Earlier this week BrandIndex reported on the effects of the unfolding hacking problems which hit the PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment, with focus on consumer perception of Sony’s PS3 brand in the US. Unsurprisingly, both the Sony and the PS3 brands have also seen their scores drop in the UK and Germany. In the UK, the PS3’s Index score (a measure of a brand’s overall health rather than noise around the brand) has also suffered, but interestingly a negative fall has not been seen across all scores which make up PS3’s Index.
Sony shut down their Playstation Network on April 22. At that time, Buzz scores for PS3 were positive in both UK and Germany, with scores of 8.6 and 9.9 respectively. The shutdown alone had little effect on Buzz in either country. The damage started after April 26, when it was announced that 77 million users’ personal details had been stolen by the hackers. Over the coming days it emerged that credit card numbers may have been among the data that was compromised. Buzz dropped by around 30 points in both markets; in the week from 26 April to last Wednesday (May 4), Buzz fell from 4.6 to -24.5 in the UK, whilst Germany saw Buzz fall from 10.5 to -20.5 over the same time period.
The brand’s Index score has also dropped significantly in both markets over the same period. In the UK, this fall has been driven by non-significant drops in many of the six measures that make up Index, which combine to make a significant fall in overall Index. Reputation fell significantly from the April 26 to May 2 but this score has recovered since Sony’s latest apology was issued on the May 3. Recommend and Value scores have not (yet) been affected by the crisis, which should give the brand some cause for comfort.
The Reputation score’s recovery shows that the swift release of detailed and up-front information during a crisis can soften the blow to any brand’s overall health. We will be watching to see if measures taken by Sony over the coming weeks will continue to redress the balance and restore the brand’s fortunes swiftly.
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.