Both Samsung and Wells Fargo, possibly facing their worst crises in recent memory, have seen their consumer perception fall in virtually equal amounts, although neither brand has yet to see the declines of either Chipotle or Volkswagen.
YouGov BrandIndex measured Chipotle, Samsung, Volkswagen and Wells Fargo with its Buzz score metric, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative.”
Buzz scores can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. A score of 35, for example, means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand.
In the past two weeks, Samsung fell 27 points and Wells Fargo dropped 28 points. Wells Fargo, starting at a relatively low Buzz score (common among banks), is now at -25, compared to Samsung at -2.
Samsung’s updated Galaxy Note 7’s are just hitting US stores, which may prevent scores from dropping further. Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was just publicly grilled by Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Capitol Hill about employees opening fake bank accounts. A video of the highly-charged appearance seems to have extended the news cycle and may drive scores lower still.
By comparison, Volkswagen fell 50 points, bottoming out in early October last year with a -40 Buzz score. Nearly one year later, they are about 12 points below where they were trending before their crisis broke.
Chipotle dropped 40 points over nearly four months – a longer period than any of the other brands in this research – and are also currently trending about 12 points below their pre-crisis levels. They have hit a wall over the past few months, unable to come back any further.