Toshiba is once again in the news as it attempts to sell its flash memory unit as the brand tries to save itself following a trying time.
It has been a tricky two years for the company. An accounting scandal and severe cost overruns at its nuclear unit have pushed the organisation to the brink. It has warned it could face collapse and in May it estimated its losses for the year to March 2017 would be £6.5bn.
Toshiba has moved on from its former core business – it no longer makes televisions for export, while its white goods division is struggling. While nuclear services bring in about a third of its revenue, its struggles stem from this wing of the organisation.
Because of YouGov’s global reach, we are able to see how Toshiba’s reputation has suffered in different markets in recent times.
As one would expect, perception has plummeted in its home country of Japan. Among consumers there, Toshiba’s Buzz Score (whether someone has heard something positive or negative about the brand) has dropped dramatically since the turn of the year, decreasing by 36 points – from +8 to -28.
This has had a knock-on impact on other the brand’s other perception metrics. Notably, its Impression score has also plunged from +32 in early May 2015, to a low point of -26 in the corresponding month this year.
However, the more positive news for Toshiba is that despite the struggles the brand has faced over the past two years, its brand perception hasn’t suffered anywhere near as much in other markets. In the UK for example, though its Buzz score has dropped by four points in recent weeks, its Impression score is only four points lower than it was 24 months ago (from +24 to +20). In the home office and computing sector, its score still puts it alongside other established brands such as Dell and Philips.
Naturally, this may be because consumers in the UK still hold the brand in a strong regard. Those that are current customers are perfectly happy with their Toshiba products and are almost completely disconnected from the problems with its nuclear operation – a venture that is well beyond the scope of its original consumer electronics business.