The controversial remarks by director Jane Campion about Venus and Serena Williams; the alleged drunk pilot removed from a JetBlue flight; PACE, a senior living program that enables some of our elderly to age at home, and a Nigerian doctor’s push for equal access to vaccines. What do these four references have in common? They each have a brand. Two brands exhibit a questionable behavior. Two brands are performing a positive action. From all four, we can learn a valuable lesson that can help us strengthen or protect our own business or personal brand.

Many of us can highlight a positive action that benefitted or influenced someone or something. It could have happened spontaneously or been carefully planned. Likewise, some of us have done or said something that can be described as questionable or even damaging. Perhaps it happened in the heat of the moment and without thinking it through.

I recall the moment from my corporate days when I sent an email to my European colleagues and neglected to delete some extraneous notes on the attachment. The notes expressed my frustration with a particular project and were meant for my eyes only. I was made aware of this error by a barrage of angry replies. My notes didn’t denigrate anyone and were generally focused on the project. But in reading the replies, I knew I needed to move into damage control. After stewing in self-pity for a bit, I sent a follow-up email apologizing for what happened. I didn’t make excuses. Thankfully, my colleagues appreciated and accepted my apology. If I had it to do again, I would have slowed down and checked the entire attachment, or not written those particular notes at all. My rush to get that email out nearly damaged my personal brand. But through my apology, I was able to rewind my brand and avoid irreparable harm.

Three other women business owners and I recently launched a unique multi-media experience called Brand Rewind. Through the Brand Rewind newsletter and Brand Rewind LIVE, our livestream on YouTube and Facebook, we take a look at a wide spectrum of business and personal brands and explore the ways to learn from their actions and behaviors, both positive and questionable. Do you have a story to share that might help others? If you could rewind that experience, would you do anything differently? What did you learn? What can we all learn? Please briefly include in the comments below or post in our Brand Rewind Facebook group.

This Thursday, March 17 at 7:00pm ET on Brand Rewind LIVE, we will explore the stories referenced above, including the “thoughtless” comments made by director Jane Campion about Venus and Serena Williams. Sign up at brandrewind.com to stay in the loop and subscribe to the Brand Rewind YouTube channel.

Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, a firm specializing in brand strategy, business consultancy and career coaching.  Prior to launching her business in 2015, Denise held senior, executive and C-suite roles at several global brands. Denise is the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness, available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also the creator and executive producer of Brand Rewind ™, a multi-media experience designed to entertain, explore and empower. To subscribe to the Brand Rewind ™ newsletter and the Brand Rewind YouTube channel, click here