Background: The Coca-Cola Company is a soft drink company which has a 125-year history. In 1886, the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton initially invited the non-alcohol beverage product through combining a fragrant, caramel-colored liquid with carbonated water. Because of its special flavor, the Coca-Cola was famous by the customers at that time. In 1889, Asa Candler bought the Coca-Cola formula and brand. He founded the Coca-Cola Company in 1892. The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarter is located in Atlanta, Georgia. At present, the Coca-Cola beverages are sold in more than 200 countries. The Coca-Cola Company serves over 1.7 billion servings each day.
Problem: In order to increase the sale of the Coca-Cola products, the Coca-Cola Company has taken many measures. My Coke Rewards is such a marketing campaign to raise customers’ loyalty. The program is launched from 2006. Customers enter codes from finding the codes on Coca-Cola products, and then they accumulate the points to redeem the prizes. However, a customer was annoyed on Twitter and claimed that he was difficult to redeem an all-expenses paid trip he had won through the My Coke Rewards campaign. After that, there were more than 10000 followers were showed on this profile. With the rapid transmission of the news, the Coca-Cola Company would get a negative impact on this program if they could not cope with this social media crisis.
Situation Analysis: The Coca-Cola Company wanted to use this My Coke Rewards campaign to attract its customers and promote sale. However, the unexpected crisis happened to hinder the implement of the promotion. There were some strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats for the Coca-Cola Company to cope with the crisis.
- Strength: The Coca-Cola Company has sold its Coca-Cola products for about 125 years. Its brand is very famous all around the world. The Coca-Cola Company gets a high degree of customer loyalty. Therefore, the crisis would not be serious to affect the image of the Coca-Cola Company. It would be easy for the Coca-Cola Company to compensate the frustrated consumer.
- Weakness: Every consumer has several followers on their Twitter. This profile was showed by more than 10000 followers, as a result; there would be uncountable number of consumers heard about this news. It would be a huge project for the Coca-Cola Company to explain its negligence to all the public. Some consumers might always remember this event.
- Opportunity: The long historical business experience made the Coca-Cola Company have skills to handle many kinds of crisis. The Coca-Cola Company could swiftly analyze the crisis and appropriately take measures.
- Threat: Other consumers heard about this event, and they might post the previous negligent behaviors of the Coca-Cola Company on Twitter. Moreover, some consumers even twist facts. The chain effect would need the Coca-Cola Company to do a lot.
Strategies: While monitoring Twitter, the Coca-Cola Company had taken several measures to cope with the crisis. They were:
- Adam Brown as the social media for the Coca-Cola Company posted apology on the customer’s Twitter profile within about a half an hour.
- Brown got on the phone with him and resolved the problem.
Consequences: Although the Coca-Cola Company had swiftly handled the problem, the public still held the different respond to the company. They were:
- After Brown resolved the problem, this frustrated consumer changed his Twitter avatar to a photo of himself holding a Coke.
- Some consumers still complained about other problems about My Coke Rewards program. One consumer explained that he had 12 pack cans codes that were not working.
- Although the Coca-Cola Company had coped with the problem, a consumer claimed that, “This is a fraud. They took all my points away and refuse to let me sign in to post more points on my account. I will drink Pepsi from now on.”
My comments: At begin, I just consider this problem was just a piece of cake, and it is not very important. However, I realize the seriousness of the problem after I deeply study these two chapters. The social media is a good way to prevent crisis, however; it would deteriorate the crisis if the company could not take an effective method. At first, I learn that a good company would always focus on their public image, and they concentrate on the responds from the social media. Because of motoring the Twitter, Adam Brown knew that the problem of the frustrated consumer and resolved the problem. Another reason for the Coca-Cola successfully handled the crisis was Adam Brown committed the company’s negligence and apologized to the frustrated consumers. The Apologia Theory was applied to the case, especially the third strategy—Conciliation. When the Coca-Cola Company had been accused of a misdeed, Adam Brown gave the consumer the actual apology and asked for his forgiveness. Therefore, the frustrated consumer finally was satisfied with the solution. However, I think it is very hard for the Coca-Cola Company to handle all complains in the Internet through this case. The Coca-Cola Company could not monitor all rumors in all the corners. The Coca-Cola Company should set a bulletin board on its official website. At there, the public can describe their problems and provide the suggestions. At the same time, the Coca-Cola Company also could show its measures to handle the problems to publics. Then the public would know the facts and the final consequences without only knowing the problems.