There is no doubt that taking the plunge and incorporating web 2.0 tools and applications throughout your organization can be an extremely rewarding exercise. But… is this always the case? What happens when things go wrong? What happens when the outcome isn’t quite what you expected? What happens when the public turns on you? In this blog I will be looking at both sides of the enterprise 2.0 coin with specific focus on the benefits and risks to organizational reputation.
Firstly, outright success with BlendTec
Who would have thought anyone could make a blender cool, no matter how outside the square you were prepared to think? Well… “Bledtec” manufacturer of blenders / mixers have a cult following on the internet due to a marketing campaign that is outside of the square, a little crazy, and highly effective. They have developed a game show type scenario called “Will it blend?” in which everything from iPhones to Old Spice bottles are thrown into various blenders and reduced to smithereens. Click here to watch an iPhone get reduced to tiny little pieces. According to chaosmap sales of the Blendtec brand increased by more than 700% and the demand for blenders has not gone up! With almost 11,000,000 views on youtube and 100,000 likes on facebook blendtec has become the trendy brand to own.
So blendtec achieved:
Improved company reputation – from a little known blender manufacturer to an internet sensation with a cult following on you tube because they decided to dice up iPhones and tennis shoes. Blendtec is now synonymous with quality, innovation and thinking outside the square.
Increased visibility in the market place – I had actually heard of Blentec before INB346, hence this feature. They are a blender manufacturer on the other side of the world – check out their headquarters in UTAH, USA here. I am not a cook nor do I have any real conceivable need for a blender, I just liked watching a tennis shoe get diced up when I stumbled upon their youtube video. If I, like 11,000,000 other people, decided to buy a blender I would definitely at least price a blendtec model. Blendtec have successfully increased their visibility and appeal to people who have no active interest in their products – Amazing!
Southwest airlines have a policy that states if you do not comfortably fit between the arm rests of the seats in their passenger jets you are asked to purchase two seats, ok fair enough. Southwest airlines also have a strong online presence with over 3 million likes on Face book and advertise many of their sales & promotions through twitter with a very active presence, ok, again, fair enough. But… what happens if a seemingly random fat man is asked to leave the plane at the last second, then later you find out that fat man is Kevin Smith who has over 1,600,000 twitter followers? This happens.
To the credit of Southwest airlines they were on the pulse and responded to the Kevin’s tweet almost immediately (16 minutes) with an apology and indicated that they would like to make things right. However this could not stop the social media catastrophe that would ensue. Kevin fired back without about 6 tweets to every one supplied by Southwest and the end result? Well, “according to Position, a search and social media marketing firm, in a span of six days, the incident generated 3,043 blog mentions, 5,133 forum posts and 15,528 tweets.”
Increased Negative Visibility in the Market place – People who otherwise would not have thought twice about booking with southwest as long as the price was competitive have a lingering image of Kevin Smith being ejected off a flight and being very unhappy about it. Unfortunately there is not a whole lot that south west can do about this, and the figures speak for themselves. Based on this incident alone 38% of respondents indicated that they would no longer fly Southwest, while 26% believed it was poor customer service. This is terrible exposure, not to mention the fact that this took place in the world’s most notoriously obese country!
Decreased company reputation In one foul swoop Kevin Smith harnessed the power of web 2.0 and made SouthWest Airlines famous for targeting and picking on fat people.
What do you think? Would you still fly with south west?
Would you buy a blendtec blender after seeing the iPhone get destroyed?
I look forward to your comments below, and until next week – harness enterprise 2.0 carefully as it is a double edged sword.