Mr. Werner J. Bauer
Chief Technology Officer
Dear Mr. Bauer
RE: Facebook, Nestle, Greenpeace and… what happens next?
Like many others, I have been watching the Nestle Facebook situation unfold. I am curious – did the social media activities from the third week of March really amount to anything more than a blip on some random dashboard? Did the Facebook Fan Page revolt do anything more than give us a laugh and make a few at Nestle cringe?
I have to assume, based on the response (or lack thereof) from Nestle that this has had no effect on sales whatsoever. Neither has this affected your stock. Your facebook fan page has 96,000 fans (actually they are more like haters) but only 100 appear to still be active. Albeit in a “boycott and destroy” Nestle kind of way, but what’s 100 people?
It appears that Nestle is content (for now) to stand your ground and look the other way knowing full well that this too shall pass. And it very well may. But it begs the question: “Regardless of whether your brand is now in the hands of renegades or not, should a company’s reaction to public outrage be directly proportional to the affect it has on sales, or stock prices? Is there more to consider?”
Well, what if:
- Any one of your competitors sees an opportunity to mobilize and seize the opportunity so to speak, to take some of your market share. To launch an integrated initiative that acts on what your Haters (posing as FB fans) are shouting about? Or even enables them to effect real world change?
- What if they invite Greenpeace to the table? To discuss how they can align or (gulp) form a strategic alliance?
- What if a celebrity that happens to empathize with this cause gets the itch to mobilize something?
- What if there’s an accident on Nestle’s watch that makes the papers? What is Nestle gets it wrong publicly on any thing under your umbrella? Will this come back with a bigger vengeance?
- What if this situation starts to erode away the really great quality candidates that Nestle needs to take them through to 2015.
Well, I guess you’ll stand your ground as you’ve done, unless of course you start to see the numbers shift in the wrong direction.
One last thought:
What if that potential negative shift in numbers is no where near as big as the potential shift your numbers could take in the right direction if you seized this opportunity?
Finding your haters is still one of the biggest opportunities you have in this space, but guess what, it’s also one of your competitors biggest opportunities too!
PS – Cadburys? Hershey? You there? Call me.