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BlackBerry brand survives riots association

Article from: 
Thu, 18/08/2011 - 10:17
BlackBerry hanset

One story dominated the news in August and although the bulk of the focus was on the rioters, the areas and buildings being looted, and the police and politicians. There was one brand that was continually being talked about - BlackBerry.

It seemed that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was the communication method of choice for the rioters, with the free instant messaging service allowing them to plan among each other without police tracking what they were saying.

On YouGov’s BrandIndex there was an immediate impact on the brand's Buzz, with a drop from +10 last Monday to -8 by Thursday.

It dropped from sixth (trailing behind Apple iPhone, iPad, Samsung, HTC and Android) to last of the 25 mobile phone and PDA brands, as the public heard negative news about the phone. It has now recovered some of the ground and is back up to -2, in 21st place.

Interestingly there was no discernible impact on the brand owner, Research In Motion, suggesting that it is very much the brand not the company that is known in the UK.

So BlackBerry Buzz saw a steep drop but encouragingly for the firm there was little real decline in its Index score with a +22 score on Monday that was still as high as +20 by the end of the week and remains there this week.

It looks like this was a case of people hearing about a brand being associated with something negative and registering that, but the negative news not actually impacting on how they perceived the brand.

So for BlackBerry’s owner it seems that there was not much harm done from its association with the rioters.

The Index Score:
Every day, 2000 BrandIndex respondents rate brands either positively or negatively across 7 measures to provide a unique set of measures (Quality, Value, Reputation, Impression, Advocacy, Satisfaction and Buzz) on brand perception. For each one, the proportion giving a negative answer is taken away from positive to give a single score that can range from -100 to +100. All but Buzz (a measure of how positive or negative the “noise” around a brand is) are combined to form an Index score – a comprehensive measure representing a brand’s health.

Buzz scores for BlackBerry and RIM
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Index scores for BlackBerry and RIM
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