Now You Listen Here

Is your brand listening to customers?

Now You Listen Here

When you’re investigating a brand to invest in, look at how well it responds to consumer demand. If the brand isn’t pleasing customers, you can wave your investment goodbye.

Take a look at two mega-brands who’re listening to their customers, whether they like it or not.

Blogger protest strikes Subway


The sandwich giant’s selling point is that it’s ‘healthier’ than burgers and chips. But when health blogger with a heavy clout, Vani Hari, took up an Internet petition for the brand to

remove chemicals from its bread, it had to bend to wishes.

Hari began the US petition on 4 February to stop the use of azodicarbonamide in Subway bread, a chemical banned in Europe and Australia due to links to respiratory and allergy problems.

Over 65 000 supporters signed in its first two days. After only one day live, the brand responded saying it was already in the process of removing the chemical.

Following the announcement, Hari encouraged supporters to continue their protest as Subway refused to elaborate on a timeline. And with tweets stating, “Don’t eat until they change it!” Subway has been forced to speed up their roll-out.

We the people demand a McVeggie


In another recent online protest, over 96 000* supporters had signed a petition for a healthy, meatless option at McDonald’s US. Started by health and wellness activist and author, Kathy Freston, it’s caught the attention of celebrity vegetarians and vegans like Ellen DeGeneres, Pamela Anderson and Alicia Silverstone.

McDonald’s has tried veggie fast food before, but lack of success in the early 2000s saw those options pulled off the menu, and presently salads only make up 2% to 3% of sales.

Internationally, McDonald’s Canada already has veggie wraps, while India is home to fully vegetarian restaurants, proving where there’s demand, there’s a way.

* At the time of going live.

Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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