Co-op’s new man has a job to spread word of recovery

 
Stephan Shakespeare
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THE CO-OPERATIVE bank began this week by announcing that former HSBC banker Niall Booker will be joining the company as its new chief executive.

The appointment came after former chief executive Barry Tootell resigned following the bank’s six notch downgrade by ratings agency Moody’s to so-called junk status.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the downgrade has had a significant impact on consumer perception of the bank. Using YouGov’s brand perception tool, BrandIndex, we can see quite how severe this was.

First we can look at Co-op’s Buzz score, which measures whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about the brand.

The Buzz shows us that on 9 May – the day prior to the downgrade – the Co-op had a score of minus one.

Yet by 14 May, this score had plummeted to a low of minus 25.

The bank’s Buzz score then started to recover, before falling back to minus 21.9 after it announced on 24 May that it would be halting all new business lending.

Moving onto the social media sphere, I have looked at the impact of these announcements on Twitter.

Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMA, we can that see that 13.8 per cent of the Twitter population heard about the Co-op on 10 May, when Moody’s downgrade was revealed.This compares to just eight per cent of the Twitter population who heard about the Co-op on Monday 27 May, the day of Booker’s appointment.

It is still too early to tell what impact having a new captain at the helm will have on Co-Op’s consumer perception scores, but the limited social media reaction to the announcement would indicate that it is going to take more than a change in leadership to fuel the brand’s recovery with consumers.

Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov