How Toyota used Digg to change its brand perception

The brand renowned worldwide for its quality, took a rather nasty hit in 2010. Massive product recalls tainted the image of the company badly. Toyota, in the quest to regain the lost trust, rolled out an integrated traditional marketing and social media marketing plan.

While media was flooded with Toyota’s product recall news, Toyota invested heavily into both print and television advertising to ensure that their side of the story is also told to the people. Toyota then turned to the social media website Digg for online marketing. Digg is a social media website wherein people vote stories up or down. It generates “likes” and “dislikes” for each type of story. Toyota utilized the website to understand what sort of answers people are looking from Toyota. The most urgent questions generated the most “likes” and these questions were answered in a series of online interviews with Digg. They also used the number of queries about Toyota on the online website Digg as a way of measuring the “buzz” around the whole recall incident.

Online media helped Toyota understand what the customers really wanted to hear from the Toyota executives about the whole incident. The online buzz around Toyota that had peaked during Jan 2010 started tapering from Feb 2010 onwards and started getting really quieter by the end of March 2010.



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