Case Study 3
What are the strengths and weaknesses of SLT’s corporate culture in terms of communications, as described in the case?
Sweet Leaf Tea: a famous sweet tea drink created by “Grandma Mimi” but was later introduced to the world by her grandson Clayton Christopher and David Smith. Corporate Culture is the beliefs, ideas, and values that a company has and how employees behave. Corporate Culture also looks at how their ideas will affect its companies. Therefore, STL’s Corporate Culture strengths in my opinion is positive, leading, symbolic, and passionate. We understand Clayton and David’s passion for sweet tea and their reasoning’s for sampling their grandmothers drink. I’d say they have a positive culture because these men believed in promoting “good times and happy moments”. STL communicated such aspects of their corporate cultural through social media (Facebook and Twitter), music festivals, and their personal blogs to allow everyone to be aware of its products and company.
STL’s weaknesses would be that the product took a while (approximately 11 years) for it to make its major break and 90 percent of their advertising went to sampling which is a pretty high percentage. I personally feel like STL should have found other ways like doing press releases or putting up multimedia on YouTube to advertise their product.
2. Considering the relationship the brand had with its audience, should Clayton have reached out to customers to announce he was leaving?
Considering the relationship, the brand had with its audience, in my opinion Clayton shouldn’t have reached out to his customers to announce he’s leaving the company because I believe when it comes to joining or leaving a job customers shouldn’t be involved in this situation only his/her employees. Also in his Clayton’s statement, he doesn’t explain the reasoning’s behind him leaving. Clayton says, “we will not sacrifice the magic of this brand and thus jeopardize the love affair we have created with our consumers in order to save a few dollars on our path up the mountain.” (Argenti 69) As the audience may suspect something has went wrong with this product they may want to stop buying this sweet leaf tea drink due to Clayton’s announcement. Clayton also mentions handing leadership over to an “outsider” Dan Costello whom no one knows anything about or what this person’s intentions are with this product. Clayton says, “we will not sacrifice the magic of this brand” I feel like mentioning all of these things may actually ruin the brand.
3. What challenges do you see for SLT’s new management?
The challenges STL may face being under new management is living up to the success its always had such as staying the number one ready to drink beverage, being everyone favorite drink, and staying on the shelves in the top stores such as Whole Foods. New management must always remember to stay true to its customers as Clayton always had done. New management may possibly try to create new ideas for SLT such as adding new flavors other than the ones that’s already there, deleting flavors they believe aren’t needed, etc. Understand the structure of STL may also be a challenge for new management rather it’s your first time managing a company or not you still have to adapt to the work style, the need of your new team and personalities.
4. What role should corporate communication play at SLT to help the company advance its strategic goals?
Corporate Communication should always play a big part at STL to help the company advance its strategic goals. Corporate Communication is the key reason for development within a corporation’s brand image. With Corporate Communications at STL the company can communicate internal and external with its audience. The company gives its employees and customers information about its expectations, long term and short-term goals.
5. As Clayton’s replacement would you change the way SLT communicated with its customers, or who was allowed to? Why or why not?
As Clayton’s replacement, I would have not changed the way SLT communicated with its customers or who was allowed to do so. In a business, your taught to go above and beyond to satisfy customers and that is what SLT excelled at. I admire the way Clayton’s company communicated with its customers. Being that Social media plays a huge role in today’s society the online platform and social networking is the best way to communicate and maintain fan base. Social media is the best way to stay in touch with millions of people across the world. As the new leader, I will follow all rules and strategies used to communicate to the audience.