Google+ Consumer Psyche: Lessons from Domino's


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lessons from Domino's

Marketers are getting an instant lesson in the dangers of an online world where just about anyone with a video camera and a grudge can bring a company to its knees with lightning speed. Nothing is local anymore which is a challenge of the Web world. Anyone with a video camera and an idea can damage the reputation of a 50-year-old brand. Nothing is personal or sentimental or guarded anymore.

Michael Anthony Setzer, 32, and Kristy Lynn Hammonds, 31 have been charged for food tampering, a felony in North Carolina. They shot to fame after they posted a video on YouTube on Monday that shows one of them doing gross things to a Domino's sandwich he is making. Among them: sticking cheese pieces up his nose. The video had been viewed more than 720,000 times by Thursday. The video reflects some of the worst fears consumers have about food purchased from restaurants and fast food joints. This video and discussion have moved on to Facebook, Twitter and dozens of other social-networking sites. Domino's is planning a lawsuit on both of them.

What should a company do to stop similar catastrophe?
  • Keep monitoring social media: Actively observe Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social sites to track conversations that involve them
  • Respond quickly like Domino's. It responded within hours. The faster you respond the better
  • Respond responsibly, officially. Domino's first responded on consumer affairs blog the Consumerist, whose activist readers helped track down the store and employees who made the video. Then it responded on the Twitter site and other networking sites.
  • Re-institute trust where it was lost
  • Educate employees/customers. Train, teach and warn
  • Build a positive culture. Check on satisfaction levels of employees/customers and try to improve them
If you can't stop people talking, don't give a chance.

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