- 8 Corporate Decisions that Wrecked Their Reputation
SOURCE: Silicon India Net
Making mistakes is human, but not if you are a multinational giant and have millions of shareholder’s hard-earned money invested in your company. In such cases, these mistakes make you fall on your face and it is not only you who gets hurt but the all those million investors too. Here is a list of such decisions that some corporate took and got their reputation hit very bad. Have a look:
1. Company: Coca-Cola
Decision: Changes the formula of their decade old and widely popular Cola and rebranded it as New Coke.
Why it was bad: Coca-Cola was undisputedly the most popular and favorite cola drink and despite numerous claims from Pepsi in which it used to brand it number one, Cola was a distant lead. Still, Cola thrashed its age old formula that made it so popular and tried something as New Coke. No wonder it was disliked by everyone and the company had to face the wrath.
Consequence: Cola bounced back but only as a weakened company whose executives having no clue about anything.
2. Company: IBM
Decision: Paid Microsoft a one-time fee for developing PC-DOS.
Why it was bad: IBM was a standalone name that stood synonymous for computers during the 80’s. It believed that hardware is the only evolving thing in the computers and it is easy to clone hardware but not software. They paid Microsoft a one-time fee for developing PC-DOS and as a result it gave Microsoft a chance to develop MS-DOS alongside that swept the market clean. The same is happening with Microsoft today with Linux and other open-source companies dominating the software market. It will be worth noticing if Microsoft will meet IBM’s fate.
Consequence: IBM lost a lot of money to Microsoft’s MS-DOS and the blooming software market.
Making mistakes is human, but not if you are a multinational giant and have millions of shareholder’s hard-earned
3. Company: Microsoft
Decision: Introduces Microsoft Bob.
Why it was bad: Microsoft has been a rash player in the market with its arrogant behavior most of the times. Introducing Bob pushed the hate-parade against Microsoft even more. The worst part was that it was not alone; it came along with idiotic cousins with an aim to simplify the Windows 3.1 user interface. Most of us might not have experienced Bob exactly but have definitely experienced Clippie that annoyed us every time it popped with MS Office.
Consequence: Annoys even its most faithful users.
4. Company: Apple
Decision: Doesn’t give Gateway 200 license sales of Mac OS.
Why it was bad: Microsoft is today the standalone player in the software market because of a bad decision that Apple took. Apple was continuously innovating in the software field and came out with easy-to-use operating system. Only if it had licensed its software to Gateway it could have easily gained large chunk of market and stopped Microsoft from becoming the lone player. Instead it licensed to smaller clone makers and that hampered its value.
Consequence: Microsoft takes over as the dominating player in the software market.
5. Company: British Airways
Decision: Paints tailfins with ethnically inspired figures.
Why it was bad: BA, hurt by then Prime Minister’s public statement that the airlines was being unpatriotic went way beyond by painting the tail fins of its planes with colorful figures. This did not go down well with its customers and it had to face wide criticism. Within a span of two years the decision was rolled back and the planes were painted with the British flag.
Consequence: The entire decision lead to wastage of money and loss in popularity among the masses.6. Company: CBS and NBC
Decision: Did not broadcast Monday Night Football.
Why it was bad: During the late 60’s, football was not as popular in the masses as today but still it was gaining momentum. When CBS was proposed to telecast the Monday Night Football, it rejected the show which later went to ABC. It has been the second longest running show in the history of television, only after 60 Minutes. It had been tremendously popular and for the same reason CBS and NBC gave up on their Monday night programming given ABC’s ratings. The show is now aired on ESPN but gave ABC a strong base.
Consequence: CBS and NBC lost their Monday night programming to ABC’s popularity.
7. Company: Western Union
Decision: Sticks to its own version of telephone and avoids using Graham Bell’s invention. Why it was bad: Western Union was one major player in earlier days that was using the telegraph as the means of communication over long distances. It considered Bell’s invention as a toy and invented its own version somewhere around the same time that ultimately led them to fall into a series of patent battle. Bell, won eventually.
Consequence: Such comments wrecked Western Union’s reputation to irreparable levels.
8. Company: M&M
Decision: Walks out of the movie, E.T.
Why it was bad: M&M was first approach to feature in the Stephen Spielberg’s cute little alien movie, E.T. M&M though it will be a flop and hence walked out of the movie. This allowed Reese’s Pieces to feature in the movie which turned out to be a huge hit. M&M lost a rat market share to Reese’s Pieces and were almost sold out.
Consequence: Lost huge market share and was almost sold out to Reese’s Pieces, until the movie no one ever heard of the latter snack.
Courtesy: K. Natarajan
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