Keurig Opens Up And Deals. Bravo.

by Holland-Mark | October 15, 2009

keurigIf you follow me on Twitter you may know I love my Keurig Coffee Maker. I used to have a Cuisinart Grind-N-Brew, which made great coffee, but required dedicated cleaning staff.

Not so with the Keurig. Fill it once a week, pop in the pod, push the flashing blue button and boom – the sweet nectar of life itself. Next morning, pop out the old pod and you’re off again, no muss no fuss. Beautiful.

The Problem

The problem is, after a few days of tossing the old pods into the trash, there’s a pile of used plastic pods in your trash, thus turning you from an enlightened if time-starved aficionado into a selfish and responsibility-deficient planet killer. Ouch.

As most people would, I went online to find something to make me feel better. After sorting through the usual pile of conspiratorial blather in the blogosphere speculating on everything from cancer-causing agents in the plastic (false) to the garden compost potential of the grounds (true) I came across some actual information from the company itself.

The Solution

They put together a .pdf to deal with the issue head on, came clean about environmental concerns related to the plastic, and said what they were doing about it.

How about that.

This approach will not end the debate, but at least they’ve injected a few facts into the conversation.

The Caveat

Now… I’d be remiss not to point out that while this issue has emerged on Twitter, the company’s presence there consists of a German welcome, an “@,” and a promotion. This is just foolish, especially for a parent company with a positive story to tell. Participating in the conversation is what they should be doing, but short of that you have to give them credit for overcoming the inevitable resistance they must have encountered when some enlightened employee said, “Let’s make a .pdf.”

The Point

If concerns over social media blowback are what’s holding your brand back from participation, ask yourself this: Do I have a story to tell, or not?

If you don’t, maybe hiding in the shadows while you find a way to fix the problem is your only option. Sad, but understandable.

If you do have a side worth sharing, though — a point-of-view the reasonable majority online might warm to — you need to find a way to muster up the institutional courage to get out there, and tell it.

UPDATE: A CSR from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters pinged me to ask if I had any questions. Nice.

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