According to YouGov's BrandIndex, which gauges daily brand perception among consumers, Home Depot's rating fell from about 20 a week before reports of its data breach, to a score of 5, two weeks after.
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Although the drop shows consumers were shaken by the company's security issues, the dive was nowhere near as steep as the one experienced by Target, which saw its score fall from nearly 28 to minus 26 over a comparable period. At its lowest point during this time frame, Target's perception touched minus 32.5; it's since rebounded to around 15.
Jack Trout, president of Trout & Partners marketing firm in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, said Home Depot's relative resilience comes down to one simple fact: It made headlines some nine months after Target, meaning customer reaction went from "Wow" to "Oh, is that right?"
"I would say that the first one got all the press," Trout said. "To be No. 1 in a negative way is never good."