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ABSTRACT This report provides findings and analysis of the social media branding activities of three Swiss brands – Nespresso, Lindt, and the umbrella corporation brand Nestlé. The evaluation was made focusing on their ability to build a relationship with their audience, as well as the quality of their interactions in different social media platforms. The instrument applied was the seven items brand relationship index.
INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................................................. 4 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................................................................ 5 NESPRESSO ....................................................................................................................................................................... 6 LINDT............................................................................................................................................................................... 11 NESTLE ............................................................................................................................................................................ 15 FINAL GRADES ................................................................................................................................................................. 21 CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................................................................. 21
Nestlé, Nespresso and Lindt are successful Swiss brands. According to Interbrand, they have the following brand values:1 Brand value 2012 Nestlé Nespresso Lindt CHF 6 million
Rank in Interbrand„s 50 Best Swiss Brands 5 13 16
Rank in Interbrand‟s 100 Best Global Brands 573 n.a. n.a.
CHF 1,9 million CHF 1,7 million
In order to compete in the digital age, companies have to leverage on the linking value of their brands. Social media are of vital importance in this user co-creation of value and are an integral part of any marketing communication strategy. Social media aren‟t a “nice to have”: they are a must. However, companies have to understand that social media creates expectations in the user. You don‟t only have to include social media in your strategy. You have to be good at it. More important than being present on all major channels is that you administer those channels you are on well and in line with the users‟ needs.
1 2 3
http://www.interbrand.com/Libraries/Branding_Studies/BEST_SWISS_BRANDS_2012.sflb.ashx +5% compared to 2011. http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2012/Nestle
The evaluation of the present report is defined by seven different variables around which we build the brand relationship index. In terms of operationalization, grades between 1 and 10 were assigned to each variable in order to make the analysis more tangible. The seven variables are: 1. Social presence: Analysis of the relevant platforms/channels a brand is present in its pursuit of user relationship improvement. 2. Dialog/user engagement management: Analysis of how many people have been contacted via the brand through social media and how the brand stimulates engagement of users. The analysis of engagement is based on three main platforms: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, since they offer a vast array of interaction possibilities. Not only can their relevance be justified by their enormous user communities, they are also the most relevant to consumers of the Nestlé, Nespresso and Lindt brands. One proxy used to evaluate this item was the so-called Facebook rate of engagement = # talking about brand / # likes. It makes inter-brand comparisons possible (the fraction eliminates scale effects and thus makes engagement commensurable). 3. Sentiment/advocacy management: Analysis of user feelings regarding the brand and the level of word-of-mouth. The brand‟s strategy for positive comments stimulation and negative comment management was furthermore evaluated. 4. Support/value: Analysis of the relevance of the content shared with users and support offered by the companies through social media (e.g. user care). 5. Innovation: Analysis of innovation in terms of co-creation and involvement and collaboration. In other words, the way the company approaches users and benefits from them in a crowdsourcing manner in order to reach innovation on product and corporate level. 6. Communication leadership: Analysis of level of authority and transparency when leading discussions. Evaluation of how open the brand is for conversations and further interaction with users. The connections of the company with relevant influencers (e.g. bloggers) in social media were also in focus. 7. Linking value/community: Analysis of proprietary brand communities in social media or other actively supported independent brand communities.
1. Social presence: 9 Nespresso has a strong presence on the web. Since e-commerce is a fundamental aspect of their marketing strategy, a high penetration of the web is essential for the success of the brand. They not only use the internet to interact with users and increase brand awareness; they leverage on this resource for user care services. The brand is present in many platforms we consider relevant, however with two concerns: Nespresso‟s page on Pinterest has never been used and there is merely a high user engagement on the Pinterest page for the US and Canada. This word cloud encompasses platforms used by Nespresso. It resulted from the analysis and the different sizes express their relevance for the Nespresso brand (the same technique was also applied to Lindt and Nestlé).
