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The top 100 brands in social media

The impact of online conversation on the Interbrand Top 100


global brand survey
The immediate future (IF) ‘brands in social media’ research document, now in its second
year, looks to offer topline insight into the growing impact of social media and online
conversation on leading brands. Using the Interbrand Top 100 and Millward Brown
BrandZ rankings as reference points, the IF report represents a snapshot (accurate to
June 2008) of online discussions, sentiment and visibility of some of the world’s largest
brands.

It is increasingly clear that the level of a brand’s engagement with the ever growing
online community is beginning to have a direct correlation with that brand’s reputation.
This document aims to explore how brands have addressed the growing presence and
importance of consumers’ opinions and how the birth of social media has forced brands
to adapt (in response to such a rapidly evolving medium).

The Online Landscape


Social media is booming. Every day new statistics, white papers and articles appear
discussing its continued growth. Independent market analyst Datamonitor has revealed
how quickly the number of people participating in online social networking is growing: the
UK currently leads Europe, in terms of membership, and is expected to reach 27 million
users – a threefold increase on today’s figures – by 20121.

Across the globe, consumers are more connected than ever before, thanks to easier
internet access, the rise (and reduction) in price of broadband and an increase in home
usage. With the continual development of tools to aid communication, including blogs,
social networks and photo/video sharing sites, this trend looks set to continue.

But what exactly is social media? The term reflects “Social networking is really
the sharing of information, experiences and recommendation between
opinions through a series of widely available, easy- people about the things that
to-use tools. Very simple, very public, very hard to they are interested in and they
ignore. like… this has stimulated
Social media encourages the building of people’s attention in terms of
communities; groups of people with common the importance of PR. The
interests who are keen to interact with one another people who are going on these
on matters important to them, from daily musings to sites didn’t want to be
very specific subject matter. monetised, they didn’t want to
be advertised to, so again
More importantly, anyone can participate in these editorial communication is so
communities. Finding a group and joining in the powerful, they would rather be
conversation is very easy thanks to the wide variety communities that can exchange
of online tools available (which facilitate the finding views that are untarnished.”
and sharing of information).
Sir Martin Sorrell

1
DataMonitor’s "Online Social Networking" Research - http://www.datamonitor.com
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But what does that mean for brands? Quite simply, the balance of power has shifted –
with control passing from the brands themselves to the consumers. Online audiences
can choose the content they want to view and are free to comment on/share it with
whomever they like, whenever they wish to do so. Brands must accept that they need to
embrace this shift, rather than shy away from it, as this is a trend that looks set to
continue.

Social Media Grows Up

According to VNU.net, nearly half of the online adult population around the world is a
member of at least one networking site, with Facebook and MySpace between them
housing over 170 million monthly active users2.

Other social media activity is also continuing to grow at a frenetic pace. According to
Wave3 research of active users3:
- 394m watch video clips online
- 346m read blogs
- 321m read personal blogs
- 307m visit a friend’s social network page
- 303m share a video clip
- 272m manage a profile on a social network
- 248m upload photos
- 216m download video podcasts
- 215m download podcasts
- 184m start their own blog
- 183m upload a video clip
- 160m subscribe to an RSS feed
Blogging, and the reading of blogs, is now such a widespread activity it is impossible to
ignore. Those who choose to do so are taking a risk, as people will talk about brands
with or without that company’s permission (in recent research, 34% of bloggers revealed
they currently post opinions about products and brands on their blog2). It is therefore
vital to be part of those conversations, or even to initiate them (such as through a
company blog, with 36% of online users stating that they think more positively about
companies who actually run their own blog2).

In Britain, users spend the majority of their time online on social media sites, spending
four billion minutes on consumer generated content sites in April 2008 (up 47% year on
year, according to Nielsen Research).

Content itself is also evolving, as users are no longer just logging on for relevant news.
According to new research, 62% of people are more likely to trust and use online
reviews written by fellow shoppers before making a purchase, whilst time spent on
search sites has also increased by 13%, to 1.3 billion minutes4. This has led to an overall
decrease in the amount of time spent on traditional news sites.

2
Forrester Research
3
Wave.3 Social Media Tracker – Universal McCann
4
immediate future/Logan Tod/e-consultancy joint report April 2008
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Social media usage and brand loyalty varies country by country. For example, the most
used social media tools for April ’08 were:

This shows that the differences in social media usage need to be understood for each
region and that, as a result, every conversation needs to be tailored to appeal to the
chosen target market, with the appropriate messages.
The social media ‘boom’ shows no sign of slowing - in fact, over a relatively short period
of time, it has even overtaken some of the more traditional forms of communication. With
the rise of mobile internet adding an extra dimension, brands need to ensure they start
engaging with these rapidly evolving communities sooner rather than later, or risk
missing out altogether.

What makes up social media?


According to Wikipedia, social media describes the online technologies and practices
that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences and perspectives.

