Friday, July 16, 2010

BP, Brand Mojo & competitors in the best of times- and worst of times.

Yesterday I had a few requests for the BrandMojo ratings of BP. The entire energy sector receives low ratings (usually around 2.8 overall ratings). In the best of times, this entire sector seems to need an image overhaul. I'm speculating that many consumers rate the oil and gas companies particularly low because of two perceptions: 1) price gauging; and 2) low commitment to tackling greenhouse emissions.

So how has the BP crisis affected the BP brand and competitors in the worst of times? Have the competiting oil and gas companies received elevated ratings because the public contrasts their "competence" with BP "negligence"? Or has the BP disaster infected the other energy brands?

BrandMojo sheds some light on all of these issues.

First, and not surprisingly, BP has received only hate ratings over the last 60 days. (I'll argue that if BP had done the suggestions from my last posting, some negative ratings would have been "neutralized" or even "slightly positive".)

Second, over the last 60 days, the overall ratings of competing oil & gas companies have fallen, although less rapidly than BP. All oil and gas companies have been accumulating a higher percentage of "haters" than before the crisis. This suggests that the public has the perception that "oil and gas companies are all the same" and that the BP crisis is indeed a category crisis. In other words, the other oil and gas companies have incentive to help BP resolve the category crisis. Some energy companies like Petrobras are helping their energy brothers but are doing so below the radar. There is also one other twist to the BrandMojo data. A handful of high ratings for competing oil and gas brands, suggesting that the BP disaster has changed brand preferences- at least for a segment of the population.

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