BP Puts Cap On Leaking Customer Base

A couple of months ago, we leveraged Simmons DataStream to examine the negative effects that the oil spill caused by the explosion of British Petroleum’s (BP) oil rig had on U.S. consumers.

The gravity of such an ecological disaster as well as BP’s crisis management missteps actually caused BP to lose some of its most loyal U.S. consumers for a while. Simmons DataStream revealed that, on average, 16.1% of U.S. consumers reported using BP fuel most often during the month of May 2010 (right after the oil spill and when the first negative news hit). This number fell to an average of 13.2% of consumers, as photos of the tar ball started spreading around the world and as BP struggled to take hold of the situation.

Once a clear capping plan was announced at the beginning of July 2010, however, positive signs started to emerge from among BP’s most loyal consumer base. In fact, the average percent of U.S. adults who use BP fuel most often shot up to 15.3%, or almost one percentage point higher than consumption levels observed before the spill.

Apparently, BP’s most avid consumers have reverted back to their usage levels in just two months after the well was capped.

Apparently, BP’s most avid consumers have reverted back to their usage levels in just two months after the well was capped. While this suggests that BP may have redeemed itself in the eyes of its consumers, it also shows the fact that oil consumption is less discriminatory that one might have believed. At least in the short run.

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