2. Dialog/user engagement management: 9 Nespresso uses social media to engage users in various numbers of ways. For instance, it uploads content with favorable brand values on its Facebook page to encourage discussion about Nespresso products, stores and the Nespresso experience among fans. On Facebook the engagement and interaction are really high and it seems that most of the posts reach more than thousands of comments, shares and likes. In other words, fans use the three channels to interact with the brand. However, the
Facebook rate of engagement (44,185 talking about Nespresso / 1,798,873 of Likes) is equal to 2,45%. This leaves room for improvement. On Twitter (3,228 Tweets - 1,763 Following - 26,634 Followers) people tweet not only directly to the Nespresso account, but many times they use hashtags or merely the name of the brand. The engagement on this platform is also high. According to hashtracking.com, 212 tweets with #Nespresso were created by users, generating 218,382 impressions, reaching an audience of 157,802 followers in 24 hours.
YouTube (2618 followers - 1,829,144 views) is also an important tool to spread the commercials with the endorser George Clooney. However, there are two concerns about it: it seems that the Nespresso videos lacking celebrity endorsement have a low popularity. Additionally, Nespresso does not allow user comments on videos including endorser, thus decreasing potential user interaction. It can be assumed that Nespresso chose this strategy because it wants to avoid being put in George Clooney‟s shadow (socalled vampire effect). This opportunity to generate indirect buzz and word of mouth is therefore forgone.
26.753 Facebook YouTube Twitter
Facebook “likes”, YouTube “video views” and Twitter “followers”
3. Sentiment/advocacy management: 9 Nespresso‟s strategy on social media is clear and its main objectives are to encourage word of mouth, raise brand visibility and strengthen brand values. At the end of the day, the objective is to increase sales of both machines and capsules. Strategies used on Facebook and Twitter are: Posts on Facebook with emotional appeal and high-quality photos that capture attention and generate comments, likes and shares. Asking questions daily in order to increase participation and engagement on both platforms. Creating the “Nespresso moment” where fans can talk about their experiences with the coffee regarding “feeling”, “taste”, “smell” and “aroma”. Not only does this help Nespresso understand the brand experience, it also creates a sense of community and belonging. Replying to both negative and positive comments. Putting “Likes” on user comments, making users feel special. The majority of the comments are positive on both platforms. The analysis of the comments on Nespresso clearly identifies it as a Lovemark. From the analysis of the first 100 comments on Facebook and tweets on Twitter, it can be concluded that there is a higher tendency of positive opinions about the brand on Twitter (80%) than on Facebook (44%), the negative opinions are 27% and 14%, respectively. A possible explanation is that, opposed to Twitter, Facebook mainly functions as a user service tool. It in fact seems that on Facebook people are more frequently asking for help and complaining if something went wrong with orders and products. Twitter is more the place where users express their love for the brand, tweeting about personal experiences they want to share with the community via hashtags and quoting Nespresso.
Analysis of 100 comments on Nespresso’s Facebook page November 13, 2012
Analysis of 100 comments about Nespresso on Twitter November 13, 2012
4. Support/value: 9 The brand offers valuable content to the users regarding their products (e.g. information on new launches, new capsules, how to recycle the products etc.). However, there is no content beyond the
brand and the product. In other words, the page talks exclusively about the brand. When scrolling down the page, the content seems to be quite repetitive. Twitter follows the same content strategy. Analysis showed that Nespresso tends to reply to approximately 70% of the fan comments on the platforms (this percentage includes replies to positive and negative comments). Nespresso demonstrates thankfulness for the contacts and feedbacks, and solves problems in a private and individualized way, asking the user for their club member number. In addition, Nespresso supports the user regarding further information and suggestions, thus aiming to improve the Nespresso (service) experience and the product itself. 5. Innovation: 7
In the innovation process (based on cocreation, involvement and collaboration), Nespresso tries to provide several branduser touch points. Many users give new suggestions, products ideas and preferences (e.g. asking for new capsule flavors). In all these cases, Nespresso tries to signal thankfulness to these people. However, Nespresso could also reward users in more tangible ways (e.g. providing something special like cards, samples or vouchers for the best suggestions). In effect, users would feel more valuable and important for the brand (something that is important for them). The analysis of the Nespresso Club revealed that the brand involves users by creating a feeling of belongingness (also leveraging on an exclusivity appeal) and ownership. According to Business Development Strategies Blog4:
“Nespresso regularly includes users in advertising activities. In the past, it has asked them to supply ideas for TV-spots or let them choose between two pre-produced spots to decide which one would be broadcasted. This “being part of a big family” approach develops a feeling of pride and thus, creates positive and credible wordof-mouth effects. Over 50% of new members first experience the brand through existing ones and [result in] the steep growth of the club.”
