Blurb from the author: Some time ago, we wrote an article on Jobbie Nut Butter's Facebook post asking for pre-order support, alleging that they would go bankrupt. However, now we have been made aware of some things related to the situation and we decided to check it out.
On April 23, 2020, Facebook user Nick posted a post (with information republished by another user) about Jobbie Nut Butter's recent post on her potential bankruptcy.
He explained a few points he noted about what Jobbie Nut Butter said in her words, and provided examples that raised suspicions of the brand.
1. What about this "similar" 2018 contribution?
First, Nick pulled up an older Jobbie Nut Butter post that raised his suspicions. There, Jobbie Nut Butter wrote a story about how the deal would end and therefore held a recent sale with a promotion to buy 1 Free 1.
News of the shutdown and announcement of promotion in the mail draws parallels to that made on April 7, 2020, in which Jobbie Nut Butter outlined their current struggles and the danger of closure, and offered a pre-order for promotions.
But here's the thing. The switch-off item for 2018 was created on April 1, 2018, the April Fool's Day.
Does Jobbie Nut Butter get a pass to draw the pity card and play with the emotions of her fans to increase sales on a day when you shouldn't take anything you read or see seriously?
On the one hand, it can turn out to be quite fraudulent, especially since not many people usually appreciate being tempted to make an emotionally driven purchase.
Not to mention that this now also jeopardizes their current credibility.
On the other hand, it was a clear April Fool's post where most of the comments understood the joke. Indeed, some of their fans praised it and expressed admiration for the brand.
In 2018, it was even an opportunity for Jobbie Nut Butter to get in touch with her fans based on many comments.
2nd Why is the bankruptcy report still showing as an FB report?
At this point, Jobbie Nut Butter has an active copy of the advertisement on Facebook: the bankruptcy contribution. This current ad was enhanced on April 15 and will continue to run.
A screenshot of Jobbie Nut Butter's advertising campaigns.
You can see that the post has already gained massive traction.
A sum of
Money to boost one of your posts as an ad to increase your reach is no problem of
Of course, and it's their money to spend the way they want.
It seems to have helped them in a better situation. After you receive support and can connect with new suppliers, they can start operating again soon. They shared this and more in a Q&A on April 11 and a more recent post on April 22.
What is strange now is that
The announcement that they are going bankrupt still does theirs
Round up on Facebook and reach more and more people who have never heard of
Some of them weren't even peanut butter fans, but made pre-orders only out of empathy and support (based on the comments in the post).
Why is Jobbie peanut butter
Are you increasing this post now, especially if you are no longer so desperate?
CEO Victor based their decision on Vulcan Post's statement that this was due to their limited reach as a company with fewer than 100,000 followers and no retail presence.
“In this current climate, Facebook ads were the cheapest and fastest way to get our message across to our existing customers. And yes, the prospect of an MCO extension definitely played a big part in our decision to continue the ads. "
We also asked why they didn't just write an updated post about their current situation (which has improved thanks to the support they received) and instead improve this post.
Victor replied that it was a good suggestion that they would do it very soon, but at the moment they are more concerned with keeping their 45-day promise to fulfill the pre-orders.
He also said, "But I want to emphasize just because we're good for a month doesn't mean we'll be in the next 2-3 months!" If you see our contribution and do not keep our promise within 45 days, we offer a full refund in cash. "
“The funds received are put aside in case something happens (it would simply be irresponsible to close and not deliver anything to the customers who placed an order). No, the pre-order money received would not automatically be used to pay salaries and other ongoing charges as we still have to refund it. "
In addition, Victor added that suppliers have changed their payment terms to request more cash in advance, increased their raw material prices and requested larger quantities to justify operations during these times of crisis.
3. Are there inconsistencies in your statements?
In his post, Nick pointed out that Jobbie Nut Butter participated in a question and answer that they had about 3 to 6 months' cash reserves and asked why they would say they would go bankrupt in this case.
When we looked at the questions and answers ourselves (after about 4 minutes), the co-founder of Jobbie Nut Butter actually said so. But he added that the reason they called for help was because they were running out of products to sell and it wasn't ideal to wait three to six months doing nothing and using up their cash reserves.
