Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Research suggests Chick-fil-A's image has taken a hit

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 1:57 PM

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In the wake of the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's anti-gay marriage comments, it seems that the company's image has taken a hit. Nation's Restaurant News cites research from YouGov Brandindex that suggests that Chick-fil-A's image has fallen in the eyes of consumers.

The YouGov BrandIndex, according to Nation's Restaurant News, "creates an index score based on consumers' average ratings of perceptions of a brand's buzz, quality, value and reputation." This recent study marks Chick-fil-A's decline from well above its competitors to their lowest score in two years.

After Dan Cathy's comments were published by Baptist Press on July 16, YouGov BrandIndex conducted their research. They found that "In the Midewest, Chick-fil-A's perception jumped up for a week, and has tapered off to where it was before the interview was published." But, "As the controversy has snowballed, the company's overall consumer brand health with fast food eaters has dropped to its lowest levels since mid-August 2010."

These comments have caused huge controversy and uproar via social media websites like Twitter and Facebook. Chick-fil-A's Facebook page posted this comment on July 25: "Hey fans, thanks for being supportive. There is a lot of misinformation out there."

But Chick-fil-A's attempts to stop the "misinformation" about their company seems to be taking a toll like the research suggests. For example, a petition, started by a Gainesville, FL, couple, urges the University of Florida to ditch Chick-fil-A on campus, while Northeastern University has canceled plans to bring the restaurant to their campus, according to The Gainsville Sun. And the mayors of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco have warned the COO that his comments against gay marriage has lead them to abstain from pursuing any new franchise attempts in their cities.

Despite the backlash to the company's reputation, Dan Cathy will soon speak at the August North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Enterprise Breakfast. The breakfast will be held at the Country Club of the South in Johns Creek. Seats can be reserved.

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