Poll: Volkswagen is shopper’s most disappointing brand

Volkswagen is really disappointing everyone, a new poll confirms.

The embattled German automaker ranked dead last in a poll released today from research firm Brand Keys, which measures how well companies meet customer expectations, otherwise known as emotional engagement. The score, measured out of 100 points, is calculated from a survey taken by 43,000 people to measure how brands “disappointed their own customers.”

Volkswagen is the most unsatisfying brand, with a 29 percent emotional engagement rating. Sales have slumped, and its reputation has been tarnished after admitting last September that it installed “defeat devices” in its vehicles to bypass pollution tests. The brand is now plotting a comeback plan.

Blackberry placed in second (30 percent) for its continuing issues, American Apparel ranked in third place (38 percent) because of mass layoffs and slowing sales and troubled sandwich chain Cosi (39 percent) was in fourth.

chart-10 Least engaging brands of 2016
Source: Brand Keys

Notably, Sports Authority slid to ninth place (50 percent), which announced today it’s liquidating and shuttering all stores, while Whole Foods placed in tenth (53 percent) because of social media gaffes and allegations of price fixing.

The reason why these brands ranked low was because they were unable to meet customers’ needs in a competitive environment where choices surround them. “If a brand performs poorly, consumer displeasure not only shows up on the list but harshly in the marketplace,” Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys’ president said. “And, shortly thereafter, on profit-loss statements.”


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