A March 2020 post by Jobbie Nut Butter showing her peanut butter in a plastic container instead of the usual glass container.
In response to Nick's claim, Victor told Vulcan Post: "I think this person took facts out of context to fit the narrative they wanted to portray. We have always been transparent and honest with our situation. When you read our article about The Edge, I mentioned 3-6 months, depending on whether we are cutting salaries and also firing our employees or not. "
Then he gave an example:
“If we now had 100,000 RM in cash and our total running costs were 50,000 RM per month. Then I would only have 2 months to work without income (RM50K x 2 = RM100K). If we lay off all employees and save 50% on costs, we will extend the runway to 4 months (25,000 RM x 4 months = 100,000 RM). And let's take it to the extreme, dismiss everyone and receive no payment (RM 16.6,000 x 6 months = RM 100,000). "
Victor also said that while they asked about government stimulus initiatives, they did not request one.
"The funny thing is that we weren't even eligible when the incentives were announced since our company switched from a sole proprietor to a private company (SDN BHD) in the middle of last year."
They are aware of the different qualification criteria, Victor said, adding that his words have again been taken out of the context of awareness raising, that the government must prescribe a uniform credit application process and make it easier for needy SMEs to access these criteria.
Vulcan Post in our previous article also asked why they didn't seem to have a runway, where they explained the reasons for it.
4. Have you been? Delete comments that question your honesty?
Nick claimed that many
his comments on Jobbie Nut Butter's bankruptcy office have been deleted.
While browsing through the comments, we found that some of his comments were still popping up. However, there was no response from Jobbie Nut Butter to his claims.
We found 2 of Nick's comments among the 2.4K comments in the original post. There were several others that were inherently similar.
After Jobbie Nut Butter has actively replied to countless supportive comments, have you decided to ignore or delete Nicks?
According to Victor, the comments were most likely automatically tagged by Facebook's spam bots because Nick had copied the same comment over and over into the post.
As far as we can see, Facebook has already started labeling some of the other "copied" negative comments in the Jobbie Nut Butter post and filtering them out of the "most relevant" view.
For other comments that questioned whether the bankruptcy post was just a marketing stunt to increase sales, co-founder Joseph approached her in the Q&A video.
“The short answer is actually no, this is not a marketing stunt, this is as real as it can be, everything we write in the post is there. There is no sugar coating, there is no clickbait, there is no exaggeration. All of them are a real fact that one day it will happen, ”he said in the video about the 3 minute mark.
We also found a comment thread that violently criticized Jobbie Nut Butter's current strategy, and Victor made a comment to address the concerns (screenshots below).
Victor told Vulcan Post: “We officially and personally (as CEO) replied to his posts on our FB page. Our founder Joseph also commented on his joint contribution in our contribution to explain and understand the entire situation. However, not only did he refuse to respond, he also blocked and removed our comments on his site. "
5. Is it ethical to use fear and emotion to trigger a reaction from your loyal fan base?
Jobbie Nut Butter looks at her previous posts with a humorous and light-hearted attitude and sometimes even comes across herself.
Your loyal fan base seems to appreciate this approach, based on the comments on the page.
Of course, support can only go so far if your product does not meet expectations. According to most statements about its peanut butter, it is very popular.
Not many brands might even consider using this strategy for a post to call for help written to appear rather immature and ask for pity.
On the other hand, since they seem to be doing better now, the post might seem like a slap in the face for other struggling SMEs who simply assert themselves without asking their users for help.
Granted, Jobbie Nut Butter
did not beg for donations, they asked for pre-orders from fans who
could afford it.
But with their bankruptcy: are they manipulating buyers emotionally or are they simply transparent and honest?
Bottom line: Personally, if Jobbie Nut Butter's claim in the post is really true, I appreciate the honesty. Admitting that you are bankrupt is not a joke for many companies. I'm still on the fence about how to deliver, but I prefer posts about serious things that stay solemn.
- More information about other Malaysian startups can be found here.
Selected image source: Jobbie Nussbutter