6. Leadership: 8
Nespresso plays a strong guiding role on its social media platforms, trying to have and stay in control (e.g. not allowing user comments on the endorsed commercial on YouTube, leading most of the discussions on the Facebook page etc.). Since the content is very restricted to the product and to the
brand, Nespresso can be seen as really authoritative and following a strict exclusivity policy (e.g. the brand is not linked to any external blogs or other websites, which might indicate a strategy of avoiding semantic spill-over effects from non-Nespresso entities). 7. Linking value/community: 6
Since it already administers the Nespresso Club, which enables a strong and cohesive coffee community on the web, Nespresso doesn‟t support or manage independent brand communities/advocates. This community is of vital importance because it generates useful user information for members. As already mentioned under the item “innovation”, Nestlé Club members can develop a sense of ownership when they are part of crowdsourcing R&D strategy. To sum it up: this proprietary brand community allows the company not only to approach users in all stages of the consumer journey, but also enables precise, 1on-1 database marketing and customer relationship management.
1. Social presence: 9 Lindt is present in many platforms. However, the brand doesn‟t use all channels in the most effective way. The best managed ones are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the official website and blog, which are all characterized by very different degrees of user and company involvement. Lindt aims to offer valuable, specific (also in terms of geographic regions) and up-to-date content via these social media channels. The less effectively administered social media channels basically replicate the content of the most popular social networks and only offer occasional participative user activities. 2. Dialog/user engagement management: 9 Considering the data taken from the three main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube), the company has reached a fair number of users in all three social networks. It seems Lindt is currently applying a somewhat reductionist and simple social media strategy: Facebook and Twitter are very much identical in terms of content. The company uses these platforms to ask direct questions to the users (e.g. concerning products and promotion activities). The company clearly aims at achieving a better understanding of the consumers‟ behavior.
Positive user comments on Facebook are normally of hedonistic nature (related to the pleasure of eating Lindt chocolate and continuously being able to try new product creations) and are far higher than negative ones. The Facebook rate of engagement amounts to 3,48% (resulting from 8,172 talking about Lindt / 235,064 of “likes”) shows that there is a positive and active user response. The recommendation to Lindt, however, is to increase this KPI. Many users feel the need to share their positive chocolate experiences and appreciate having the possibility to interact with the company per se. On Twitter, the interaction is less active than on Facebook. Nevertheless, Lindt has been able to make users talk about brand-related content, 119 tweets with #Lindt generated 64,862 impressions, reaching an audience of 65.447 followers within the past 24 hours. This is an incredibly high user response. With its Youtube channel, Lindt targets users using an affective-emotional strategy. The videos unveil a strong passion for chocolate as an art form and genuine acknowledgment of users‟ needs. Despite the high number of views (84,665 views with merely a few videos), the number of subscribers is not very high.
84.665 1.972 Facebook YouTube Twitter
3. Sentiment/advocacy management: 8 There are very few people, who have a negative connection with Lindt. The majority of people have positive or neutral feelings towards the brand (frequently associated with happiness, satisfaction, hedonism and moment of relaxation). Comments are predominantly enthusiastic. Users‟ expectations are regularly exceeded and, according to the attitudinal data available on the platforms, there is a high willingness to repurchase. Many users comment on the positive (serviscape-related) experiences in Lindt shops and the website (e.g. the service encounters are defined as well-structured, of good design etc.).
