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Nestlé's corporate online presence fails to quell consumer negativity
Nestlé show that corporations with large brand portfolios can struggle to establish a brand presence of their own online and may well be the target for protest and negativity.
Particularly in the FMCG sector, umbrella companies tend to control large portfolios containing a wide and diverse list of brands. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft and Nestlé are a few examples of such umbrella corporations. While these companies are often seen as the experts in the marketing of their individual brands, unifying their portfolio under one overall brand name can be more difficult. Consumers may be more likely to feel affinity for Milka than Kraft and more liable to “like” Marmite than they are to “like” Unilever. Nonetheless, this has not prevented some of these umbrella corporations from establishing a social media presence, and WaveMetrix took a look at Nestlé’s page to establish its effectiveness.
WaveMetrix analysis reveals that Nestlé’s corporate page struggles to unite consumers behind the company. While the brand has almost half a million “likes” on their Facebook page, much of the conversation there is negative. The major drivers of this negativity are ethical issues around animal and human rights. Furthermore, the backlash against the Nestlé brand is more vocal in direct response to the community manager on the page, suggesting Nestlé are fuelling the fire, rather than quelling it. Umbrella corporations therefore need to think carefully about their brand strategy before establishing a social media presence, as they are perhaps more likely to be targeted by protests and negativity than their constituent brands.
Much of the negativity on the Nestlé page focuses on ethical issues:
- A third of consumer discussion on the Nestlé page centres on ethical issues: Whereas other topics are largely positively discussed, there is overwhelming negativity for Nestlé’s ethics. Consumers complain that Nestlé don’t market baby milk ethically, while others complain that some Nestlé treats are “killing dogs” and accuse Nestlé of “unethical” animal testing
- Although other discussion is sometimes positive, it mostly revolves around Nestlé's brands, rather than Nestlé themselves: With consumers more likely to praise specific brands, this adds little to the overall reputation of the Nestlé brand and fails to counterbalance the negativity shown in other areas
Nestlé’s official presence on the page only serves to worsen the negativity:
- Consumers are more negative in direct response to Nestlé: This suggests that Nestlé’s official presence on the page is ineffective in changing consumer attitudes. Although the community manager frequently posts about Nestlé activities that help communities all around the world, consumers remain unconvinced and often respond negatively