Whole Foods Market, Inc.: Damage Control Over Product Mislabeling
On June 25, 2015, Whole Foods Market finds itself embroiled in controversy when the New York Department of Consumer Affairs releases a report alleging the company systematically overcharged on their store-packaged goods and inflated prices for the customer. This further damages the company’s reputation as a super-premium, overpriced retailer in the highly competitive organic food industry.
- To highlight the conflict that can arise when a company builds a reputation as being socially responsible and customer driven, but then gets caught overcharging customers when they come to the register.
- To demonstrate the importance of addressing customer affair allegations promptly and taking action not to repeat that problem at other locations.
- To encourage analysis of communication strategies to implement when public perception of a company is at an all-time low.
- To provide an example of how similar actions from different companies can have different effects on their brand image, depending on their value propositions.
- To facilitate a discussion regarding the level of responsibility businesses have to protect customers from mislabeled prices and keep shareholders informed.