Analysis 100 comments on Lindt’s Facebook page November 13, 2012
Analysis of 100 comments about Lindt on Twitter November 13, 2012
4. Support: 9 Analysis showed that Lindt scores really high on this aspect. They genuinely care about users‟ feelings, experiences and problems. They are actively responding to critical incidents that occur in the social media-user contacts and try to solve related problems. Analysis showed that Lindt is attentive to user comments and readily responds to them (even when the user does not express an explicit need) and thus achieves a perception of genuine and continuous interest in the customer relationship. The timing can also be considered: they usually reply just hours or a few days later. Users never have to wait for a response for more than one week. Lindt also offers valuable and useful user content via YouTube and on the blog (e.g. recipes). On all the three main channels (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) there is a link to the official website of the company. 5. Innovation: 7 Lindt strongly encourages users to collaborate with them (they have an official company site solely dedicated to people who want to be employed by Lindt). For example, users can work as promoters who organize parties (setting similar to TupperWare parties) at home and selling Lindt products on those occasions. Through this, the company not only offers a job but also the possibility to feel part of a community. However, there is no visible integration of crowdsourcing via social media channels. 6. Communication leadership: 7 Lindt has its own blog where the participation is quite active. However, the brand only actively participates in conversations via their Facebook and Twitter accounts. They have a good consensus by the public in their blog but there are no so many conversations and comments. 7. Linking value: 6 Despite the fact that Lindt does not actively involve users in crowdsourcing activities, they still are successful in stimulating discussions and involve users in entertaining activities. It seems they have a policy to “like” user comments when entering a
conversation. The Lindt brand icons the Gold Bunny5 and the Chocolate Teddy (currently Lindt‟s Facebook avatar) have a lot of potential to create linking value allowing for a user ownership sentiment (e.g. typing in “Lindt bunny” on Pinterest leads to a great amount of affective user experiences with the Lindt bunny, examples being the pink Lindt car, self-made Easter cupcakes etc.).
1. Social Presence: 9
Due to its highly diversified brand portfolio, Nestlé‟s social media structure is really complex: the entire brand architecture has to be consistently unified under one overarching brand (e.g. the company monitors around 600 Facebook pages6). Due to a higher personal involvement and consumer-product experiences, users may be more likely to feel affinity for brands like Nespresso, Nesquik or Nescafé. Thus, the propensity to “like” the Nestlé umbrella corporation fan page can be categorized as lower. Nevertheless, Nestlé (here clearly conceived on the multinational, corporate level) is trying to overcome these barriers: Nestlé is present on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Since Nestlé is a strong global brand most of the channels are really relevant in terms of monitoring its image around the globe. Although Nestlé doesn‟t have its own profiles, it is being discussed on Pinterest. However, blogs and clubs that are not managed by Nestlé are mainly of anti-Nestlé activist nature.7 Nestlé has fan pages in different languages in four different countries, two Facebook pages, two Twitter profiles and one YouTube channel just for careers and recruitment. Also, Nestlé does not miss out smartphones: if “Nestlé” is entered on App Store, over 80 smartphone applications are
http://boycottnestle.blogspot.ch/ or http://www.candyblog.net/blog/about).
accessible. The content range is as overwhelming as Nestlé‟s product portfolio (Nestlé Fitness, Nestlé Business, Nestlé baby, etc). 2. Dialog/user engagement management: 7 Even though Nestlé is present on a large number of platforms, it has to be considered that most of the communication is one-way, from Nestlé to the users: efforts made by self-elected engaged users are mostly ignored. The Facebook engagement rate (12,492 of people talking about this /751,793 likes) amounts to 1.66%. Nestlé uses its corporate fan page on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms as advertising channels (posts are about company data, sales, social actions, sustainability, new receipts, food facts, foundations, events etc.). On Twitter, the number of tweets generated with Nestlé hashtag in 24 hours is high, however we believe that, based on the dimension of the brand, this number could be higher.
