Over the past week, we witnessed two distinct but related uprisings of customers voicing their opinions and companies backing down. It started with the Facebook Terms of Service fiasco, where FB made subtle but significant changes to their ToS such that there were questions over who owned the data that you have put on the social networking site. Eventually, Facebook backed off but the damage was done. This is a poster child for how NOT to handle this sort of change.
Then this week, Tropicana did an about face on a much more costlier change they made. Recently they released a new design platform for their brand and packaging and it was widely lambasted by critics and, most importantly, its customers. Today they announced that they would revert back to their more popular and pedestrian “orange with a straw in it” package design. On a side note, I don’t know who is advising or making the package design decisions over at Pepsi, but man, they are getting hammered.
These are again two very different but still clear demonstrations of how word of mouth and the power of customers coming together, rising up, and providing a big single fingered salute to companies will drive positive change.