This decision analysis will begin with a discussion of Total Quality Control (TQC). To improve quality, it takes effort from all levels of the organization, including management. Everyone has to work together to maintain a high level of quality throughout a process. TQC is a framework through which to evaluate quality. With TQC, quality management principles are applied to business processes from the design stage all the way through the delivery of goods to the end user (“Difference Between TQM and TQC,” 2014).
There are many quality management tools, including a cause-and-effect diagram also known as a fishbone diagram. A fishbone diagram is typically used when someone wants to identify possible causes for a problem or when a team’s thinking falls into a “rut” (“Fishbone Diagram,” n.d.). In considering the proposed Twitter strategy, a potential negative outcome would be if Blue Apron invested the limited resources it has into this and it ended up costing significant money without supporting increased profits. A more extreme version of this failure would be a social media campaign blunder that resulted in social media backlash and reduced profits. The potential causes of such an outcome are shown in Figure 1. These causes include some risks to the company’s functioning that would have the trickle-down effect of limiting the success of the strategy.
Figure 1. Blue Apron negative outcome fishbone diagram for the proposed Twitter strategy.
In addition to considering the cause-and-effect risks, Blue Apron should evaluate current and future trends to inform strategy and decision-making. Among these trends is definitely the specialty diet trend, which is the foundation of many recommendations so far. And past analyses also provided examples of other current trends that can be used for hashtags on Twitter posts. Future trends are more challenging to pin down. The meal kit market is changing, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. While meal kit popularity is up overall, there’s no way of knowing whether that demand will remain or what affects the volatile economic environment will have. However, there is early support for the notion that a Twitter strategy specifically, is a good choice for the near future. With more people quarantined at home and surfing the Internet, Twitter usage is up, while podcast listenership is down since very few people are driving (Hanson, 2020). Therefore, Blue Apron would be well-advised to stop any podcast spend on ads and redirect some of those funds to the less-expensive Twitter platform.
Next, this analysis will conduct a decision analysis using a decision tree. But first, it will explore probability. Figure 2 shows a risk matrix for some potential problems that relate to this Twitter strategy specifically rather than including company-wide risks that could have an effect, but those effects would be true of any strategy.
Figure 2. Twitter marketing risk matrix for Blue Apron.
The vast majority of risks fall into the low and medium risk categories. The only high risk item relates to COVID-19. This illness could impact many different areas across the organization and in this Twitter strategy from key individuals who get sick to platform performance effects. However, in the case of this project, absences can (in most cases) be mitigated by temporary staffing or a pause in producing the deliverable. And many of the COVID-19-related items would be a risk of any strategy, so using them as a reason to not pursue this marketing strategy wouldn’t be appropriate. Figure 3 shows a decision tree that furthers this point.
Figure 3. Blue Apron Twitter marketing decision tree.
In conclusion, Blue Apron should take swift action to implement a Twitter marketing strategy that has been outlined in the previous analyses. Not only does it support changing the downward trend of profit, brand loyalty, and influence in the meal kit space, but it also protects the longevity of the company and its employees. Blue Apron has to stand for more than meal kit profits but instead providing healthy food through a process it is proud of.