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Brands: Shell seems intent on destroying its brand, bringing politicians down on gas retailers

Brands: Shell seems intent on destroying its brand, bringing politicians down on gas retailers

Shell seems intent on destroying its brand with price gouging at its Silverthorne, CO, store, which is the first exit off West-bound I-70 after the Eisenhower Tunnel. Friday night we purchased gas at the ConcoPhillips station just off I-25 in the Denver Tech Center for $2.96/gal., below the state average of $3.07 and the national average

Shell seems intent on destroying its brand with price gouging at its Silverthorne, CO, store, which is the first exit off West-bound I-70 after the Eisenhower Tunnel. Friday night we purchased gas at the ConcoPhillips station just off I-25 in the Denver Tech Center for $2.96/gal., below the state average of $3.07 and the national average of $3.032. About 75 miles away, in Silverthorne, Shell was charging $3.29 for the same product. In Vail, about 25 miles farther west, the price was $3.35.

This is nothing but price gouging. In normal markets, the spread between the Tech Center and the Mountains is 3 to 5 cents a gallon.

What is amazing is that the petroleum industry is trying to show pricing restraint. Voters are angry, and politicians are talking price controls, and Shell is winning friends and influencing people by blatantly taking advantage of high petroleum and gas prices.

Dumb PR. Dumber brand building. What with British Petroleum’s PR problems, you have to wonder if the U.K.-based petroleum companies know how to hire decent American managers. They’re sure blowing it.

And they’re providing an interesting case study for all marketers responsible for building their brands and relationships with customers.

Back in the 1960s, I used to drive between college and home every quarter break. I liked to stop at a Texaco station on the way. But it turned out that Texaco stations all closed at 9 p.m. those days. I had a Texaco credit cartd, and that made me so unhappy that I haven’t bought gas at Texaco ever since. And I normally don’t hold grudges. Shows how you can tick off a good customer.

Ben
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