Facebook 126.403 15.229 YouTube Twitter 751.793
On YouTube, the user engagement can be evaluated as low (126,403 of videos views and 678 subscribers). The last time videos were posted was 4 months ago (13 videos at once). It looks as if Nestlé was just using this video channel to launch a new campaign. Before and after this large-scale video posting, Nestlé was silent (for two and four months, respectively). This does not correspond to what one would call “continuously nourishing the user relationship”. 3. Sentiment/advocacy management: 7 Nestlé also uses social media channels as PR tools. Unfortunately, Nestle‟s social media activity is often spurned by users (e.g. vitriolic comments, viral video parodies, animated parodies of the Nestlé‟s reaction to user reactions etc.). One example is the current salmonella crisis that hit November 8, 2012
(Nestlé launched a recall of Nesquik chocolate powder canisters because of possible contamination): users posted many negative comments and jokes about the brand. However, Nestlé answered to many users and tried to clarify the problem by engaging in user conversations. The analysis conducted November 13, 2012 revealed that that the number of negative comments is quite high on Twitter and Facebook (74% and 45%, respectively). This is strictly correlated to the crisis Nestlé was facing. In fact, most of the negative comments about the brand were aimed at the subbrand Nesquik. Simultaneously, Nestlé tweeted positive contents emphasizing that no illnesses were found.
Analysis of 100 comments about Neslté on Twitter November 13, 2012
Negative 15% 11% 74% 20% 45% 35% Positive Neutral
Analysis of 100 comments on Nestlé's Facebook page November 13, 2012
Positive Negative Neutral
Since the situation analyzed on the two social media platforms was quite peculiar, we decided to conduct another Twitter analysis a week later (Twitter was the platform with the highest number of negative comments, based on a sample of 100 tweets). The tweets written by Twitter users now had a completely different connotation: on November 21, 54% positive and 22% negative comments were registered (compared respectively to 11% and 74% analyzed one week before). The extent of unpredictability and mutability of social media tools becomes evident: opinions about brands can change rapidly. This is a “Good Practice” example of how sound crisis management minimizes reputational damages to brand image.
Analysis of 100 comments about Neslté on Twitter Twitter analysis November 21, 2012 November 21, 2012 positive 24% 22% 54% negative neutral
In a general perspective, Nestlé is trying to manage the sentiments toward the brand with increasing visibility on several social media channels. However, a lot of work has yet to be done since users are often critical about the company (which is interesting because user sentiment for Nespresso, a Nestlé brand, was very high [80%] for example on Twitter). 4. Support/value: 6 Nestlé‟s Facebook strategy seems to go beyond their products. Its posts on the three mains channels focus on different topics that surround Nestlé World (ranging from product and food facts to sustainability, corporate news and interesting information about different countries). A lot of images and videos are used in order to get users‟ attention. Nestlé comments are always adapted to the language of the target users. According to our analysis, Nestlé does not seem to be very keen to interact with users on social media. A closer look at their Facebook page revealed that they respond only to 10% of people‟s posts. This is a low number since the solicitations to bring back a product were quite numerous insert print screen. Another reason that suggests further online interaction with people is that almost 45% of the posts were negative and pretty aggressive (e.g. regarding the recent salmonella crisis and Nestlé‟s USD 1.5 million investment fighting against the legal obligation to mention GMO‟s in food production). We understand that issue and crisis is difficult. However, not responding at all or simply using ready-made answers are definitely not the right way. Nestlé is clearly missing out an opportunity to take position and explain the reasons for this engagement. Low engagement can be observed in Nestlé‟s YouTube channel. However, it still has to be mentioned that, even if Nestlé does not interact with users on social media, they still seem to listen to what people say. As a matter of fact, the company managed to create a whole website dealing with bottled water.
But, when it comes to positive comments, whatever platform be it, Nestlé simply does not care: they just don‟t give a “like”. 5. Innovation: 5
When it comes to innovation in the sense of co-creation, involvement and collaboration (letting people participate in projects or asking people for collaboration) a massive amount of user involvement was identified. Users post pictures and videos about different issues, however Nestlé never asks for feedback or suggestion. Nevertheless, one strategy that was surprising and could be leveraged more often was that Nestlé picked up a user question posted Facebook and answered it in a discussion video8 where top management members were present. Solicitations to bring back a product were quite numerous. 6. Communication leadership: 4
In terms of communication leadership Nestlé cannot be considered strong. Corporate brands are more likely to be targeted by protests and negative consumer activism than their constituent brands. Due to this, Nestlé not only uses social media channels to interact, advertise and strengthen its values, but also as an important PR tool (this especially applies to Twitter). However, it also has been noticed that except for dealing with very complex topics (for instance the salmonella scandal), the blogosphere is pretty quiet when it comes to Nestlé. No real advocacy group for Nestlé exists (apart from in-house blogs [e.g. a cooking blog9 with more than 12,‟000 members]). However, blogs not controlled by Nestlé aren‟t many and if they are, they are Nestlé critical.10 The usual image is that a blog for user advocacy publishes some critical articles to which Nestlé does not respond, even when they get harshly criticized (at least they do not respond visibly via social media). 7. Linking value/community: 6
Nestlé provides an example of how corporations with a broad brand portfolio can struggle to establish an online brand presence and sometimes can become the target for protest and negativity. In addition, Nestlé is practicing traditional one-way communication and seems not yet to have realized the benefit interaction with users can generate. With knowledge of the high-tech Data Acceleration Team11 (social media analysis department) at the Nestlé headquarters, it can be assumed that they are permanently listening and might just be contacting users “underground” (i.e. not on highly visible social media channels).