Social media includes:

Blogs Podcasts
Microblogging (Twitter) Vidcasts
Message boards Wikis
Forums Groups
Social networks (MySpace or Facebook) Virtual worlds or communities (Second
Video sharing (You Tube) Life)
Picture sharing (Flickr)

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Brands in social media study
immediate future ‘brands in social media’ report 2008
The purpose of the IF study is to understand how brands are performing within social
media. This is the second year that the report has been compiled and means that
comparisons with last year’s results can now be drawn - including how certain brands
have evolved (or stagnated).

Interbrand Top 100


The Interbrand Top 100 is one of the top published business rankings in the world. To
qualify for inclusion in the report, brands are required to pass rigorous criteria. Those
brands that qualify are then evaluated by three core components:
Financial analysis - forecasted current and future revenue specifically attributable
to the brand
Role of brand analysis - a measure of how the brand influences customer
demand at the point of purchase
Brand strength score - a benchmark of the brand’s ability to secure ongoing
customer demand (loyalty, repurchase, retention)
It is worth noting that each component is converted into a monetary figure to provide an
estimated overall brand asset value.

Millward Brown BrandZ


This year, the research also details comparisons taken from the Millward Brown BrandZ
research. By referencing this study alongside the Interbrand Top 100, a broader and
more accurate brand evaluation can be carried out.

The BrandZ research is calculated from a combination of detailed analysis of a given


brand’s financial data and some primary research findings complied from a consumer
base of over one million customers (conducted to represent the consumer perception of
that brand). Again, there are three main components to the study, which allow a brand’s
value to be measured:
Intangible earnings - intangible corporate earnings allocated to each brand by
country, based on company and analyst reports, industry studies, revenue
estimates, etc.
Brand contribution – portion of intangible earnings attributable to brand. Directly
driven by BrandDynamicsTM Loyalty Pyramid and Category Segmentation
collected within the BrandZ study
Brand multiple - brand earnings multiple. Calculated based on market valuations,
brand growth potential and VoltageTM (as measured by BrandDynamics TM)

The BrandZ study also calculates the degree to which brand equity plays a role in
generating earnings (brand contribution) and how much the brand is expected to grow in
the short term (brand momentum).

While consumer perception and demand play a role in both reports, the consumer’s
online voice is ignored. However, this would appear to be an oversight as brand
conversations can prove a very relevant metric of brand perceptions. Often regarded as
the most uninhibited focus group, online consumer chatter can reveal key insights into
brand awareness, as well as its perceived reputation and equity.

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This report, designed to provoke discussion, is not a full data analysis, but rather a
snapshot of brands’ share of voice in social media. Coupled with a review of sentiment
(positive, neutral or negative in tone), it takes the global brands from the Interbrand and
the Millward Brown BrandZ Top 100 and compares their ranking in the two studies
against their (IF evaluated) performance in the online conversation5.

Methodology
All research data was conducted by immediate future in May 2008.

Share of voice analysis


Site search functions were utilised to determine the number of times a brand was
mentioned on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Digg, Del.icio.us and Twitter,
in both forums and blogs.

Previously, the blogosphere figure was calculated as an average, based on results


generated by Technorati and Google Blog Search. This year, however, the figure was
calculated from Google Blog Search alone, as, at the time of compiling this report,
Technorati appeared to be returning inconsistent figures in its search results.

This year’s research also includes a search on forums to show brands’ share of voice in
this sector. These figures were generated by the forum search engine, Board Reader,
which analyses threads on forum boards.

With the rise in popularity of microblogging, seen through the success of tools such as
Twitter, immediate future considered the inclusion of an analysis of this form of social
media essential for the purposes of this research. Twitter was chosen, as the most
popular network of its kind, at the time of conducting the research.

Using the site search function on each of the relevant social media sites, immediate
future calculated mentions for each brand. These were then ranked across all social
media types to give a final figure which determined the brand’s position in the IF rank.

(Please note, at the time the research was conducted, social bookmarking tool,
Ma.gnolia, was experiencing technical difficulties and was therefore not included in the
study.)

Social network group sentiment analysis


To gain a measure of the overall sentiment of brand-focused groups set up on social
networks, brand name searches were conducted across three major social network
sites: Facebook, Bebo and MySpace.

The top 20 brand-focused groups from each social network were reviewed to determine
whether their overall tone was positive, negative or neutral.

5
UPS, ING and Philips were all disregarded from the study as the brand names are too generic
and therefore provide unreliable figures, e.g. Philips is a common name.

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In addition to the above, a sentiment value from Twitter was calculated by using a
Twitter sentiment tool. This was then divided into positive, negative and neutral
sentiment.

The figures for each brand were derived from results across all social network types.
The number of positive, negative and neutral groups, along with brand mentions, was
then plotted into a graph for comparison.

Brands’ share of voice in social media


The research into share of voice allowed a snapshot of brand mentions in social media
to be compiled. On its own, the share of voice analysis did not take into account the
nature of the mentions, so, a sentiment analysis was used. The resulting snapshot can
be seen as the first step in the discovery and mapping of a brand’s social media
landscape and means brands can identify where the buzz is currently occurring.

