YouGov: CVS sees improved brand perception among consumers

CVS Health's brand perception has improved among consumers following its move to halt tobacco sales a month earlier than expected, according to a YouGov BrandIndex survey.

NEW YORK: CVS Health’s brand perception has improved among consumers following its move to halt tobacco sales a month earlier than expected, according to a YouGov BrandIndex survey.

CVS Caremark rebranded as CVS Health last week, which coincided with the company pulling tobacco from store shelves. The brand launched the promoted hashtag #OneGoodReason to connect with customers throughout the day on September 3.

Since the announcement, CVS reached the same consumer perception level as category leader Walgreen’s, according to YouGov. The perception scores for CVS were also on par with Walgreen’s for 10 days in February after the company first announced its plan to stop selling tobacco products.

In addition to perception scores, purchase consideration for CVS has increased, which YouGov said in the survey is a "key predictor of potential sales."

YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli said the current positive attention directed toward CVS may be more short-lived than the positive buzz between February and March because it’s most recent action "didn’t come completely out of the blue."

He added that it should be "a nice lift for the brand" for at least a few weeks to a month.

Walgreen’s, however, has been associated with "some negative stories over the past six to 12 months," said Marzilli, which may account for the company’s seemingly downward trajectory.

"Over the last year, CVS has gradually closed that gap [in] purchase consideration," he said. "It’s a pretty powerful indicator of potential future sales."

By the numbers, there is a 13% likelihood US adults would "consider" shopping at CVS the "next time they need a drugstore," which is a 4% increase from the beginning of the year. Walgreen’s is still in the top spot, with 15% likelihood.

Rite Aid comes in at 7%, and YouGov said its perception metrics "are a distant third."

To find a brand’s "buzz" score, respondents were asked if they’ve heard anything positive about one of the brands in the past two weeks. According to a YouGov graph, CVS’ buzz score spiked between February and March, and again in September.

YouGov interviewed 40,000 adults ages 18 and over for the survey.

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