One of our favorite fan sites relating to a bad decision is Bovril. In 2004, Unilever removed beef from the product and made it a yeast-derived vegetable product akin to Vegemite. While it happened during the mad cow scare and was understandable, Unilever’s reaction was wrong. Customers got upset; they realized that there might be something political.
The correct action whenever a product is threatened is not to kill off the old product and replace it with a new one. Fan Graeme Andrew Stickings put the idea up on his website, consumers rallied, and soon Bovril was back. I quote the Bring Back Bovril site:
All is right with the world. That is the phrase that consumers think when a product they love returns. This feeling of goodwill not only extends to consumers, it goes right to the company that made the mistake. Macy’s needs to heed this lesson; folks are still angry about Marshall Field’s, but if they admit the mistake, consumer love (and maybe, dare we suggest stockholder confidence… ???) will flow back to the once-beloved company.
Here, is a list of a few brands that have responded to consumer pressure. We invite readers to add to the list. We hope to add Marshall Field’s to the list.