Consumer chatter surrounding a brand is of paramount importance, as it can affect that


brand’s reputation. Unlike traditional methods of communicating on a mass scale (i.e.
through newspapers and magazines), conversations online are unrestricted and can
often be more extreme (in terms of the views expressed). It therefore becomes
increasingly important for brands to actively monitor what is being said about them
online, who exactly is saying it and how influential that source is. Monitoring is the first,
and most vital, step in engaging with social media and participating in the conversation.

For the purpose of this study, immediate future reviewed:

The ‘blogosphere’ as a whole


Micro-blogging site Twitter
Forum search tool Board Reader
Social networks Facebook, Bebo and MySpace
Video sharing site YouTube
Photo sharing site Flickr
Social bookmarking site del.icio.us
Social editorial site Digg

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Share of voice for the Top 25 Brands
IF IF
RANK RANK Millward Brown
Brand '08 '07 Change Interbrand 2007 2008
Google 1 1 0 Coca-Cola Google
GE (General
Yahoo! 2 2 0 Microsoft Electric)
Apple 3 3 0 IBM Microsoft
Sony 4 6 +2 GE Coca-Cola
Disney 5 9 +4 Nokia China Mobile
Nintendo 6 12 +6 Toyota IBM
eBay 7 8 +1 Intel Apple
Ford 8 10 +2 McDonald’s McDonald’s
Microsoft 9 4 -5 Disney Nokia
Canon 10 5 -5 Mercedes Marlboro
Honda 11 16 +5 Citi Vodafone
Mercedes 12 30 +18 Hewlett-Packard Toyota
Toyota 13 22 +9 BMW Wal-Mart
Gap 14 17 +3 Marlboro Bank of America
Nike 15 28 +13 American Express Citi
BMW 16 20 +4 Gillette HP
Samsung 17 14 -3 Louis Vuitton BMW
MTV 18 18 0 Cisco ICBC
Dell 19 7 -12 Honda Louis Vuitton
Starbucks 20 23 +3 Google American Express
McDonald’s 21 41 +20 Samsung Wells Fargo
Pepsi 22 32 +10 Merrill Lynch Cisco
Nokia 23 15 -8 HSBC Disney
Porsche 24 49 +25 Nescafé UPS
Intel 25 21 -4 Sony Tesco

The table above presents the results from the 2008 research. IF Rank ‘08 represents the
25 most discussed brands across the selected social media sites, with last year’s results
shown under IF Rank ’07. The year on year change is also included, as well as the
rankings for the Interbrand 2007 research and Millward Brown’s ‘Top 100 Most Powerful
Brands’ 2008.

The majority of brands in the IF top 25 have risen up the rankings from 2007 (15 go up,
six down, with four staying the same), which reflects how these brands are increasingly
being discussed in social media.

Eight brands appear in all three top 25 rankings – Google, Disney, Ford, Gap, Nike,
Pepsi, McDonald’s and Nokia. Comparing this with the Interbrand and Millward Brown
rankings, it is the former which comes closest to reproducing the IF Ranks, with over half
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of the Interbrand companies appearing in the IF results, compared to only 36% of brands
appearing in both IF’s rankings and those of Millward Brown.

When this year’s results are compared to those of 2007, the top three, Google, Yahoo!
and Apple, remain in the same positions, whilst the rest of the 25 appear quite volatile,
with only one other brand – MTV – maintaining its position from last year.

It is no surprise that consumer electronics companies, including Sony, Nintendo and


Apple, hold seven out of the top ten places, as technology enthusiasts (and detractors)
feel at ease sharing information online and searching for each others’ opinions.
However, it is interesting to note that Microsoft has dropped five places.

This year’s results also show a strong presence from the automotive industry, with six
brands featuring in the top 25. This is a two third increase on last year, with new entries
from luxury car manufacturers Porsche and Mercedes.

Not one brand shares the same position across all three rankings, which clearly
demonstrates the difference between more financially based rankings and online voice.
Only Google shares the same position in both IF and Milward Brown rankings - claiming
the number one spot. However, there are a number of brands that feature both in the
Interbrand and Milward Brown top 25, but not in IF’s ranking (Coca-Cola, IBM, General
Electric, Citi, Hewlett Packard, American Express, Louis Vitton and Cisco). This shows
the differences between the different financial values attributed by the other two rankings
and the online chatter for these brands.

The biggest downward mover on the chart is Dell (falling 12 places from last year), whilst
Porsche, McDonald’s and Mercedes climbed 25, 20 and 18 places respectively.
Meanwhile, Shell, Reuters and Amazon.com have all dropped out of the top 25.

No financial institutions are found in the IF top 25, although they score highly on value
and financial status in the other two rankings.

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Brand share of voice in detail

The graph above reveals where in the social media landscape conversations are
currently taking place. It is interesting to note how the various brands fare in the different
types of media, with no single brand managing to effectively position itself across every
site.

Google does, nonetheless, dominate many of the social media categories, coming in the
top three for MySpace, Digg, Del.icio.us, Twitter, as well as in forums and blogs.
Technology companies do consistently well in all categories, which reflects how people
like to discuss technology products and services, through posts, video and photography.
Their success can also be explained by the fact that early adopters are a dominant
online presence in their area.

