Lack of buzz for BT after price hikes

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Thu, 22/07/2010 - 14:50

Telecoms giant sees plummeting Buzz score on BrandIndex following announcement of price rise.

Telecoms giant BT has seen a significant drop in its BrandIndex 'Buzz' score in the wake of its recent announcement to raise charges. The company intends to increase the price of calls by 10% and raise its monthly line rental fee by 50p from the beginning of October this year. 'Buzz' measures whether people have been talking negatively or positively about a given brand, and news of the price hike has seen BT's score plummet from 8 to -6 in a single week (13th to 21st July).

The graph below illustrates just how far BT's Buzz has fallen by placing it in comparison to the 'Buzz' score of Sky Talk, one of BT's major competitors. As it shows, BT has fallen significantly behind – and as the brand had a notably higher 'Buzz' score than Sky Talk prior to the announcement, this only goes further to highlight the extent of its fall from grace.

BT has sought to justify its price hike, which will push the standard line rental cost up to £159.48 after October, by explaining that if customers pay their entire line rental bill upfront, they will pay £121.88, making a saving of £27.60. BT hopes that this will also persuade them to stay on longer-term contracts. The company has also highlighted that customers who sign up prior to October's deadline will still receive the current price.

But it seems these promises have done little to sweeten the price hike pill, and BrandIndex is currently reflecting the bitter taste in customers' mouths. BT has dropped 19 places in the BrandIndex telecoms sector rankings since last week, from a respectable 6th to lamentable last place. Interestingly, there has been little impact on the brand equity measures and perceptions of value for money for example have yet to be impacted. BrandIndex will continue to measure the public's perception of the brand to see if this significant dip in Buzz does any long-term brand damage.

BT and Sky Talk 'Buzz' scores
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People Illustration