Consumer Control

by admin    December 30, 2011

Yesterday was 'Move Your Domain Away From GoDaddy Day'. 72,000 domains and counting have been transferred away from the hosting company.

One opinion, on one stance, led to one post, and later led to a viral revolt against the brand.

It used to be wise to ride out the storm – give things a chance to see if the steam would let out of them on their own accord. No more. It took only days for the post to result in such a high level of consumer activism.

Howard Schultz tells a similar story in a 2010 interview with HBR:

Bloggers were putting holes in the equity of the brand, and it was affecting consumer confidence, our people, everything. I woke up one day and went to my desk, and I had 75 to 100 e-mails and phone calls about an issue I had never heard of. There was a sensational story in the Sun, in London, that Starbucks was wasting water through something called the “dipper well.” My phone rang, and it was a reporter asking me to comment on the dipper well. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said. The reporter said, “Mr. Schultz, I suggest you Google Starbucks real fast.” The Sun claimed that we were pouring “millions of litres of precious water down the drain” as a result of the method we used to sanitize equipment. The report was wildly exaggerated, and we had been working for several years to find a better solution, but we suddenly became the target of conservation groups. We had a real problem. The lesson was that the world had changed. Something that had happened in London had created a worldwide story that positioned Starbucks with venom and disrespect.

Brands are formed in the minds of consumers – and there the power remains.

A great example of how little control a brand has, but how important it is to influence brand perceptions with speed, authenticity, and passion.

*Cited from HBR’s Lessons from the GoDaddy Customer Revolt

One thought on “Consumer Control”

  1. When I first read the line on Twitter with the link to the blog I thought to myself, “Why would people move their domains? Because of their commercials?” It is truly amazing how fast things like this can spread now because of the internet, companies really have got to watch their steps and backs.

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