Media takes the lion’s share of video sharing


The past year has seen a significant increase in video uploads, with 129 million people
visiting YouTube every month. This important medium (video sharing) also shows very
different results from the other social media types, with large media companies
dominating the chart. The top two positions are held by Disney and MTV, which reflects
their respective areas of expertise – Disney’s place can be attributed to uploaded
content from their films and cartoons and MTV features prominently thanks to its
exclusive music videos.

Consumer electronics brands have also accumulated increasing levels of buzz, with
Nintendo coming in third - due to its range of content including console reviews, game
clips, and user generated content (based on characters and in-game music). In fourth
place, Sony also elicits a strong response from users, who are uploading videos of
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products and clips of the crtitically acclaimed BRAVIA advert series6. Consumer
electronics brands are able to create a strong bond and brand loyalty amongst their
consumers, which results in brand advocacy (as consumers want to show off their
purchases and talk about them with others).

Camera tagging identifies brand mentions in photosharing


Flickr, the online photo sharing network, demonstrates the link between site relevance
and brand sector. Camera manufacturers all do well in this category, especially
compared to their overall rankings. Canon and Samsung come first and second
respectively, Sony6 fourth, and Kodak, 38th overall, reaches number seven. This is
because people tend to either upload photos of the cameras themselves (as fans of
specific products seem to be interested in sharing their own equipment experiences with
others), or tag photos taken with cameras from these brands.

Disney also fares well in Flickr, as it is a brand which lends itself well to imagery. Many
people upload photos of holidays to branded theme parks, alongside pictures of their
favourite cartoon characters.

Audience is king for brand rankings on social networks


The results surrounding social networks reflect the age demographic of those using
them. Bebo, whose core user base is made up of teens and young adults, sees a strong
showing by brands who are active in that age demographic. Ford features very
prominently, which could be explained by it being a make of car which proves very
popular with young adults both in the US and the UK. Disney also holds a high ranking,
as it has a similar fanbase (in terms of age) as the Bebo audience.

Zara, the clothing company, also attracts chatter amongst younger networkers, coming
ninth in the Bebo chart (compared to 56th overall). Large technology brands, which
dominate the other rankings, fare much worse here when exposed to a younger
audience with just two brands making an appearance (Google, reaching number 22, and
Microsoft, number 45). Only Apple matches its overall ranking, possibly due to the fact
that the teen market regularly discusses Apple’s iPod and iPhone.

MySpace, whose age demographic is slightly older than Bebo, comes closer to the
overall IF top 25 rankings, though the table still shows its own peculiarities. Whereas
Disney drops a couple of places (when compared to the Bebo results), MTV, which
reflects both MySpace’s stated age demographic and its strong ties with the music
scene, comes in fourth, compared to its 17th position in the Bebo chart (and its 18th
position overall in the IF top 25).

Pepsi, which has low rankings across the board, ended up in fifth place on MySpace
(whilst the comparatively poor showing of rival Coca-Cola could be explained by the fact
that people do not always refer to it by its full name). eBay also returns a high ranking
(third), especially when compared to its 30th place in the Bebo rankings. This is most
probably due to the fact that those too young to purchase from the site don’t talk about it
(though it does provide slightly older teens and young adults somewhere to find bargains
to suit their finances!).

6
Sony is an immediate future client
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Aspirational luxury fashion brands also show up strongly in the MySpace rankings, with
Gucci (15th in the MySpace chart / 46th overall), Prada (17th/41st), and Chanel (18th/37th)
all appearing in the top twenty.

Facebook’s rankings are most interesting when the lowest placed brands are
considered. Despite all of them finishing in the top 40 in the Interbrand study, the big
financial institutions – JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch –
do not fare very well in the Facebook rankings. This is surprising, as the network still
tends to attract an audience made up of young professionals, alongside students and
graduates, many of whom work/aspire to work for such companies. All appear in the
bottom 20 places of the Facebook rankings, with Morgan Stanley (in last position)
inspiring no conversation whatsoever even though it has over 7,000 of its staff on the
network! However, several corporations have introduced strict social networking policies
over the last 12 months, which may explain their poor showing.

Digg can highlight the negative too


Digg also reflects the overall standings, with technology companies taking the top spots.
However, higher rankings are not necessarily a positive sign, as people are just as likely
to Digg negative stories as positive ones.

