BP’s brand equity … it’s leaking, too.

Some Homa family members avoided Exxon stations like the plague after the Valdez accident.  My bet: they weren’t alone.

Same fate for BP (nee British Petroleum} ?

Early data says yes — BP has gone from being No. 1 in its category in a brand-loyalty index maintained by research company Brand Keys — to dead last.

Next question for BP: how to restore its brand equity ?

Good news for BP: no signifcant retail competitors except , well, Exxon.

Excerpted from BrandChannel: BP’s Brand: Is the Damage Done?, May 3, 2010

BP’s brand equity has exploded almost as quickly as its faulty well mechanism at the bottom of the Gulf. Reportedly, BP has gone from being No. 1 in its category in the brand-loyalty index maintained by Brand Keys — to dead last.

Part of BP’s long-term problem will be that the company has gone so far out of its way over the last several years to position itself as the “green” oil company, with a sunny new logo composed of green and yellow; a new slogan, “Beyond Petroleum,” and the playing up of the BP acronym instead of its name; and its boasts about alternative-energy initiatives such as wind farms.

All of that seems laughably hollow now as BP is unmasked as – gasp! – basically an oil company — drilling the world’s deepest wells in the Gulf of Mexico, scouring for oil in the Arctic, squeezing natural gas from the rocks of Oman.

British Petroleum must fight to not join the ranks of all-time corporate villains, a list that includes fellow oil giant Exxon Mobil, which achieved infamy for Alaska’s Valdez disaster in 1989.

While BP is adamant that it will clean up this spill — the bigger challenge may very well be cleaning up and restoring the BP brand.

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