resorting to anger. He can put together a book compiling all the lessons he learned throughout this unfortunate ordeal. Etc… etc… etc…
By taking the steps above, and being open about his path to redemption, Chris Brown can rebuild his brand, help his audience grow with him, and prove that he’s ready to be a bigger star than he was before. If he can do it, so can you. Work through your crisis and get back in the game.
See Part One of this Special Report: : Lessons Learned from Rihanna