Brand Monitoring Saves A Fast Food Giant’s Reputation

• An emerging narrative focusing on harmful chemicals found in food packaging was threatening the brand reputation of one of the world’s largest fast food operators.

• The Yonder by Primer project revealed the influential factions pushing the narrative, and potential impact on the brand.

• The brand responded by announcing a multi-million dollar policy change, avoiding reputation damage.

Primer technology empowers smart decisions for crisis communications

One of the world’s largest fast food chains faced a serious challenge in 2020. A brand-damaging media narrative around the use of PFAS— a harmful “forever chemical” fluorinated compound often found in food packaging, nonstick cookware, and bottled water – was emerging on social media. The company’s internal communications team determined they needed media intelligence to understand the broader narrative and the influential online groups who were driving it in order to make a decision. 

​​The Yonder by Primer solution

The Yonder product is able to look at what groups are engaging with emerging narratives, and then introduce historical links between groups – the key differentiator often needed. In the PFAS case, the fast food chain needed to know if the troublesome narrative was simply a random group of people online, or a group that had historically been trying to push a narrative that could damage the brand. Before the narrative about PFAS ever went viral, Yonder product predicted the brand would become the main protagonist that online groups would organize against, unless action was taken to address the issue. 

The Yonder product was able to quickly answer both real-time and historical questions:

  • Who’s engaging with the narrative?
  • What are the links between the peripheral group and the access they have to other networks? 
  • Do those other networks have factions that are historically successful in introducing new and potentially damaging narratives to the mainstream? 

Yonder is then able to analyze the historical behavior of how the group distributes content. In the PFAS narrative, the app then delivered insights around: 

  • The origins of the narrative
  • The trajectory of post volume
  • Involvement  by influential groups online. 

 Results

The analysis resulted in a recommendation that potentially saved millions in reputation damage. The fast food giant announced a U.S. $6.4M policy change, pledging to stop the use of PFAS in its food packaging globally. The brand quickly aligned its teams around a proactive policy change decision, saving months of time-consuming, back-and-forth debate on the potential impact of the narrative on the brand and how to respond, if at all. This decision thwarted a growing reputation crisis, built trust among consumers, and was recognized by activist groups. 

Brand monitoring 

Primer’s brand and reputation management solution gives marketing and PR teams a real-time view of their brand in the global marketplace. With AI-powered analytics capabilities, Primer separates signal from noise to surface actionable insights that help teams understand their market, identify risks, plan marketing activities, and protect their brand’s reputation. Yonder discovers the hidden groups who control and amplify online narratives. The product analyzes the historical influence of these groups to predict how they will impact narratives in the future. 

Learn more about this Primer solution. Better yet, contact Primer and let’s discuss how our NLP technology can help protect your brand and keep your organization ahead of threats.