Learning From General Mills and Shrimp Tails
I’m sure by now you have heard about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp fiasco. If not, let me break it down for you. Basically, a guy finds two shrimp tails in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch box, along with some other items, like floss and weird black substances (let’s hope for his sake it wasn’t rat poop…). He tweets about it. It blows up. The internet goes crazy.
So how does General Mills respond? At first, not so well. They first state that after their team “closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren’t thoroughly blended.” But if you look at the image above and below, anyone can clearly see that these are, in fact, shrimp tails. From promising General Mills vouchers to eventually requesting the tails to test them, they have seemed to go from denial to trying to put a band aid over the whole thing.
Eventually, General Mills’s CEO Jeff Harmening said on CNBC, "Based on the information we have right now, it is highly unlikely this occurred at a General Mills facility. So right now, we're in the process of working with that consumer to try to figure out, kind of, what happened between when it left our docks and when he opened it." But that’s about all we’ve heard from them so far.
So, all of this is to say, response to a media crisis like this is really important. And even more so, a proactive response is critical.
In times of a media crisis or bad press, I encourage you to do/think about the below.
Move fast but with care
It’s important to act quickly but be sure to gather all the details and respond with humility. Not responding all together is never a good idea. You want to be present and address any customer issue. Even if it’s about a shrimp tail.
Take the conversation off social media
If you can take the conversation privately, it will allow for a free and more detailed discussion about all of the information and next steps out of the eye of others.
Don’t immediately dismiss and minimize
General Mills began by saying, “Those aren’t shrimp tails.” This obviously bit them in the butt. Because, they sure do look like shrimp tails. When a company immediately dismisses a claim without gaining all of the information, they will look like idiots if it turns out to be true. It also makes a company seem like they don't care. Instead, ask for more details and emphasize your desire to fix the situation.
Be ahead of the curve
It is important to be ahead of the narrative. If you can address harmful complaints early and be aware of a potential problem, a company will be able to respond quickly and effectively.
Tone is a very big deal. And it is important for your brand to come off as human when responding to customer complaints and crisis. Empathy will be your best friend. When someone finds a shrimp tail in their cereal, the least empathetic thing you could do is offer them a free box of cereal…
To read more, check out the sources below:
- Using FBI Tactics to Close a Deal
- How to Rest - The Secret to Success
- 3 Ways to Find Hidden Treasures in Your Team
- 3 Ways to Hire Top Talent for Your Open Positions
- Less is More: Growing Your Business
- Reaching for the Mountains: Setting Obtainable Goals
- Stop Waiting and Start Now
- How to Increase Workplace Productivity
- Growth Mindset: Essential in the Workplace
- 3 Ways to Tackle the Summer as a Small Business
- 4 Free Resources for Small Businesses
- Embracing the Unknown in Business
- Setting Healthy Expectations in the Workplace
- Why Effective Communication is Essential in Business
- Remote Work Here to Stay
- 11 Years of Omaha Magazine’s “Best of B2B”
- Due Diligence: Preparation is Key
- Your Business as a Machine: Exit Planning Is Not Just for Exiting
- 10 Industries That Will See Post-Pandemic Profits
- Self-Care in a Pandemic
- Asset Sale vs. Stock Sale
- 5 Most Influential Women in the US
- Advertising Industry Outlook – Adapting Strategies
- How Important Is Due Diligence?
- 6 Best Christmas Movies of All Time
- Construction Industry Outlook – Remodeling & Renovation
- 4 Upcoming Business Trends of 2021
- Industries Booming During COVID-19
- What Are You Thankful For?
- Why it Makes Sense to Carry as a Seller
- Let's Talk About Pets
- What Exactly Are the Benefits of an SBA Loan?
- 2020 Industry Highs and Lows
- What the "Big Buyers" Want
- What’s an earnout, and why does Ryan Reynolds have one?
- M&A Advisor or Business Broker?
- How to Sell a Business in 7 Easy* Steps
- The Firm Advisors: #1 in the World -- Again!
- Documentation is Key During This Time
- Small Business Debt Relief Program
- Work On Your Small Business (While You Aren't Working In It)
- Meet the Listing: Body Shop w/ Towing & Auto Repair
- Superstitions and Deal Killers
- Choosing Your Investments: Stock Market vs. Business Purchase
- Video: Deal Education
- Industry Spotlight: Advertising and Marketing
- Meet the Team: The Firm Advisors Office Tour
- Securing Your Business Against Ransomware
- M&A: What's an M, and what's an A?
- Location, Location, Relocation
- $20M in One Month
- Pet Care: A Recession-Proof Industry
- The Firm Named to BBB Honor Roll
- Firm Family Christmas
- Firmgiving 2019
- Cortney Sells on IBBA's Podcast
- The Firm Makes Inc. 5000
- M&A: The Industry Defying Gravity
- Have You Met Makayla?
- Dr. Lemberg's Pathway to Retirement
- Steven Makes His Mark in M&A
- Hot Off the Press - June 2019 Magazine
- All Good Things Take Time
- The Firm June Magazine Release Celebration
- The Firm Feels Good Doing Good
- Corner Kick Spoils our Swan
- Opportunity of the Week: A Business That Brightens Children’s Futures
- Q&A With Cortney: Stock Sale Versus Asset Sale
- The Ins and Outs of Seller Financing
- Preparing for the Perfect Retirement
- The Firm Is Breaking Industry Records & Poised for Growth in 2019
- Simply the Best
- Competitor Analysis, Opportunities Listed
- Dentist to Dreamer - Hard Work Pays Off!
- Kansas City Tech Company Useagility Sells to First Tek
- 8th Year as Omaha's Best Business Brokerage
- Sellers: Why You Should Finance Your Buyers
- Summer Intern 2017 - Ameya Shelby
- Industry Forecast: Mind the Generational Gap
- 8 Things We Wish Every Business Buyer Knew Before Calling Us
- Selling Your Business: Getting a Proper Business Valuation
- Asset Sales or Stock Sales: Determining the Best for Your Business Transaction
- Why (and How) Business Owners Are Selling in 2017
- The Law of 3's - Choosing the Right Kind of Broker
- A Mutually Beneficial Relationship
- Reaching Out is Key
- Confidential Business Reviews
- A Change of Pace to Business Ownership
- Confidentiality is at the Core of Business
- Moving into the Boardroom
- Buying a Business vs. Starting Your Own
- Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together is Just the Beginning
- Client Interfacing in the Digital Age
- Four Questions Every Buyer Should Ask
- The Firm Outpaces Transaction Totals from Previous Two Years
- Faces of Omaha 2016: Face of Business Brokerages
- The Firm Business Brokerage Set to Double Sales within Seller's Market - MBJ 2014