Brand Review: BP

BP is one of the world’s most prominent oil and gas companies, operating in 80 countries with an economic value of over $400 billion. The BP company claims to champion value over volume  when it comes to their fuel and offers ‘premium’ fuels in addition to standard petrol and diesel. This notion seems particularly pertinent in the current market, as many supermarkets now offer their own ‘brand’ of fuel for cheap prices.

We wanted to gage an idea of how the BP brand was seen by the public and whether consumers really did feel it offered higher quality fuel than its competitors. Thus, we asked our panel to give us their opinions of the BP brand.

Unsurprisingly, the BP company were known by almost everyone on the panel as one of the leaders in the market, alongside competitors such as Shell and Texaco. Customers trusted that BP fuel was of a high quality and felt confident filling up their car at stations.

‘BP is one of the largest and most prominent fuel companies in the world’ (Jennifer, 31, London)

‘I do find that when I put BP fuel in the car it tends to feel better’ (Craig, 42, Kingston-upon-Thames)

‘It’s efficient and it’s cost effective’ (Joe, 27, London)

When asked whether they have ever purchased premium fuel, the majority of the panel said they generally opted for standard fuel. Many admitted they had never trialled premium fuel from BP or any other provider, as they did not believe the benefits were significant enough to outweigh the costs.

‘I never buy premium versions of any fuel’ (Nick, 41, Dundee)

‘I’ve never bought premium because I’ve never noticed any difference’ (Katie, 25, Wallsend)

On the other hand, a number of customers heralded BP’s premium fuel for its quality and the extra milage it gave to their car.

‘The premium fuel is second to none’ (Leroy, 46, Walsall)

‘I only ever put premium fuel into my vehicle because of the quality’ (John, 40, Belvedere)

However, many customers valued price over quality when it came to choosing a fuel provider. For some, this meant always opting for bargain providers, such as Morrisons and Tesco. Whilst for others, it meant constantly switching providers so they always purchased from the company that offered the lowest rate per litre. When asked their opinion on BP, these customers believed that the brand was overpriced.

‘When I think of BP the first thing I think is expensive’ (George, 23, Ipswich)

‘It tends to be the most expensive for fuel’ (Gareth, 33, Nottingham)

‘Other places are cheaper – such as supermarkets’ (Chloe, 22, Manchester)

We also wanted to assess the role that customer loyalty plays in the fuel market. BP are included in the esteemed Nectar scheme, which allows customers to collect and spend points in hundred of stores around the world. But, just how much influence to Nectar points have over customers?

Some customers claimed they had no loyalty to any fuel company. As aforementioned, this was often because they always went for the cheapest option. In addition to cost, necessity and convenience were other key influences. Several customers said they did not even consider the company that they had purchased their fuel from. These customers said they simply went to whichever station they were near when they began to run low on fuel.

‘I would never tie myself down to one petrol provider. It’s a matter of necessity’ (Andy, 43, Liverpool)

Conversely, many customers claimed they were motivated by the Nectar scheme. The opportunity to collect points encouraged people to buy their fuel from BP. In particular, customers liked the way that, as part of the Nectar scheme, they were sent vouchers that gave them extra benefits and discount when they purchased their fuel from BP.

‘My partner drives for a living so I’ve given him my Nectar card so he can collect points when he fills up’ (Claire, 32, Oldham)

‘I do have a Nectar card so it does entice me to buy from BP’ (Louise, 31, Gravesend)

Overall, it seems that BP has successfully maintained a reputation for high quality fuel and oil and their partnership with Nectar has ensured continued customer loyalty. The only area where BP seem to be receiving criticism is around the cost of the fuel, which is considered to be more expensive than their of their competitors.