Despite a pair of high-profile flubs this month, daily-deal company Groupon Inc. has retained its hold on consumers, suggests a survey released today by YouGov, a research and consulting firm.
YouGov bases its BrandIndex report on interviews each weekday of 5,000 U.S. consumers. The findings suggest that consumers consider Groupon a good value even if the brand took hits from a controversial TV commercial aired during the Super Bowl and a deal with florist FTD Group Inc. that sparked consumer outrage.
The survey measures three areas: Buzz, which relates to what consumers are hearing about a particular brand; satisfaction, which measures the experiences shoppers have with a brand; and value, which reflects the value that consumers think they get from a brand. Scores in each category range from 100 to negative 100, with a score of 0 indicating an equal amount of positive and negative feedback. The scores cover the period from Feb. 4 to Feb. 14, which includes the Super Bowl that was played on Feb. 6.
Immediately after Groupon aired the Super Bowl commercial that many consumers felt made fun of efforts to alleviate suffering in Tibet, the company’s buzz score fell to 12.8, about half the typical score for Groupon. Groupon pulled the ad within a week, and by this Monday the score increased to 25.8.
“Initial reaction to the Super Bowl ad looks like it was modest and even slightly positive,” says Ted Marzilli, managing director of the BrandIndex. “But the ad was criticized so universally in the days following that some folks who at first had liked it might have started to see it in a new light.”
Then came the botched FTD deal. Shoppers last week who bought a $40 coupon from the daily-deal site complained that FTD jacked up its prices, essentially erasing the savings. Groupon’s buzz score remained stable, but its satisfaction score decreased from 7.1 on Feb. 10 to 1.5 by Valentine’s Day.
Groupon, though, hardly seems mortally wounded by the two episodes, according to the survey. Its value score during all the drama actually increased, to 20.8 by Feb. 14 from 9.2 on Feb. 4. “Groupon’s lure for a great deal has not deterred the public,” YouGov says in its report.