My first reaction after purchasing Sun Chips in its new, snazzy biodegradable packaging (because I recycle EVERYTHING) upon trying to open it was “dang, that’s noisy!”
Lo, Frito-Lay, owned by PepsiCo Inc. and maker of Sun Chips, has pulled its snazzy biodegradable packaging from shelves (available since January) wasting exorbitant amounts of money in so doing because it failed at consumer test marketing (IMHO).
I’m amazed companies the likes of Pampers with its Dry-Max debacle I wrote about here and now Sun Chips have launched products (after cycling through the usual market research, focus groups, product development et al I assume) only to pull them or engage in defensive posturing due to consumer outcry AFTER the fact.
How could Sun Chips not know that bag was noisy? Have you ever heard it?
Tumbling sales and consumer-created videos on social media sites contributed to the decision by these corporate giants to return five of the six flavors back to non-compostable packaging. So much for saving the environment from potato chip bags, eh?
Here’s the fail – because social media is at the fingertips of all consumers and corporations if they regard it as more than a passing fad, all Sun Chips would’ve had to do was the following:
- During market research, it would’ve been simple and inexpensive to produce and launch a YouTube video asking for a nation-wide vote about which bag consumers prefer – the current (non-noisy) bag or the new, biodegradable (noisy) bag. I can assure you, Frito-Lay, that video would’ve garnered tremendous word-of-mouth attention and off we go to the races.
- On your lame attempt at a Facebook page where one consumer calls the new Sun Chips bags “great idea, freakishly loud,” you could’ve asked for votes on which bag is preferred and then point to the YouTube video to secure hits there, too.
- On Twitter (are you @Fritolay or @Frito-Lay?) with your confusing identity with the same avatar where one of you currently apologizes for the noisy bag and asks for another chance, you could’ve launched a campaign to engage the tier-one social media pros to ask for a Twitter strategy (because obviously your in-house public relations department or unsavvy agency did not help you in this regard).
Well, hindsight is always 20-20, right? And, no one asked me, so I’ll just keep my 26-years-in-public-relations-counsel to myself.