The launch of the Apple iPad at the end of last week led to a strong increase in the buzz score for the general Apple brand as measured by BrandIndex. That might have been expected, but graph one shows a more mixed story: at the start of 2010, with excited consumer chatter about the imminent release of Steve Jobs’ latest invention, the buzz actually climbed to a higher level. When people saw the offering for real, it failed to reach the same heights. Indeed, the general Index scores have dropped significantly. Combined, the scores suggest interest but disappointment. We’ll take another look in the coming weeks, as Apple products have a habit of developing along such up and down trajectories. Meanwhile, YouGov’s BrandIndex shows a steep fall in Ryanair’s customer satisfaction levels following the recent Aircraft controllers’ strikes at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports. The strike on the 19 January of 300 staff between 2pm and 6pm suspended all air traffic in affected airports. This reportedly disrupted the travel plans of 6,000 Ryanair passengers as 48 of the company’s flights were forced into cancellation. As we can see from graph two, on the day before the strike we saw a customer satisfaction level of -4. After this, the scores began to fall drastically. Despite vocal condemnation of the strikes by Chief executive Michael O’Leary on 21 January, there was little improvement and scores continued to plummet, hitting a four-month low of a -17 on 1 February. Yesterday smaller than expected losses in the third quarter led Ryanair to revise upwards its profit forecast for the year.
Ryanair’s loss was only €10.9m (£9.5m) as opposed to the previous year’s loss for the same quarter of €118.8m. Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and chief innovation officer of YouGov