The Government’s lottery regulator is to scrutinise the National Lottery’s brand image for the first time, amid fears that damage to the game’s public reputation could dent ticket sales.
The National Lottery Commission (NLC) is instigating a series of confidential research projects into public perceptions of the lottery – which is operated by Camelot – as it seeks an early warning of any possible dip in sales. The commission believes that prompt action taken in 2003 to stem a drop in sales was instrumental in turning around the decline.
An NLC spokeswoman says the results of the research will be kept secret. “It is critical that we look more widely at the brand and portfolio development. We wouldn’t go into detail about it because it is commercially sensitive,” she says.
The NLC will measure a number of “strategic indicators”, such as brand health – whether people like the lottery – customer satisfaction, product development and delivery and reputation. The research could include focus groups. Observers believe it will also look at public perceptions of Camelot and how these influence their feelings about the lottery brand.
Camelot says: “We are confident we will continue to live up to the demanding performance criteria set by our regulator. Camelot has returned the National Lottery to growth a year ahead of schedule. We continue to build on the longest period of growth since 1997.”
The research comes as the NLC gears up to conduct the bidding for the next licence, which will run from 2010.