Wednesday 1 April 2020 6:00 am

Brands that put staff and customers first see popularity soar

As Britain settles into its second week of lockdown, daily life has become almost unrecognisable. The retail industry has been hit hard as a direct result of enforced closures and decimated consumer demand, leading many businesses to issue profit warnings, withhold rent and lay off staff.

However, there are brands who have reacted well to the crisis and those which have made mistakes.

One brand that has reacted well in the public’s view is Brewdog, whose joint founders have not only forgone their salaries this year to protect the workforce but have also adapted production lines to produce sanitiser. The craft brewery has also opened virtual bars to encourage people to continue connecting online.

YouGov BrandIndex data shows that Brewdog’s reputation scores have increased by an impressive 5.8 points since 16 March.

Food delivery courier Deliveroo brought in no-contact delivery options to abide by social distancing rules, meaning many small restaurants were able to continue trading — this led to Deliveroo’s consideration scores increasing 3.5 points in two weeks. Acting rapidly to the ongoing situation can get you ahead in the public’s view.

On the other hand, there are brands whose public perception has been negatively impacted by how they have handled the situation.

Mike Ashley, chief executive of Sports Direct, had to issue an apology for refusing to close stores after the government ordered all non-essential shops to close. YouGov data shows that Sports Direct’s buzz scores subsequently fell from minus 3.9 to minus 39.2 according to BrandIndex.

Stephan Shakespeare is chief executive at YouGov

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