Battle of the Brand Gurus – will BP fail?

Mark Ritson has made two bold claims, that BP has negative brand equity, and that the company will fail.

It’s good to see such predictions.  In this case it’s a bit of a battle of the branding gurus….

  • In 2007 Al and Laura Ries boldly predicted that the iPhone would fail, today Laura sides with Mark Ritson saying BP’s mistake will not be forgotten and BP will never be believed again.
  • Robert Passikoff’s (Brand Keys) brand loyalty index reports that BP has fallen from top to bottom in their rankings but he avoids making a prediction, other than the fact that this will hurt BPs profits – but that’s an easy prediction, of course BPs profits will be down, but not necessarily because of consumers turning away but simply because of the costs of the clean-up.
  • YouGov’s BrandIndex poll says that consumers haven’t turned off BP.  And they predict little impact of attitudes.

Who will be right…time will tell.  But my sympathies are with YouGov’s prediction, because brand equity is much more than brand attitude – which makes Mark wrong on both counts, BP doesn’t have negative brand equity.

Meanwhile BusinessWeeks notes that BP’s share price has jumped 30% this month (July).  That’s before they plugged the well.  Today they report:

“The share-price gains have restored BP to its position as Europe’s second-biggest oil company by market capitalization after Royal Dutch Shell Group Plc, overtaking Paris-based Total SA. BP had overtaken Shell at the start of the year as shares climbed to a year-high of 655 pence on the day of the Gulf accident.”

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