Whether or not the new Sierra Nevada label was going to cause customer confusion is still up for debate, but the court of public opinion has ruled on settling that debate through legal channels.

The Tweet is Mightier than the Sword

The microbrew community was all hopped up this week over news that Lagunitas filed suit against Sierra Nevada over the new Sierra “Hop Hunter” label, which contains bold “IPA” lettering that Lagunitas felt infringed on their own label.  Once news of the lawsuit broke, beer fans took to Twitter to let Lagunitas owner Tony Magee know that they didn’t want Mom and Dad fighting.

I heard about this lawsuit this morning on KFOG, when Tony was interviewed and said that, after listening to Twitter, it was very clear to him that his customers didn’t want the lawsuit to happen.  Because of the outcry, he decided to drop the suit immediately.  I did a little social listening myself out of curiosity, and came to the same conclusion:

Tony himself took to Twitter to let folks know that the court of public opinion had settled the matter:

This incident is a fantastic illustration of how using social listening as barometer for real-time customer sentiment can help businesses make informed, customer-focused decisions – and in this case, that decision precluded an expensive, drawn-out lawsuit and a PR fiasco.

Cheers to that.