At the start of last month, the Focus DIY chain entered administration. BrandIndex data gives us a read on the problems that they have had for a long period.
When we compare them to their competitors (B&Q, Homebase and Wickes) we can see that they were the least talked about, and when people did talk about them it was less favourably. They were seen as poor quality and relatively poor value and they had lower satisfaction levels – all in all, not a great recipe for success.
First looking at Attention scores – over the course of 2010 and 2011 between five and seven per cent of the population had recently heard anything about Focus (either good or bad). This compares to Wickes (10-17 per cent), Homebase (13-22 per cent) and B&Q (19-33 per cent). The leap for Focus (up to 19 per cent) came after they announced their intention to go into administration – a time when the adage that “all publicity is good publicity” really doesn’t hold true.
With such low Attention scores we’d expect Focus to perform less well on the standard score for perception measures – if people aren’t thinking of you, they can’t think good things of you. On BrandIndex though we can take this further and look at those scores proportionally (i.e. only taking into account those people who say something about the brand). Even here Focus performs badly; as mentioned earlier this poor performance is across all measures so best summed up using the Index score (a combined score from the six different measures). Focus had been hovering around the +20 to +30 level before plummeting on the news of administration, whereas its rivals have consistently had scores of +60 to +70. The writing had long been on the wall for Focus DIY.
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.