Stephan Shakespeare finds Eurostar's woes are nothing compared to the past
A power fault in France led to delays and cancellations on the Eurostar service earlier this month. Its timing, during the Paris Fashion Week, meant that a number of fashionistas were stuck on trains, which no doubt increased the publicity that the delays received. But how much of an impact did it have on Eurostar’s BrandIndex score?
It has made an impression, with the buzz score dropping from +5 to -5 last week, and Eurostar will be keen to recover that ground, but a glance at the chart shows that the effect was nothing compared to what happened following the snow related delays of 2009 and 2010.
Buzz fell as low as -52 after the Christmas problems of 2009 and -24 in December 2010 and January 2011.
Both incidents also led to a fall in the Index score (a composite of six key image measures) but Eurostar will be encouraged by the indications that, although they take a short-term hit when these things happen that is all it seems to be.
They have tended to bounce back remarkably quickly with buzz settling back in the mid single figures and Index in the high teens. So this month’s delays have only caused a minor issue to what is anyway a resilient brand.
YouGov’s HEAT (Household Economic Activity Tracker) results for the first two weeks of March will provide encouraging news for Eurostar and all brands looking to see increases in consumer spend.
Consumer confidence has surged in the first few months of 2012 with the Heat Index now at 99, up 11 points since December and at its highest level since June 2010.
In the long run that positive news may be far more important to Eurostar than the decline in buzz of the past few days.