Ben Shepherd's Signal - Qantas' reputation starts to bounce back

By AdNews | 6 November 2023
Ben Shepherd.

Ben Shepherd, in his newsletter Signal, looks at Qantas's reputation, Apple's profit and Buzzfeed's revenue buzzkill:

What’s new: 

The Qantas brand is showing some signs of reputational recovery according to YouGov data I ran at the weekend. Its net reputation score is sitting at 4.3, compared to 0.4 at the low point of October 16. Prior to the current reputational challenges the brand has faced, the net reputation score was sitting at 27.4

Why it matters: 

The temptation when a brand has a seemingly terminal series of reading the room flubs is that the brand will dive in the minds of consumers and never recover. Generally brands do dive quickly when faced with reputational misteps, but they bounce relatively quickly to around 70-80% of where they previously sat. The issue is less the catastrophic drop, it’s more the sheet difficulty of pushing past that 70-80% recovery level and going back to 100% of the prior level. To understand the potential damage for a business like Qantas the reputational and brand metrics are a good place to look, because in a relatively supply controlled market like domestic/international air travel, a lot of people will have to fly Qantas whether they want to or not, in order to get a seat to reach their destination.

Marketer implication?

The Qantas challenges are an interesting live case study as yes, they do show the resilience of a known brand, but they will also demonstrate the challenges of full recovery once the brand reputation bounces back to ~80% of prior levels. Time can heal most of the wound, but in the experiences of brands that have undergone challenges in gambling, telco, insurance, CPG etc chronic impacts can remain for a long time after. The other challenge facing marketers in the face of these issues is the ground competitors make up. For Qantas it is seeing Virgin Australia see gains in all key areas, closing the gap (or exceeding it) in areas that prior to these missteps were almost impossible to make up. By virtue of simply not being Qantas, Virgin Australia’s brand is growing stronger than ever.

The full SIGNAL newsletter is HERE

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