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Kraft's offer has improved Cadbury's brand image

Stephan Shakespeare
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BUSINESS news only rarely makes it into the wider public consciousness, but as the graph shows, this is different when an iconic British brand is facing a takeover by an American company. In early August, Cadbury&rsquo;s BrandIndex score and share price were around +47 and 536p respectively. The possibility of Kraft&rsquo;s takeover saw Cadbury&rsquo;s share price jump by 250p between four and eight September, with the BrandIndex score rising to +51. <br /><br />The graph suggests that consumers, whether consciously or subconsciously, feel the increasing value of the Cadbury&rsquo;s brand as it becomes more attractive to other players. <br /><br /><strong>MOST INFLUENTIAL</strong><br />On Monday night we had a YouGovStone Debate on who was most influential: Google or the Murdoch empire? I conducted a poll in advance, which asked the population directly. By nearly two-to-one, people thought Murdoch. But when asked to predict how it would be in 10 years, six-to-one people said Google would be the most influential. <br /><br />They also much preferred the influence of Google, although (as Brent Hoberman pointed out in the debate), they were probably not thinking too much about the different kinds of influence: Murdoch seeking direct influence through content, Google building up huge potential influence through gathering vast amounts of information, and having the overwhelming power to control (or, as Peter Barron insisted, &ldquo;organise&rdquo;) that information.<br /><br />Our poll showed that people agreed with the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal when he said that Google News hurts online journalism by discouraging brand loyalty &ndash; but just as many agreed with Google&rsquo;s response that its search engine and aggregator helps publishers by driving traffic to them. <br /><br /><strong>LOOKING TO THE FUTURE</strong><br />The two views are not necessarily contradictory. Finally, people were split on which kind of company would have the most influence in the future, with 39 per cent saying it would be sites that provide their own original content, and 40 per cent saying it would be sites that search and aggregate.<br /><br />Stephan Shakespeare is co founder and chief innovation officer of polling firm YouGov.