Mountain Equipment Co-op: Engaging Stakeholders on Social Media
(8 pages of text)
In 2012, Mountain Equipment Co-op, a members-only Canadian consumers’ co-operative that sold outdoor recreational gear and clothing, underwent a major revamp of its strategic focus, which involved a change of its logo. The shift was away from the co-operative's core, outdoors-focused customer base to a wider target group that included urban and rural customers who were new to outdoor sports. The change was significant and the co-operative realized that many of its core customers—all of whom were shareholders—were upset by the shift in strategy and logo change. Mountain Equipment Co-op needed a communications plan to ease the transition.
This case is designed for use in an undergraduate- or graduate-level course on communications, social media, or crisis management. More specifically, the case can be used to illustrate how a well-established brand approaches the sensitive issue of a brand relaunch, and how managers involved in the change management process deal with pushback from core users. Following the discussion, the students will have developed their ability to
- assess the impact of emerging communications issues;
- identify the difficulties with communicating big changes; and
- understand and work to overcome negative perceptions.
Canada, Large, 2013
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