Honda Gets Mobbed By Their Facebook Fans

By | September 5, 2009

By Peter K. Lam

Honda Accord Crosstour

Honda Accord Crosstour

I recently read a blog about how Honda’s Facebook fans reacted negatively to their new concept vehicle they are calling the Honda Accord Crosstour. Basically Honda release the images of the new vehicle expecting to get generally positive responses. Instead, the Facebook fans tore the vehicle a part and slammed it. The fans absolutely hated it.

This is the first time that I’ve heard about a business releasing information through a social network only to receive tremendous negative feedback. I’m sure other businesses have gotten into a similar situation but since it’s about Honda, of course there’d be a lot of buzz about it. The fans had absolutely nothing good to say. So how does does this impact Honda?

This must be a total nightmare of Honda. I’m sure they are used to receiving rave reviews about their vehicles so this backlash probably was unexpected but they’ve already released the information and the fans have spoken. At this point I’m not entirely sure what Honda can do to rectify the situation. Did they release the new vehicle information to a focus group first? How’d that group react? If they didn’t release it to a focus group they certainly should have. It would’ve prevent public humiliation via social networks. If the vehicle is not near finalization, Honda should really take this opportunity to ask the fans what they don’t like and hopefully be able to fix it before the car is put on the market for sale.

As I’ve said in the past, social networking has grown into a very powerful tool businesses can use to communicate to their customers. The reaction of the fans over this new vehicle should alert Honda that something is wrong with their product. Social networking has the ability to help business reach a wide audience but most only want that kind of coverage for positive news and not bad news. Because this information was release through Facebook, the news spread to the entire social network and people started to talk about it. I’m talking about this now because another blogger wrote about it and she was probably notified by one of Honda’s fans or she received the news thru a different medium of social networking. The lesson here is be careful of what gets posted online and also be prepared to deal with both positive and negative feedback because either could happen. The other thing is also to find any kind of useful information from this situation, good and bad, so that the problem hopefully won’t come up again.

4 thoughts on “Honda Gets Mobbed By Their Facebook Fans

  1. Jack

    You know Peter, most people from Generation Y or X for that matter are hard to satisfy. They grew up with internet forums and like to complain about everything. I am a Toyota and Honda fan and hear mostly negative comments all the time. Yes I know there are many American car fans out there that would do anything to discredit an Asian company, but in this case I think it is a generational thing. Sorry to say that as I am from the younger baby boom generation if you wnat to call it that. I was born in 1962 and when I was in my teens and 20′s I did not have internet forums to disrespect people and organizations.

    I think both Honda and Toyota somtimes try to be “inovative” or more daring with their designs and it comes out the wrong way. They should stick to a safe formula that has worked in the past. So what if American car fans think they are bland and boring, as long as they make millions in profit.

  2. Peter K Lam Post author

    I’m a big fan of Japanese cars as well and really enjoy the high quality of the vehicles but I don’t think that the fans on Facebook were providing negative feedback simply because they like American cars over the Japanese cars. For the most part people become a “fan” of a business on Facebook if they wish to keep notified about the latest news and products from them. I think these users really are fans of Honda and they are just voicing their disapproval of the new vehicle design.

    Personally I feel that Honda’s recent car designs have declined. They have attempted to make their cars look more futuristic. Some people like it and some people do not. I personally find the majority of the redesigned vehicles not stylish but really it’s a matter of personal opinion. What one person hates another person may love. I guess every car company goes through some growing pains trying to reinvent themselves and stay fresh.

    As for the this new vehicle, the Honda Accord Crosstour, this one doesn’t look all that bad to me. It actually looks a lot better than some of the cars that Honda has been producing over the last few years which is partly why I’m baffled by the negative reaction to the images. I’m not sure if Honda had a focus group look at this vehicle but they certainly should have. If the focus group was diverse but all seem to like the design, I’m not too sure what the Facebook fan reactions would mean in the overall scheme of things. Perhaps the focus group was not as diverse as it should have been. We won’t know about this unless Honda decides to release the research documentation they did for the new concept vehicle.

    Honda has a pretty good track record and has always produced high quality vehicles even though the design might have falter a bit. I’m sure they will be fine and will probably be able to turn this how fiasco over into something positive.

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