Even though Nike only reaches number 35 in this chart, the top stories Dugg about it are
generally observed to be positive.
“The coolest shoes EVER! -- And
Contrast this, however, with clothing company GAP I'm not kidding!”;
(11th in the chart), whose most Dugg stories include
“GAP Caught Using Child Labor To Produce ‘GAP “Nike Air McFlys From Back To
Kids’ Clothing” and computer manufacturer Dell The Future 2 To Be Released”;
(most of whose Dugg stories are also negative).
However, Dell has actually dropped in this table, “Nike+iPod works with any shoe:
from 12th position last year, which reflects the fact The 99-cent DIY shoe mod”
that fewer negative stories are being written about
them in 2008. Quotes about Nike found on Digg

Blogs don’t care for car marques


“Dell Call Center Salesman Goes As expected, technology brands continue to
Insane - Leaked Recording”; dominate the blog rankings, though car brands do
“Dell's new Vostro, crippled by surprisingly badly, with Honda only reaching 66th
monumental keyboard screw spot, Porsche 35th, and BMW nearly failing to make
up”; “Dell laptop explodes at the top 100, by coming in at no.95.
Japanese conference (Pictures)”
Tweeting hot on technology
Quotes about Dell found on Digg
Twitter returns results which also lean towards the
technology sector, (as the microblogging network is
mostly home to early adopters and the more tech savvy). Twitter has fast gained users
(with visits to Twitter.com up eight fold over the equivalent figures last year), and its
chart shows Google and Apple occupying positions one and two respectively. Starbucks
also shows up very strongly (ranked at number six), but this could be explained by
people writing ‘tweets’ about where they are (e.g. “having great fun catching up with Rob
in Starbucks”).

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Share of voice by industry sector
As with last year, the Technology and Consumer
Rank Brand Sector
Electronics sectors lead the top ten (in terms of share
of voice), but there are other areas which seem to be 1 Google Technology
catching up and even, in some cases, overtaking 2 Yahoo! Technology
them - including Media, FMCG and Automotive Consumer
3 Apple
Electronics
sectors.
Consumer
4 Sony
Electronics
The Millward Brown BrandZ research recognises a
5 Disney Media
‘Technology Boom’ as this sector “accounted for 28
Consumer
out of the Top 100 brands, outperforming all other 6 Nintendo
Electronics
categories in this year’s BrandZ Ranking”. 7 eBay FMCG
Technology’s brand value growth of $187.5bn also 8 Ford Automotive
accounted for more than half of the top 100’s total
9 Microsoft Technology
increase.
Consumer
10 Canon
Electronics
However, the IF social media conversation figures
show a broad split of sectors across the top 100 places. Even though Technology and
Consumer Electronics make up a quarter of the rankings, many other sectors now have
a strong presence.

As previously mentioned, the Automotive sector does well, with 13 brands, but it is Food
& Drink (including fast food) that comes in second, with 15 brands involved. Again,
Millward Brown recognises both these growth areas, with the Automotive sector
experiencing a 7% growth - despite hikes in prices of crude oil and raw materials. The
fast food sector also shows a very strong increase, of 27%, which Millward Brown puts
down to “the introduction of healthier and higher quality alternatives to the menus of fast
food restaurants”.

The Financial Services sector, although not represented in IF’s top 25, does have 12
brands in the top 100.

These results show that the public is having conversations about brands and products
regardless of sector. This reflects the need for brands across the board to be aware of
social media and to know who is saying what about them, to ensure they are not missing
out on vital debates and potential key insights into consumer opinion.

The chart below provides a breakdown of the Interbrand Top 100 global brands’ share of
voice in social media, by industry sector.

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Breakdown of brands share of voice by industry sector

The complete table showing the top 100 brands’ share of voice across each of the social
media sites can be found in Appendix 1.

Consumer sentiment
‘Share of Voice’ illustrates the impact that a brand has on the general online
conversation. It provides the starting point for understanding how consumers or
businesses feel about a brand. Using this information, as well as observing who is
leading these conversations and how they are linked, it is possible to identify which
types of social media, such as blogs, networks, forums and wikis, a brand must monitor
and engage with to help enhance advocacy and understanding (of the brand and its
goals).

Merely quantifying a brand’s share of voice is not enough. One must go further and
understand the tone of the conversations that are taking place. Having a large share of
voice does not guarantee brand equity if the overall sentiment of the conversation is
negative.

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It is easy to think of different social media being separate entities; however the content
within the disparate media is highly connected through links, tags, and key words, all of
which are picked up on by search engines.

The result of this is that the total body of content relating to a subject, or a brand, will be
aggregated on search engines, such as Google, creating greater visibility for your brand.
However, it is also important to realise that negative sentiment can often make its way
on to the first few search pages, as well as positive, and this will affect the way in which
a brand is perceived by the consumer.

Social network groups on sites such as Facebook and MySpace provide incredible
insight into consumer sentiment about a brand. Social networks allow their users to
publicly share photographs, videos, messages, and groups that they are members of,
with their friends.

Every day people are interacting within brand focused social networking groups that
have been set up by other consumers. Popular groups can reach numbers in the
hundreds of thousands and carry great influence as a result.

© immediate future Ltd.2008 15


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
The consumer sentiment chart highlights the top 25 brands (in terms of social media
share of voice and the sentiment towards them) across these social network groups. The
conversations have been examined in greater detail, to further explain the above results.

Starbucks tops the table in terms of positive sentiment, with the coffee house earning
high levels of praise from its customers online. Initiatives such as offering two hours of
free wi-fi per day, and My Starbucks’ Idea http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/home/home.jsp
(where members of the public can suggest ways of improving the service, with the best
ones actually implemented), have been well received by the online public.

