It’s only 16 days into 2018 and already we’re seeing some major changes being announced.

A brand pivot might be a tagline change, a product feature removal or packaging redesign, but there’s always a catalyst that can be found at the root of these major branding changes. Usually, it comes at the helm of a poor performance year, new marketplace competition, or even worse, a brand scandal.

In our While You Were Working (LIVE) episode 13 we break down what the new Facebook Newsfeed changes will mean for brands (Hint: you might just have to pivot your content strategy as a result), the importance of being ‘insta-ready’ in the eyes of the 36-year-old brand, Diet Coke and take a quick look at a few companies who officially closed up shop last year.

Here are episode 13 #WYWWLive topics:

  1. Facebook’s Newsfeed Overhaul
  2. WTH Happened to Diet Coke
  3. 13 Startups That Shut Down in 2017

WYWWLive Episode 13  Article Links:

1. RIP Facebook Brand Pages:

Mark Zuckerberg Explains the Facebook News Feed Changes

Big news hit social media marketers on Thursday, January 11, 2018. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be making some major changes to its newsfeed, switching its product focus from ‘relevant content’ to ‘meaningful interactions.’ This is coming off a year where Facebook received a lot of flack for fake news and influencing societal behaviors in a negative way by forcing users to stay on the platform for longer and longer.

Facebook’s solution? Altering how content is pushed into your newsfeed. This change will not only affect users but also greatly affect publishers or brand pages.  For the last several months they have been testing out separating page’s content from user-based content. Publisher or brand content from pages would go into an Explore tab, which is exactly the direction Instagram has already starting moving with the launch of their discover tab in 2015.

This marks the biggest brand change to Facebook, EVER. As marketers, we are very interested in how strategies and content will change as we all see how Facebook evolves and rolls out these changes globally.

2. How does one get ‘Insta-Ready’ (asking for a friend):

Diet Coke Just got an Insane Candy-Colored Makeover

Speaking of  brand pivots, this one might be the most noticeable as you walk your local grocery store (or scroll your Instagram Feed).

Diet Coke has made some pretty significant branding changes to their can shape, colors, and flavors to kick off the new year. With the rise of flavored waters, fast-casual dining, and on-demand food delivery, Diet Coke saw a decrease in their sales over the past few years and realized they needed to pivot to gain make market share or their 36-year-old brand may die out. Smart move.

Check out the video and read the article linked above to learn more on why they focused these new brand designs on being “insta-ready” for its target market for growth – millennials.

3. Pop Quiz: What’s the quickest way to lose a billion dollars:

13 Startups That Flopped in 2017

Now that we’ve discussed two large brands that have made some significant changes to their brands, it’s time to look back on those who didn’t and what that resulted in…

This list of 13 startups is a good look at ideas that seemed good at inception but as they got going, flaws (some significant) in the product, service or marketing messaging were revealed and ultimately were not fixed. While sometimes there is no fix for a product that is utterly useless because it does the same thing as your hand (see number 8 on the list). We know there are many other factors that came into play, but just to get your wheels turning, No. 8 on the list could have potentially ditched their pricey main product and focused more on the secondary subscription-based product to keep the company going.

As you read through this list, think about the ways these companies could have made a big shift like the above two brands and maybe could have survived (at least through 2018).