When a company decides to overhaul its image or its flagship product, the reaction from consumers can be unpredictable. Of course, much of the public reaction will depend on the company’s ability and willingness to communicate about the upcoming changes and how suddenly they occur. A surprise announcement and poor marketing can lead to public relations nightmares—think New Coke—but when the marketing is done properly, including the effective use of social media, major changes may be welcomed with open arms.
A New World
When Coca-Cola made the fateful decision to replace its top-selling product with a new version in 1985, the internet was in its infancy. Companies had few options for getting information to consumers, especially when something big was on the horizon. Today, a company can develop a social media strategy that instantly lets the public know about upcoming ventures and changes. Sometimes, the company itself specializes in social media, and the promised changes look to affect the way that people connect with one another.