Brand audit: Yahoo

Yahoo revealed mixed financial results earlier this week. Profit was up sharply to $335m in the second quarter from $228m a year ago, driven largely be its 20 per cent stake in Chinese internet company Alibaba. Revenue from display and search advertising, however, fell 7 per cent.  

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo! chief executive

The results come almost a year after Marissa Mayer was named CEO. In a call with reporters to announce the results, Mayer said  “Our business saw continued stability, and we launched more products than ever before, introducing a significant new product almost every week. 

“From the new Yahoo News, the new Yahoo Sports app, the redesigned Yahoo search, the new Flickr, the new Yahoo Mail for tablet, the Yahoo Weather app, our new Yahoo app with Summly – this quarter drove tremendous improvements in our product line and our users responded with increased usage and engagement.” 

It is has indeed been a busy year for the former Google executive. But despite the innovation and acquisitions such as  Summly and the multli-billion dollar purchase of Tumblr made to increase revenue and make the Yahoo brand resonate by association, its perception among the public mirrors its mixed financial performance, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex tool. 

The data traces back 12 months to when Mayer, one of Google’s earliest employees, was appointed CEO to help stabilise its fortunes – she was its third chief executive in 2012 alone. 

BrandIndex shows Yahoo’s Buzz ranking – a net balance of the positive and negative things people have heard about the brand – dropped by 2.8 points from 2.9 to 0.1 in the 12 months to the week beginning 15 July. 

Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Index score – which takes into account how consumers rate the brand in terms of impression, quality, value, reputation, satisfaction and whether they would recommend it –  also dipped from 10.2 to 9.8 during the same period. 

However, Yahoo’s brand impression rankings, recommendation score and overall brand quality rankings did see minor improvements.

YouGov’s impression score climbed 1.8 points to 12.7 over the last 12 months, while its recommended score rose 1.3 points in the same time hitting 8.1. Meanwhile, its overall Quality score reached 7.8, up from 7.5 12 months ago. 

An optimistic appraisal of Mayer’s first 12 months as Yahoo CEO, would suggest her stewardship is helping the company turn a corner although YouGov’s statistics shows its brand requires further investment.

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