Businesses generally appreciate the value of their reputations, especially Apple. Even organisations such as CBI are engaged in campaigns to rectify the low standing with the public that large businesses have.
So why do companies continue to make decisions that inflict reputational damage on themselves? Apple's original plans, according to Taylor Swift's blog, was to pay suppliers nothing during the free trial of its new music service. It may be asked by regulators whether such a request was an abuse of its market position. The launch of Apple Music was all about connecting artists and fans. Connecting them by not paying the artists it appears. The official press release said 'we love music' but in Swift's eyes maybe the love does not extend to the artists themselves.
It shows that even the biggest companies sometimes fail to consider the risks and implications of their decisions. That could be down to personalities, money, a good old-fashioned failure to listen or just a hope that people will not find out.
With social media, traditional media and powerful artists this is always likely to fail. By adopting this strategy, Apple has already lost ground to one of its main competitors. There may be complaints that Spotify pays artists too little but at least it pays them.
While it wasn't general knowledge, Swift revealed in an open letter aimed at Apple that the company wouldn't be paying its artists during the free three month trial it'd be offering customers when Apple Music launches on June 30. Swift admitted that while"Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music." she found the decision to be 'shocking and disappointing' going on to point out that "Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing."