Lauren Peek | @treblemaker45 After an overwhelming response via social media, Maker’s Mark announced the reversal of their decision to water down their whisky on Facebook.
Bourbon has recently grown in popularity around the world, leading to shortages. In the face of these shortages, Maker’s Mark decided to water down their whisky from 45% to 42%. Although they reassured loyal customers that there was no difference in taste, the public reacted very negatively. Hundreds of posts appeared on Facebook in protest of the change in almost no time at all. Fans said they would rather face shortages and potentially higher prices than watered down whisky.
In their announcement Sunday, Maker’s Mark said “You Spoke. We Listened.” Although still facing shortages, the company decided not to dilute their whisky. Within 21 hours of the announcement on Facebook, the post had over 8,000 shares, 26,000 likes, and 4,000 comments.
Interaction is a key part of any business plan (and the Social Media Business Equation™). When Maker’s Mark decided to dilute their whisky to make less bourbon go further, the public responded. An important part of any business is listening to the customer, and Maker’s Mark has shown everyone how it’s done.
In the digital age, social media gives companies a chance to dip their toes in the water, so to speak. If Maker’s Mark had produced the watered down whisky without listening to the public, their business could have really suffered, and even potentially failed. Thankfully, the public posted and Maker’s Mark listened. Although they still have to find a solution to their increasing demand and shortage of bourbon, they now know that this is not the correct way to answer that question.
Companies and consumers rely on platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach out and share their opinions. Social media proves just how important it is every day. This is one good case study of how.