As Mars and Snickers recall millions of their chocolate bars, YouGov data indicates the early impact this has had on consumer perception of both brands, and what the incident means for the future strategies implemented by both companies.
A piece of plastic was found in a Snickers bar by an unfortunate customer in Germany. This has led to the mass recall of products across 55 countries. No other bars have been found to be contaminated as yet, but Mars and Snickers reaction the news indicates how sensitive brands are to any potential brand reputation crisis, especially in the wake of VW and TalkTalk’s well documented problems in the past year.
YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz Score measures whether a respondent has heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks. On this measure, the figures are quite alarming for Mars and Snickers.
A dramatic decrease has occurred since the news of the recall occurred, with Mars dropping 23 points and Snickers experiencing a fall of 14 points, which underlines that the story clearly has piqued the interest of a solid number of consumers.
While product recalls are commonplace, Mars and Snickers will be particularly conscious of reputational damage and the potentially irreversible impact such a story could have on its brand throughout its target markets.
So while the recall and destruction of the products themselves will cost the two companies in monetary terms, overall it is of more value to display to the public they are on top of the issue.
This has been borne out by YouGov’s Reputation Score. On this front the scores have not wavered too much, with the number for both at a similar level to before.
However, in an already crowded sector, any transgression could very easily lead a previous customer to choose a rival next time they pop into the newsagents or supermarket. So while Mars and Snickers have been proactive, and taken quick and visible action, they will still be concerned about any lingering ill will consumers may have. The signs are good that the public recognises they have taken appropriate steps.
This article orginally appeared in City AM