According to Brandweek, CBS’s “Undercover Boss” only gave Atlanta-based Hooters a temporary boost in their image, based on a “buzz” meter. The hit show aired the Hooters episode Feb. 14.
Its current perception is no better than what it was in January.
Two other brands measured, 7-Eleven and White Castle (neither of which are available in Atlanta as retail stores) both showed measurable improvements in brand perception after their episodes aired.
Coby G. Brooks, the CEO of Hooters, had some problems on the episode, most notably with a franchise owner in Texas who made some female employees eat food off a plate without utensils to get off work early. It was a bit humiliating and the manager was not fired (then again, Brooks wasn’t in a position to do so since it was a franchise, something not explained on the air.). He also was surprised to hear some women say how much they found the chain degrading.
His solutions also didn’t seem very systemic, even if they helped some individual employees. The reaction on my blog after the show was decidedly mixed. Some were not impressed with his leadership skills and many felt he was living in the shadow of his late father, who built up the chain. It also doesn’t help that the chain is putting itself up for sale due to complications related to his dad’s estate.
Here’s how Brandweek explained how they make their weekly measurements:
The Brandweek Buzz Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores weigh positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral. This week’s report also measures brands based on reputation.
YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.