Coca-Cola

Background

Coca-Cola is an American beverage corporation with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The product Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by John Stith Pemberton. Today, the company now offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries, and Coca-Cola is the best-selling beverage in most of these countries. In 2010 Coca-Cola was recognized as being the number one global brand.

Problem

The Coca-Cola Company noticed a post on Twitter (a social media network) from a frustrated customer regarding difficulty claiming his prize from the My Coke Reward Program. The customer had more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, so many people were aware of his frustration with Coca-Cola.

Situation (SWOT) Analysis

Strength: Coca-Cola is a very large company with a good reputation and strong customer loyalty.

Weaknesses: Word spreads fast on social media networks, and there were already 10,000 people who could have read the dissatisfied customer’s comment.

Opportunities: Coca-Cola had the opportunity to make it right with the dissatisfied customer, and they wanted to show that they were going to do what was right.

Threat: Many followers on Twitter could have read the dissatisfied customer’s comment and spread the news to others or even made posts of their own, which would have made the issue grow larger.

Strategies (decisions and behaviors)

  • Coca-Cola’s head of social media, Adam Brown, posted an apology on the customer’s Twitter page and offered assistance in getting the prize he was trying to redeem from the My Coke Reward Program.
  • Brown also called the dissatisfied customer.

Consequences (results)

  • The customer received the prize he was trying to redeem.
  • The customer also changed his Twitter avatar to a picture of himself holding a Coke.

Comments

Even though this wasn’t a major crisis, I think it’s still important to study this issue because crises can occur on social media networks and spread very rapidly. Coca-Cola took action early and wanted to make a dissatisfied customer satisfied again.  They did a good job of settling this issue before many more customers heard word and also starting spreading the news. Even though is wasn’t a fatal issue, they still could have lost many customers, and Coca-Cola wanted to do what they could to prevent that. They understood that a satisfied customer only tells one or two people, but a dissatisfied one tells MANY!

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2 Responses to Coca-Cola

  1. l992 says:

    I completely agree with you that this wasn’t a major issue, but Coca-Cola treated it like a major issue because they have a great customer service program! A good company treats every crisis like a major one.

  2. karobinson5 says:

    This was not a major crisis because Coca-Cola addressed it early. By responding to the disgruntled customer quickly, the company avoided crisis escalation. The social media monitor was a strength for the company. Since the company had a CCP in place, it was not an issue for Adam Brown, as head of social media, to apologize and make the situation right for the customer. By responding directly to the customer’s Twitter page, they company communicated not only to him, but to all his followers. This worked well for Coca-Cola this time. I wonder what happened when others posted that they had problems with My Coke Rewards? I also wonder if Coca-Cola responds to everyone or only to those with 10,000+ followers? Finally, does everyone who posts an issue with My Coke Rewards now think that they will have their problem personally resolved? The answers to these questions could lead to another crisis.

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