When confronting a complex issue or decision in the absence of certainty, groups will often move to the lowest common point of familiarity — usually something concrete and specific. In tech and marketing organizations, this is called “the valley of the tools.” So it is with social; everywhere you turn there is a marketing manager or millennial intern reporting (loudly) that the company needs a … (insert social tool name here.) But these advocates and tool suggestions are often rooted in a desire to play with new things and carve out a mini-speciality, and are just as often completely disconnected from company business goals and strategy.
“It’s the antenna, stupid!”
Well, sure it is. But Apple’s (AAPL) handling of this product problem in the new world of social media and social commerce is worth considering in detail. Here’s the key statistic:
During seven trading days, from the Friday (July 9th) prior to Consumer Reports’ confirmation of the antenna problem and the “Not Recommended” review (Monday July 12) through Monday, July 19th, AAPL stock dropped around $15 per share. With a little over 900M shares outstanding, this means AAPL lost $12 BILLION in market capitalization — a 5% decline. For comparison, the DJII and NASDAQ indexes for same period were essentially flat.