Pepsi has raised levels of positive chatter online for its brand through various online
projects. The drinks brand launched a new campaign to encourage consumers to
engage with a new social site Pepsiyouniverse. Using footballers David Beckham,
Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi and Frank Lampard, the
network allowed users to discover their 'visual DNA' - a set of images that define their
personalities.

There has been a strong response to the recent linkup between Pepsi and the BMI
Foundation, Inc., to announce the opening of the Music Enrichment Fund Scholarship (a
competition for young songwriters and composers). Pepsi has also launched a campaign
in the U.S. to both communicate the benefits of aluminium can recycling and encourage
consumers to make recycling a part of their daily routine.

By engaging with social media, Pepsi has amplified the conversation in social network
groups and created positive brand sentiment online.

The Automotive sector holds one of the strongest positions, with Honda, Porsche, Ford,
Mercedes and Toyota all showing high positive brand sentiment and, crucially, low
negative reaction. This is possibly due to cars being a strong consumer passion point,
offering powerful emotional engagement.

Honda has championed technology, reliability and longevity in its activity. It has also
proactively engaged with online communities and this strategy now appears to be paying
off - with increased chatter. This year, Honda has clocked the best performance of any
major player in the U.S. market.

Nintendo features (favourably) in a number of groups, following the success of the Wii. A
recent video of a girl hula hooping whilst playing the Wii Fit has received two million hits
on YouTube and the figures are rising rapidly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v31qxrXsxv0).
This is a great example of how an audience, strongly advocating a brand, creates
content. Nintendo’s constant innovation and its continual release of new games and
products provides its customers, online communities and fan bases with the necessary
stimuli to generate buzz and chatter.

The results for Canon are interesting, as there seems to be a very positive sentiment
both towards the products and the brand itself. However, there was a growth of negative
chatter in January 2008 when Canon, a major sponsor of projects to save endangered
species, refused a Greenpeace request to condemn the Japanese government's whaling
programme.

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immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
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Greenpeace launched a worldwide appeal, calling on Canon's customers to urge the
company to change both its own and the government's minds and add its voice to the
international call for an end to the hunt. Immediately, more than 138,000 people joined
the Greenpeace petition, which was executed in an extremely timely tactical manner
online – via various social networks (such a Facebook and Bebo) and through
relationships developed with passionate bloggers. The result was a strong wave of
negative sentiment towards the brand.

McDonald’s, Microsoft and eBay all suffer as a result of strong negative sentiment
towards them. In the case of eBay, one of the root causes of this negative dialogue is its
partnership and affiliation with PayPal. PayPal receives a huge amount of criticism
online, with many active forums and communities of disgruntled customers (and ex-
employees) exchanging details of their negative experiences (e.g.
www.paypalsucks.com). For example, a recent announcement that eBay had forced
Australian users on to a PayPal-only system was met by a barrage of online criticism
(http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/10/ebay_australia_paypal/). Also, reports of
phishing emails targeted at PayPal and eBay users have triggered negative online
conversations, which reflect the unease and uncertainty of users.

Buzz and sentiment in social media


Social media is not only changing the face of marketing but also the manner in which
news is disseminated and brands are perceived. Kevin Rose, founder of social
bookmarking site Digg, explained, “People want to have a voice and a say in what is
news. (…) It's about seeing what the masses want to surface, which articles they are
finding the most interesting, and oftentimes they unearth and promote stories to the front
page that you wouldn't find anywhere else; that would be buried on a traditional news
site.”

The ‘brands in social media’ research document is a snapshot into a world that is ever
changing. Social media evolves continuously, with new tools, forms and consumers
appearing every day.

Brands wanting to fully understand their position in social media should treat this
document as raw, topline information. Comprehensive research into influence and
sentiment, as well as stakeholder analysis, is required for a more accurate picture of a
brand’s online share of voice and the type of sentiment expressed towards it within
social media conversations.

Social media is a global phenomenon in which old demographics no longer apply.


Conversations happen at the click of a button. New communities are born every day and
brands need to be involved; in the first instance to listen, and then to participate.

Brands need to offer consumers reasons to initiate and continue conversations and,
eventually, become advocates. It is important to realise that brands cannot and should
not try to control conversations. However, through a proper understanding of the
environments which they enter and the tools which they use, brands can develop a
powerful network of advocates who will, in turn, continue to spread the message on their
behalf.
© immediate future Ltd.2008 17
immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
About immediate future
Connecting you directly with your online audience, immediate future helps you gain positive
profile, increases your visibility, generates demand and drives website visitors for branding,
acquisition, partnership or sales association.

Online PR and social media relations are not a ‘nice to have’. They are essential in a connected
and online-savvy world. Your audience is online. They are researching, purchasing, searching
and forming opinions and ideas based on information found on websites, news sites and search
engines. Tap into this activity and you stand to gain.

Online PR and social media initiatives


immediate future’s online PR initiatives help you establish credibility. We create positive reviews,
comment and conversations across the web. Backed with authoritative content in influential
online press, your online PR campaign increases awareness and positive reputation.