9 10 11
http://nestleusa.wordpress.com/ http://boycottnestle.blogspot.ch/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD_W3EMuC1U
A Nestlé community that is not officially hosted by Nestlé can be found on Pinterest. It is a good example of how users try to connect with the Nestlé brand. They upload Nestlé-related pictures that have played a role in their lives (e.g. a dog named Nestlé, the brand icon Nesquik bunny, Nestlé babies, vintage style advertisements, a KitKat/Smarties house etc.). Nestlé has to develop a strategy that allows them to bond with the users on this level without making the same mistake of merely pushing out information that makes them look good. Nestlé has to be very careful though not to be over-imposing in their actions, meaning that they have to take care to leave Pinterest what it is: a place where predominantly true Nestlé fans meet and share contents that make their life nicer.
Examples of Nestlé fans contributions on Pinterest
Social presence Dialog/user engagement management Sentiment/ advocacy management Support/value Innovation Communication leadership Linking value AVERAGE 9 9 9 9 7 8 6 8.1
9 9 8 9 7 7 6 7.9
9 7 7 6 5 4 6 6.3
Looking at the results of our analysis we can say that Nespresso and Lindt reached a position of Lovemark, which is characterized by high respect and high love for the brand. On the contrary, we believe that Nestlé is stuck on the position of brand on the Lovemark matrix, where there‟s a high level of respect, but a low degree of love, as we could see from the opinions shared on the social media platforms. This situation reflects perfectly on the final evaluation summarized above, where the first two brands registered a similar rank (8,1 and 8), while the third one just reaches a lower grade, even if it‟s a global brand. We can justify these results by the fact that Nestlé is an umbrella corporation brand that has to face more challenges, especially in the social media world, where it‟s easier to see negative word of mouth regarding all the brands it manages. Considering the engagement content on the biggest platform, which is Facebook, we see that the strategies to gain engagement used by Nespresso and Lindt are quite similar, which is observed as well in the rates we computed, respectively 2,5% and 3,5%. On the other hand Nestlé registered a lower
rate, which is 1,6% because the company doesn‟t instigate discussions, dialog, conversation and most of the posts are more informative.
RATE OF ENGAGEMENT
3,5% 2,5% 1,6%
For what concern YouTube, all the three brands have room for improvement. In fact, they could be more proactive and more up to date, posting videos more frequently. In addition, even if the general number of views is quite high, the numbers of subscribers to Lindt and Nestlé channels is quite low. This means that there are more people who occasionally watch videos on YouTube, than people following constantly the channels. Nespresso, instead, seems to be quite good in this aspect, having a high number of followers. However, as discussed before, it should probably give the possibility to people to comment all the videos posted, regardless the content. In the third most used platform, Twitter, Nespresso and Lindt perform quite well. Also Nestlé performed well according to hastracking, however, considering the dimension of the brand, the results could be more relevant. Some aspects that the three brands are partly missing are innovation and co-creation, as well as a stronger link with external communities and brand advocates, which if leveraged, could lead to more positive results. To conclude, considering the challenging nature of the umbrella company Nestlé and the two Lovemarks brands Nespresso and Lindt, we could state that the three Swiss brands have implemented a valuable social media strategy and are generally performing well, even if there are still possibilities of smart improvements.
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