Every omnipresent brand in today’s market has its prints in all social media as well. Apart from the benefit of reaching out to customers and connecting with them more closely, this also serves a bigger purpose. The company can directly converse with the end users and create awareness among them about their products and services. The direct conversations develop trust which strengthens over time and the followers of their social media pages become staunch evangelists of the brand themselves. The belief in the brand is so strong that it makes them freely try to convince others to buy and use it. Even before the company officially responds to a complaint, many times the loyal customers on its social pages plunge at the issue and flood the social media with their pleasant experiences with that brand. This effectively reduces the damage to the company before the situation flares up.
Top companies in agribusiness and processing industry have become overly cautious about their brand image in the wake of Maggi recall and the damage the brand has caused. Some companies are picking up parallel product samples to send them for third party lab testing when the complaints arise. Counter-communication is put out when there are hoax or wrong stories. Mai ntaining transparency and connecting with customers is working as an effective defense mechanism among other investments to protect their brand images.
Biggest pizza chain in India, Domino’s is banking on consumers to defend its brand. Coca-cola is taking scientific measures like image and text recognition software to monitor its brand image on social media and increased its review mechanisms. Mondalez (Dairy milk chocolatier) has set up an online reputation management (ORM) unit to help address consumer complaints and focus on social media. McDonald’s track social media conversations and actively engage on a real time basis. It also broadcasts stories, news, facts, trivia and menu among others to let its customers have a glimpse on the making of food.
All the food biggies want is to see that their products are in order. It is evident that the companies want to play safe and do not want to risk a spiraling fade of hard-earned brand image.