Corporate executives often spend so much time mulling over figures, stressing over projections, and brainstorming with strategists that they forget the single most valuable source of information they have when it comes to expanding their enterprises: their customers. Especially during difficult times, ignoring your current clients’ feelings and opinions could be catastrophic for your company. Your existing patrons are a font of knowledge when it comes to your branding, products, design, customer service, and more. VOC, or “voice of consumer” technology captures this precious data and provides it to your company so you can act on it.

Emojot’s platform has made great strides forward in the already cutting-edge world of VOC by adding our unique twist on this technology.

Rather than asking dull, textual survey questions that customers are likely to send straight to their spam folder or pestering them to provide their opinions over the phone, Emojot has devised short, sweet, state-of-the-art “Emotion Sensors®.” These unique surveys ask customers to share their feelings the way most of us have become accustomed to in this digital day and age: with whimsical, graphic, and powerfully expressive emojis! Our Emotion Sensors® encourage engagement and give customers an outlet to easily share the emotions that drive their purchasing decisions.

Emojot’s Emotion Sensors® have an astounding track record of proven success around the world, but this exceptional platform is still relatively new. We are confident that our VOC products will forever change the corporate world. Just imagine what kinds of disasters could have been avoided if more companies had known about these charming, interactive surveys and used the vast, valuable data collected wisely! That’s precisely what we’ve done in the following blog. Read on to find out how the history of three companies could have been completely different if only they’d had Emojot VOC on their side.

Netflix’s Near Demise

Today, Netflix is a household name and booming brand, but this wasn’t always the case. Back in 2010, Netflix was both a DVD rental business and a streaming service, with both services offered for one low monthly cost. The company was doing quite well, with a nearly 40 percent increase in annual profits. Netflix was projected to expand even more in 2011. However, the company made a critical error.

As TIME reports, “Netflix angered its customers by splitting its popular DVD-by mail and unlimited-streaming package into two separate services – and by charging what amounts to a 60 percent price hike for customers who wanted to keep the same services.” Basically, customers who wanted only DVDs or just streaming would save a marginal amount, but those who wanted to continue having both would suddenly have to pay 60 percent more. In the wake of this change, “it was evident that Netflix subscribers were fleeing, and the stock price tanked.” Netflix’s customer satisfaction ratings hit record lows. Furthermore, as Investor Place reported at the time, “Netflix [flopped] almost 75 percent in three months.” In 2011, stock market expert Jeff Reeves wondered “whether the company [would] ever truly be able to recover” from this massive hit to its profits and stock value. Of course, as we know now, Netflix did recover. The company had to do major damage control and essentially reverse its decisions to regain its footing.

This entire fiasco could have been avoided with an Emojot’s VOC Emotion Sensor®. If Netflix had surveyed its existing customers using our engaging, emotion-based platform, the company would have known just how angry, sad, and frustrating this change would make its customers before it lost tens of millions of dollars.

Abercrombie & Fumble

This American fashion company is currently struggling to survive due to a series of scandals and branding blunders. World Finance magazine’s Laura French explains: “If there’s one brand that knows how to incite the wrath of consumers, it’s Abercrombie & Fitch. In February [2016], the controversial retailer won the title of ‘Most Hated Brand in America’ in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, scoring lower than any other retailer that has ever appeared on the list.” Abercrombie & Fitch has developed this infamous reputation due  to its “exclusive and outright discriminatory policies.” Its comprehensive catalog of missteps include products in poor taste such as “racist T-shirts,” unethical hiring practices like “discriminating against non-white job candidates,” and outright obsession with workers’ appearances, going so far as “forcing employees to do press ups and barring certain workers from customer-facing  roles.”

French describes how these issues truly “came to a head” in 2013, when “a 2006 interview with [Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike] Jeffries resurfaced,” in which he bluntly stated: “We hire good-looking people in our stores. A lot of people don’t belong and can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” This clear confirmation of the company’s negative reputation caused its value to plummet. Its sales were down 8.73 percent in 2013 and 9.06 percent in 2014. Abercrombie and Fitch fired Jeffries in 2014, which slowed its decline, but “the company still has a way to go before it can repair the damage that years of controversy and exclusivity appear to have done to its reputation.”

Abercrombie & Fitch provides a particularly fascinating case study of how Emojot VOC could have intervened. Jeffries and other executives at the retailer were under the terribly misguided impression that customers would approve of their discriminatory, exclusionary practices, or at least that they could get away with these. A state-of-the-art Emojot’s Emotion Sensor® would have connected especially well with Abercrombie & Fitch’s younger targeted demographics. Using emojis, customers could have clearly expressed their distaste  for discrimination and exasperation with exclusion early on, allowing the clothing company to shift focus (and get rid of Jeffries) before Abercrombie & Fitch became the “Most Hated Brand in America.”

However, it isn’t too late for Abercrombie & Fitch to make good use of Emojot’s VOC Emotion Sensors®. As the retailer attempts to recover from its myriad mistakes, these surveys could help executives find out how prospective patrons really feel about their rebranding efforts and direct them accordingly.

Dr. Pepper’s Sexist Soda Snafu

Dr. Pepper has been in business for over a century – in fact, this soda brand is even older than Coca Cola. Unfortunately, however, even corporate giants can fall out of favor with their customers. This is exactly what occurred in 2011, which is why Business2Community ranks “Dr. Pepper’s Appeal to Misogynists” the sixth worst branding disaster of all time.

The publication explains: “The Dr. Pepper brand certainly [suffered], as its poorly judged diet-soda ads single-handedly managed to marginalise loyal female customers while also denigrating the intelligence of male buyers.” Essentially, when the soda company released a new 10-calorie version of the beverage, its advertising team somehow decided “It’s Not for Women” was an appropriate slogan. Dr. Pepper publicized this misogynistic catchphrase alongside insultingly hyper-masculine images and commercials.

Business2Community notes that Dr. Pepper’s “over-the-top attempt at creating a masculine product left most men red-faced,” in addition to the many women who decided to take their soda-buying business elsewhere.

By sending out an Emojot’s VOC Emotion Sensors® to its key customers, Dr. Pepper would have found that the vast majority of its drinkers are not, in fact, sexist, and would react with very angry faces to this advertising campaign. While this may seem like an obviously bad branding choice, the fact of the matter is that high-paid, experienced executives approved it and thought it would work. Dr. Pepper’s snafu further illustrates how easy it is for businesses to become out of touch with their customers, and why, in light of this fact, Emojot is an absolutely essential tool.

Put Emojot VOC In Action

These particular corporate catastrophes are in the past, but the future could be brighter than ever for your business if you leverage Emojot’s VOC platform to your advantage. You’ve seen how our assistance could have changed everything for the above companies. Now find out what it can do for you. To learn more about the benefits of our VOC services and demo one of our inventive Emotion Sensors®, contact Emojot today.

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