YouGov is best known for its political polls. (And we all know what happened there). But its BrandIndex score is closely followed too. At least by the brands that it says are doing well. So we were heartened to see that of the ten brands that it listed as being the most improved, four of them came from the travel industry.
YouGov uses a system called Buzz Rankings that quizzes consumers on which brands they have heard something about – either positive or negative – during the last two weeks. This could include hearing about the brand in the news, through advertising or talking to friends or family.
It’s a pretty generic system but brand marketers like it as it represents a real-life snapshot, rather than being based on crunching lots of numbers. Of course some numbers do get crunched in making up the buzz ranking, but not so many that you would notice.
The critical number that you would notice, if you were responsible for marketing at Eurotunnel, would be 6.1, which is the change in score that the company registered, thereby pushing it into third place in the top ten ranking (just behind Tesco and HSBC).
The marketing folk at Thomas Cook (up 5.5), London Underground (up 4.2) and Eurostar (up 2.8) will all be high fiving each other too as their companies all made it into the top ten as well.
We get why Thomas Cook should be there as we think it has made enormous strides in the last few years to turn itself around. We’re less sure what Eurotunnel, Eurostar and London Underground have all done recently to improve their brands.
We can only assume that the media (and commuters) have spent so much time focused on the troubles on the Southern Rail franchise, that these routes have all appeared marvelous by comparison. Conspicuous from their absence were other major travel brands, such as the airlines, or travel search engines, all of whom spent significant sums on advertising just after Christmas.
Clearly you can buy space but you can’t buy buzz.