Measurable online PR
What you will appreciate most though, is that online PR is so measurable. A quick review of your
web analytics, search rankings, news placements, link building and buzz trends immediately
reveals the impact you are making online.

immediate future can create and execute an annual programme, profile raising campaigns, or
provide in-depth consultancy. Based on our experience in implementing successful online PR
and social media PR, we can bring you benefits that positively impact your reputation and your
bottom line.

www.immediatefuture.co.uk

© immediate future Ltd.2008 18


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
Appendix
Appendix 1: Share of voice rankings

Brand IF IF Interbrand Millward Blog YouTube MySpace Bebo Flickr Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Twitter Forums
Rank Rank Top 100 Brown Search
2008 2007 BrandZ
Google 1 1 20 1 1 5 2 20 8 2 1 19 1 3
Yahoo! 2 2 55 62 2 7 6 6 6 6 3 44 4 1
Apple 3 3 33 7 7 6 9 4 5 1 4 51 2 7
Sony 4 6 25 n/a 6 4 24 21 4 3 9 9 9 5
Disney 5 9 9 23 17 1 8 5 3 12 19 15 12 11
Nintendo 6 12 44 n/a 18 3 11 16 29 5 14 13 15 8
eBay 7 8 48 65 5 22 3 28 18 7 7 53 7 2
Ford 8 10 41 68 11 9 14 2 9 14 21 47 21 6
Microsoft 9 4 2 3 4 13 23 42 21 4 2 40 5 4
Canon 10 5 36 54 10 19 37 44 1 18 13 8 14 14
Honda 11 16 19 37 66 10 7 11 13 19 23 3 33 9
Mercedes 12 30 10 36 20 14 22 9 17 33 36 12 38 20
Toyota 13 22 6 12 19 16 25 24 19 15 25 57 34 15
Gap 14 17 61 n/a 26 25 19 8 16 10 24 37 24 17
Nike 15 28 29 53 28 15 20 12 25 32 28 24 30 24
BMW 16 20 13 17 90 11 27 19 12 22 22 1 31 10
Samsung 17 14 21 58 8 32 60 48 2 16 18 33 25 18
MTV 18 18 52 n/a 87 2 4 15 34 20 29 28 18 28
Dell 19 7 31 41 81 12 17 26 14 46 12 46 10 12
Starbucks 20 23 88 56 46 38 12 17 20 17 34 39 6 31
McDonald’s 21 41 8 8 54 44 10 13 43 11 44 14 20 30
Pepsi 22 32 26 39 45 26 5 14 40 28 47 11 26 34
Nokia 23 15 5 9 88 20 44 46 10 23 10 25 8 19
Porsche 24 49 75 28 32 17 30 39 15 30 37 29 43 21

© immediate future Ltd.2008 19


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
Brand IF IF Interbrand Millward Blog YouTube MySpace Bebo Flickr Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Twitter Forums
Rank Rank Top 100 Brown Search
2008 2007 BrandZ
Intel 25 21 7 27 12 31 47 68 39 9 15 42 16 13
IBM 26 27 3 6 16 56 31 56 38 27 8 50 19 33
Nissan 27 35 98 59 22 18 29 23 27 37 35 22 44 22
LG 28 25 97 n/a 9 29 1 36 26 97 30 36 27 23
Coca-Cola 29 45 1 4 43 28 26 29 33 21 62 2 23 47
Oracle 30 29 27 26 24 55 36 63 50 36 11 52 17 29
Audi 31 46 68 n/a 21 21 39 30 23 31 32 6 37 40
Ikea 32 44 38 86 47 51 46 47 22 35 26 23 11 50
Amazon.com 33 19 62 61 3 27 33 93 62 25 5 77 28 16
adidas 34 42 69 n/a 34 33 34 22 41 45 39 38 47 42
Motorola 35 26 77 92 15 46 66 70 32 24 20 49 35 26
Volkswagen 36 51 54 96 27 30 56 54 24 40 33 16 55 48
Chanel 37 37 58 85 40 40 16 10 44 74 56 30 54 39
Kodak 38 31 82 n/a 35 50 48 49 7 41 38 48 48 43
Panasonic 39 33 78 n/a 13 39 68 79 11 38 27 78 39 27
KFC® 40 47 60 n/a 57 43 32 18 45 43 68 31 36 46
Prada 41 39 94 n/a 41 47 15 33 49 64 49 32 49 41
Cisco 42 36 18 22 31 59 35 53 46 29 16 92 29 44
Citi 43 79 11 15 53 80 43 65 69 8 6 68 3 52
BP 44 43 84 n/a 23 34 28 35 37 79 40 45 41 90
Reuters 45 11 76 n/a 30 65 64 87 63 13 17 76 13 32
Gucci 46 38 46 79 39 52 13 27 85 57 54 26 62 45
Lexus 47 53 92 n/a 95 42 49 37 47 39 45 41 56 25
Avon 48 54 65 94 37 58 40 34 31 77 51 56 46 51
Kraft 49 24 86 n/a 38 60 51 41 60 69 46 10 52 55
Johnson &
Johnson 50 67 90 n/a 77 8 21 1 48 26 48 73 94 88
SAP 51 34 34 29 93 54 80 73 35 61 43 7 22 36
Siemens 52 52 43 47 14 63 41 59 64 60 31 96 45 53
Pizza Hut 53 58 74 n/a 69 57 38 31 59 50 83 43 40 59

