Wrong Way for Segway

This past Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010 marks the unfortunate passing of Segway owner, 62-year-old Jimi Heselden, and many speculate the “death of Segway brand” will soon follow.  What made Heselden’s death so newsworthy were the circumstances surrounding it.  No, there was no sign of foul play … just Segway misplay.  Somehow while off-roading on his all-terrain scooter, Heselden lost control and rode his Segway off a cliff near his northern England home.  Within hours of his death, the Internet was abuzz with numerous stories surrounding his unfortunate and ironic death.  It is never a good sign when a product may be the cause of someone’s death, especially when it’s the death of the company’s owner. Segway has had previous safety problems.

Some say there is no such thing as bad publicity while others insist Heselden’s death is the nail in the coffin for the already problem-ridden brand.  It will be interesting to track the story and see if somehow Segway’s team can avert a public relations nightmare.

For more information:

After Segway Head’s Death, Can the ‘It’ Vehicle Recover Its Balance?

Segway Owner’s Death Adds to Company’s Safety, Image Challenges

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1 Response to Wrong Way for Segway

  1. shotchk1 says:

    I visited the Segway Website and the first thing I encountered was a pop-up screen regarding the owner’s death. I thought this was a good strategy — they are meeting the topic head on. I was surprised, however, that they didn’t issue a press release. I would think they would write a sugar-coated press release that explained the extenuating circumstances and so on.

    As for the brand, I’m not certain that it will suffer, that’s up to the PR team. Every problem is an opportunity. I guess we’ll see what they do.

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