Indeed’s New Coke: so long, pay per application!

Indeed's new cokeNow, why I call pay per appli­ca­tion Indeed’s New Coke? Well, let’s look back to one of the worst prod­uct ever – Coke’s, not Indeed!

As per Wikipedia, in 1985 Coke had been los­ing mar­ket share to Pep­si, diet soft drinks, and non-cola drinks for sev­er­al years. Based on research that indi­cat­ed con­sumers favored sweet­er drinks like Pep­si, the Coke for­mu­la was reworked, and New Coke was intro­duced on April 23, 1985. There was an imme­di­ate back­lash con­sumers, and Coke intro­duced the old for­mu­la as ‘Coca-Cola Clas­sic’. Even­tu­al­ly, Coke killed New Coke. As Wikipedia says, “The sto­ry of New Coke remains influ­en­tial as a against tam­per­ing with an estab­lished suc­cess­ful brand”.

Notice any sim­i­lar­i­ties? Like Coke, Indeed has felt the slings and arrows of through­out the world – LinkedIn con­tin­ues to dom­i­nate the white-col­lar world, upstarts like Upwork are gob­bling up gig , and niche sites are nib­bling away in their var­i­ous nich­es. So – like Coke – Indeed rejig­gered their ‘for­mu­la’, also known as pay per click (PPC), and rolled out a ‘new and improved’ ver­sion they called ‘Pay Per Appli­ca­tion’. Then they said every­one had to use it. Remem­ber how that went? Yep, not so good.

To their cred­it, they real­ized that they might have a prob­lem. So they walked their posi­tion back a bit, say­ing ‘OK, we’ll change it a bit – even though pay per appli­ca­tion is still the best thing ever – and every­one hap­py‘.  Just like Coke did when they rein­tro­duced Coca-Cola Clas­sic (even though of course New Coke was bet­ter!). Then things got qui­et on the Indeed front. Except…

Their job post­ings dropped 50%.

They laid off a lot of folks.

And their rev­enue dropped.

Now, I’m not say­ing that the forced feed­ing of pay per appli­ca­tion to caused all of the above woes…but it sure did­n’t help. Employ­ers are fun­ny that way – they get used to some­thing, they are will­ing to pay for it because it has val­ue – and then they get all pis­sy when the ven­dor yanks it away. Geez! I sus­pect that if Indeed is will­ing to not only not force employ­ers to use pay per appli­ca­tion, but are actu­al­ly will­ing to take the prod­uct off the mar­ket, that the com­pa­ny was hav­ing a prob­lem with prod­uct adop­tion.  As in – ‘I‘m not buy­ing Indeed’s New Coke if it’s the last bleed­ing thing on earth!!‘.  Just spit­balling here, folks.

So…if you are too young to remem­ber New Coke, well guess what – today is your lucky day! Now you can remem­ber Indeed’s New Coke – pay per appli­ca­tion. The time you’re think­ing about mon­key­ing around with the prod­uct that made your job board famous – please, think again.

[Want to get Job Board Doc­tor posts via email? Sub­scribe here.].
[Check out the Job­Board­Geek pod­cast archive!]

Read More

Leave a Comment