© immediate future Ltd.2008 20


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
Brand IF IF Interbrand Millward Blog YouTube MySpace Bebo Flickr Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Twitter Forums
Rank Rank Top 100 Brown Search
2008 2007 BrandZ
Budweiser® 54 76 30 70 74 48 42 45 54 53 79 18 61 62
American
55
Express 40 15 20 29 72 54 76 84 47 57 64 66 38
Zara 56 66 64 84 60 36 53 7 51 90 77 17 42 70
Hyundai 57 59 72 n/a 25 45 65 66 65 63 50 55 59 37
HSBC 58 62 23 35 50 64 79 55 52 71 42 21 53 57
Marlboro 59 73 14 10 62 49 52 57 57 72 80 4 64 73
General Electric 60 48 4 2 58 23 18 86 81 58 72 35 91 49
Harley-Davidson 61 61 45 72 96 35 45 61 28 49 66 59 79 56
Rolex 62 65 71 n/a 51 66 70 60 53 52 58 66 73 35
Heinz 63 74 53 n/a 42 41 97 43 96 67 59 20 60 65
Caterpillar 64 64 66 n/a 52 88 55 67 30 59 60 65 58 76
UBS 65 72 39 64 59 37 84 83 78 44 55 75 32 69
Xerox 66 71 56 n/a 36 78 77 78 74 48 41 74 50 77
Louis Vuitton 67 55 17 19 80 81 62 50 61 73 63 27 70 72
Hermès 68 60 73 76 44 53 73 96 56 82 53 62 67 54
Hewlett-Packard 69 56 12 16 33 89 57 82 42 34 70 95 80 64
Nestlé 70 75 63 n/a 61 69 82 94 55 89 61 5 57 74
Smirnoff 71 80 91 n/a 83 61 50 32 71 81 87 54 63 75
Gillette 72 83 16 30 68 73 72 51 66 55 76 67 76 60
Wrigley 73 96 59 n/a 82 70 75 52 36 70 85 60 65 71
Shell 74 13 93 n/a 94 24 89 3 93 51 82 82 96 61
Burberry 75 57 95 n/a 49 87 83 40 73 95 78 34 81 66
Cartier 76 69 83 80 48 67 71 58 58 92 71 58 84 81
Hertz 77 n/a 100 n/a 56 76 67 62 76 62 74 83 69 63
Colgate 78 68 57 71 73 68 58 69 70 84 84 61 72 79
Hennessy 79 87 87 n/a 79 79 59 25 75 75 86 72 90 83
Accenture 80 85 50 49 78 90 69 84 67 66 52 71 68 92
Kleenex 81 78 70 n/a 85 82 74 80 77 80 90 63 51 68
L’Oréal 82 89 51 38 75 62 87 38 72 88 92 79 74 84

© immediate future Ltd.2008 21


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB
Brand IF IF Interbrand Millward Blog YouTube MySpace Bebo Flickr Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Twitter Forums
Rank Rank Top 100 Brown Search
2008 2007 BrandZ
AIG 83 n/a 47 98 72 83 63 64 79 86 75 88 78 80
Allianz 84 n/a 80 n/a 55 71 91 85 68 76 73 90 85 94
Nescafé 85 93 24 n/a 86 75 92 88 83 78 93 69 71 58
Merrill Lynch 86 84 22 74 67 95 85 91 95 54 69 85 77 78
JPMorgan 87 86 32 75 76 91 61 90 87 68 65 91 88 82
Goldman Sachs 88 81 35 57 71 92 94 92 88 56 64 80 97 67
AXA 89 n/a 49 97 65 77 86 72 82 87 81 84 82 91
Nivea 90 91 96 n/a 64 74 81 71 80 96 88 89 83 85
Morgan Stanley 91 82 37 63 70 94 88 77 86 42 97 97 75 97
Duracell 92 94 89 n/a 63 86 90 74 90 94 89 86 89 87
Tiffany & Co. 93 97 79 n/a 89 93 78 81 91 83 67 94 92 86
Polo RL 94 n/a 99 n/a 91 97 76 95 97 65 96 70 95 89
Danone 95 98 67 n/a 84 84 95 89 92 91 91 81 86 95
Kellogg’s 96 95 40 n/a 97 85 93 75 94 85 94 87 87 93
Moët & Chandon 97 100 85 n/a 92 96 96 97 89 93 95 93 93 96

© immediate future Ltd.2008 22


immediate future Ltd, The Loft, Vine House, 143 London Road, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6NA
t: 0845 408 2031 f: 0208 549 2605 m: 07803 898 511 e: info@immediatefuture.co.uk
VAT registration No. 786 8830 62: Company No. 4709287 Registered office: 135 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB