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Not Punkin’ Around This Time

What’s in this article:

  • BrewDog owners respond to departing staff over toxic work culture claims by formally apologizing and vowing to become a better employer
  • From a CRM POV, saying sorry is a smart move that can help the brand craft even stronger relationships with customers

Saying sorry isn’t easy. Many brands try to avoid responsibility by not using the words “we’re sorry” or “we apologize” even when they mess up.

That’s not the case with the UK’s fastest-growing alternative beer brand, BrewDog. It took 100% blame after allegations were made by ex-employees about the company’s “toxic attitude” and “culture of fear.”

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In an open letter, former BrewDog staff said they had “suffered mental illness as a result of working at Brewdog”. In another part of the letter it said, “Being treated like a human being was sadly not always a given for those working at BrewDog.”

According to Sky News, 61 signatories to the letter calling themselves Punks with Purpose accused the craft beer brand of being uncaring, relentless, and hungry for publicity.

If you want to read all the details, here’s the open letter:

BrewDog’s response to the claims

BrewDog Boss responded to the claims by promising to become a better leader.

“It’s very clear, looking at the feedback, we haven’t always got things right here,” said BrewDog co-founder and CEO James Watt. “We have to see this feedback as an opportunity to get better. We have to learn, we have to act. We have to take it on the chin.” And they used the “A-word”:

The statement from BrewDog released states that the brand will do better by conducting independent and structure reviews, exit interviews, employee representative groups, career development and training, and more.

Here’s the full statement:

Why it matters from a CRM POV

Apologizing provides brands with an opportunity to connect with customers on an emotional level – showing them you’re honest, sympathetic and thoughtful. All of which are crucial intangibles nowadays to building meaningful customer relationship.

Along those lines, when brands admit that they’ve made a mistake and own up to it – customers appreciate the authenticity.

Announcing the mishap publicly can’t possibly hurt a brand’s reputation more than the allegations themselves. Smart move, BrewDog. We cheer for you to do better.



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