Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kellogg-Phelps Incident Brand Metrics Faulty

Vanno, a new company that measures brand reputation, claims in a recent Ad Age article  that Kellogg goofed from a brand standpoint for letting Michael Phelps go as a celebrity endorser after his bong hit photo was made public.

The company claims Kellogg fell in stature more for that than the peanut butter recall.

But I wonder about the metrics Vanno uses, which aren't fully transparent in the article. The "users" whose opinions they monitor--are they mothers of young children who purchase Kellogg products and place them on the table in front of their children? Or are they merely average consumers who think pot smoking is no big deal?

The most important brand measurement should have to do with the attitudes and relationships between an organization and its key publics. General public opinion may say Kellogg is too harsh on a young Olympic hero. But Kellogg is wise to take a stand as they say "consistent with company image," especially  when the consider the image it has in the minds of its most important publics--consumers, not to mention stockholders, employees etc. 

Ultimately, of course, the most accurate feedback on Kellogg's decision re: Phelps will be long-term brand perception, sales, and market share.

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