Blatter’s Out But VISA and Sony Should Still Tread Carefully
Whether they were directly involved in his decision or not, executives at VISA, Sony, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and other FIFA sponsors are bound to be secretly relieved by Sepp Blatter’s recent resignation in the wake of the football body’s corruption scandal.
But will the change at the top be enough to placate disgruntled football supporters and take the pressure off the sponsors? According to Adrian Brown of comparison site start-up eWizy.com, switching away from unfavourable brands is now so easy that the sponsors should be more wary than ever of upsetting their valued customers.
Whereas it has always been comparatively simple for consumers to exercise choice in the selection of physical products – food and drink for example – a growing number of internet savvy savers are waking up to the fact that it can be just as easy and convenient to switch their credit card company, mobile phone contract and energy supplier.
Comparing online car insurance has already seen widespread adoption, with around a third of policies now purchased in this way, but with the newer comparison sites, like eWizy, bringing all areas of potential cost-saving under one roof, the temptation to go on a ‘switch binge’ can be hard to resist, particularly if you are an angry football fan out to ditch a brand or two.
VISA’s main competitor in the consumer credit market is, of course, MasterCard and top of eWizy’s ‘most popular’ credit card table (at the time of writing) was the M&S MasterCard which was offering 15 months of purchases at 0% interest and interest-free balance transfers for 12 months, in addition to M&S points. Select the ‘Mobiles’ tab and phone users can move on to comparing mobile contracts filtered to their specifications. Even if they still have months remaining on their contract, eWizy’s ‘Quick Save’ feature sets up a reminder just prior to the date their contract ends.
eWizy are determined to ‘make saving money social,’ livening up the site with social media integration. By including competitions, freebies and special deals on the site, Adrian Brown is aiming to keep his visitors interested even when they are not actively comparing the market. By reducing the need for typing by incorporating plenty of user-friendly sliders and drop-downs, eWizy are also focusing on making comparing the market a quicker, smoother and ultimately more enjoyable experience.
FIFA’s sponsors were decidedly chilly in their response to Blatter’s departure – not one wished him a happy future – but neither were they particularly scathing. And with ongoing issues such as the controversy over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and damaging stories of human rights abuses, FIFA’s tarnished reputation may need a more intensive polish before associated brands can fully relax. Because the danger for sponsors is that once customers get it in their mind that they can switch, the tools are now in place to help them turn those thoughts into action.