For General Motors—a company used to negative coverage—listing an initial public offering was a welcomed change for car buyers. Despite reports that there are still major concerns hanging over GM even with the IPO, the automaker's overall brand health has been improving, per research firm YouGov.
The Brandweek BrandIndex Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral. This week's report also measures quality and consumer willingness to recommend a brand.
YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.
The report spotlights:
• General Motors
• Verizon Wireless
IPO Drives Change for GM
In mid-November, General Motors shed one big monkey off its back when it listed an IPO, providing ownership to the public of what once belonged to the government. The media coverage was so prevalent that GM raised its share price to $33 from an initial $26-29.
GM's index score jumped from 3.9 on Nov. 17 to 10.3 on Nov. 26, among consumers looking to make an auto purchase in the next six months. It pushed the brand far ahead of the domestic car sector average within this consumer segment. (YouGov's index score measures overall brand health including quality, satisfaction, value, impression, reputation and willingness to recommend.)
Wendy's Improves Menu and Quality Score
Burger chain Wendy’s decided its French fries warranted a competitive makeover, so on Nov. 11, it unveiled a new natural-cut recipe that uses unpeeled Russet Burbank potatoes, sea salt and crisper taste. Sea salt is a growing trend, used in products by Campbell, Whole Foods’ Everyday Value house brand, and Target’s Archer Farms line.
Although the $25 million marketing campaign from The Kaplan Thaler Group didn’t kick off until Monday, Wendy’s quality score with men over 18 has been rising since the announcement. Moving well ahead of the fast-food sector average, Wendy’s jumped significantly from 29.1 on Nov. 11 to its current score of 42.1.
Verizon Wireless Dials Up Positive Buzz
On Oct. 29, Verizon Wireless began selling the Apple iPad at its 2,000 nationwide retail stores. By wrangling away AT&T’s exclusive arrangement for the hot product, the company has benefited when it comes to brand loyalty.
With Verizon Wireless' 4G network rollout and rumors of an iPhone debut in the first quarter of 2011, the carrier's willingness to recommend score has soared from 5.5 on Oct. 15 to 26.6 currently. Verizon Wireless is keeping far above its competitors, which have been averaging around the zero mark.