Honestbee's reputation among Singaporeans has taken a dip over the past few months. According to YouGov, its buzz score dropped from +7.6 to -6.6 within a span of two months and is the lowest ever level YouGov has measured for the brand. YouGov's buzz score measures what consumers have heard of a brand.
When news first broke about honestbee abruptly ceasing operations in the Philippines on 22 April and laying off approximately 70 employees, its buzz score held constant. A week later, however, its buzz score dipped to +6.0 from +7.6 on the day it was announced that honestbee was suspending operations in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. This was amidst reports that co-founder and CEO Joel Sng had been fired.
YouGov said that two weeks after the announcements, honestbee's buzz score dipped further from +6.0 to +0.8. Its buzz score continued to slide to -4.3 when honestbee suspended its food delivery and laundry services in Singapore.
According to YouGov, the negative headlines surrounding the brand also impact other facets of brand health. Its reputation score, which measures which brands individuals are proud to work for, also took a hit. It started out April with a score of +9 but now stands at +1.1, indicating that less individuals want to work for the brand. Meanwhile, its recommend score also fell from +10.0 to +2.7.
Despite this, YouGov said it honestbee still attracts a loyal set of consumers. The demographics of its current customers are individuals who are married, aged 30 to 44 years old, are working full time and with a household income of SG$10,000 to SG$14,999.
Ervin Ha, head of data products for YouGov APAC said: “Up until recently, Honestbee has been a Singaporean startup success story, which perhaps explains why the brand’s recent problems have got so many Singaporeans talking. This negative buzz has affected brand health badly in several ways, and it’ll be interesting to see if and when the brand’s scores manage to recover.”
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