Target’s much-publicized data breach cost the company more than the $400-$450 million that’s been estimated—it also levied heavy damage on the retailer's perception among consumers, according to new rankings from research firm YouGov BrandIndex released today.
“While it surfaced an issue for the entire industry, Target took nearly the entire brunt of the discussion in the media,” said Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex. “And there was a lot of discussion in the media.”
The retailer last year was the No. 7 best-perceived brand among consumers, but not only did it fall off the top 10 list, it plummeted all the way down to No. 21.
While negative news reports usually have some effect on consumer perception of brands, the impact varies. For example, in spite of its ongoing dispute with book publisher Hachette, Amazon.com is still the No. 1 best-perceived brand. The affected group in this case—book buyers for Hachette titles—is small and unlikely to drag down overall perception, Marzilli said. Also, the first half of the year saw the company’s Prime service expand its HBO and music streaming offerings, and it debuted the Fire smartphone.
High rankings for YouTube and Netflix, on the other hand, is evidence of a lifestyle shift among consumers.