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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 the sharing of information, experiences and opinions through a series of widely available, easyto-use tools. Very simple, very public, very hard to ignore. Social media encourages the building of communities; groups of people with common interests who are keen to interact with one another on matters important to them, from daily musings to very specific subject matter. More importantly, anyone can participate in these communities. Finding a group and joining in the conversation is very easy thanks to the wide variety of online tools available (which facilitate the finding and sharing of information).

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“Social networking is really recommendation between people about the things that they are interested in and they like… this has stimulated people’s attention in terms of the importance of PR. The people who are going on these sites didn’t want to be monetised, they didn’t want to be advertised to, so again editorial communication is so powerful, they would rather be communities that can exchange views that are untarnished.” Sir Martin Sorrell

DataMonitor’s "Online Social Networking" Research - http://www.datamonitor.com © immediate future Ltd.2008 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

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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.

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Forrester Research Wave.3 Social Media Tracker – Universal McCann 4 immediate future/Logan Tod/e-consultancy joint report April 2008 3

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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 Microblogging (Twitter) Message boards Forums Social networks (MySpace or Facebook) Video sharing (You Tube) Picture sharing (Flickr)

Podcasts Vidcasts Wikis Groups Virtual worlds or communities (Second Life)

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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. © immediate future Ltd.2008 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

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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. © immediate future Ltd.2008 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

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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 RANK '08

Brand

IF RANK '07

Change

Interbrand 2007

Millward Brown 2008

Google

1

1

0

Coca-Cola

Yahoo!

2

2

0

Microsoft

Google GE (General 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 © immediate future Ltd.2008 8 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


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 © immediate future Ltd.2008 10 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


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!).

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Sony is an immediate future client © immediate future Ltd.2008 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

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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

“Dell Call Center Salesman Goes Insane - Leaked Recording”; “Dell's new Vostro, crippled by monumental keyboard screw up”; “Dell laptop explodes at Japanese conference (Pictures)”

Blogs don’t care for car marques As expected, technology brands continue to dominate the blog rankings, though car brands do surprisingly badly, with Honda only reaching 66th spot, Porsche 35th, and BMW nearly failing to make the top 100, by coming in at no.95.

Tweeting hot on technology 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”). Quotes about Dell found on Digg

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Share of voice by industry sector As with last year, the Technology and Consumer Electronics sectors lead the top ten (in terms of share of voice), but there are other areas which seem to be catching up and even, in some cases, overtaking them - including Media, FMCG and Automotive sectors. The Millward Brown BrandZ research recognises a ‘Technology Boom’ as this sector “accounted for 28 out of the Top 100 brands, outperforming all other categories in this year’s BrandZ Ranking”. Technology’s brand value growth of $187.5bn also accounted for more than half of the top 100’s total increase.

Rank 1 2

Brand Google Yahoo!

3

Apple

4

Sony

5

Disney

6

Nintendo

7 8 9

eBay Ford Microsoft

10

Canon

Sector Technology Technology Consumer Electronics Consumer Electronics Media Consumer Electronics FMCG Automotive Technology Consumer 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.

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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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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 exemployees) 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 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

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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 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

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Appendix Appendix 1: Share of voice rankings Brand

Google Yahoo! Apple Sony Disney Nintendo eBay Ford Microsoft Canon Honda Mercedes Toyota Gap Nike BMW Samsung MTV Dell Starbucks McDonald’s Pepsi Nokia Porsche

IF Rank 2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

IF Rank 2007 1 2 3 6 9 12 8 10 4 5 16 30 22 17 28 20 14 18 7 23 41 32 15 49

Interbrand Top 100 20 55 33 25 9 44 48 41 2 36 19 10 6 61 29 13 21 52 31 88 8 26 5 75

Millward Brown BrandZ 1 62 7 n/a 23 n/a 65 68 3 54 37 36 12 n/a 53 17 58 n/a 41 56 8 39 9 28

Blog Search

YouTube

MySpace

Bebo

Flickr

Digg

Del.icio.us

Facebook

Twitter

Forums

1 2 7 6 17 18 5 11 4 10 66 20 19 26 28 90 8 87 81 46 54 45 88 32

5 7 6 4 1 3 22 9 13 19 10 14 16 25 15 11 32 2 12 38 44 26 20 17

2 6 9 24 8 11 3 14 23 37 7 22 25 19 20 27 60 4 17 12 10 5 44 30

20 6 4 21 5 16 28 2 42 44 11 9 24 8 12 19 48 15 26 17 13 14 46 39

8 6 5 4 3 29 18 9 21 1 13 17 19 16 25 12 2 34 14 20 43 40 10 15

2 6 1 3 12 5 7 14 4 18 19 33 15 10 32 22 16 20 46 17 11 28 23 30

1 3 4 9 19 14 7 21 2 13 23 36 25 24 28 22 18 29 12 34 44 47 10 37

19 44 51 9 15 13 53 47 40 8 3 12 57 37 24 1 33 28 46 39 14 11 25 29

1 4 2 9 12 15 7 21 5 14 33 38 34 24 30 31 25 18 10 6 20 26 8 43

3 1 7 5 11 8 2 6 4 14 9 20 15 17 24 10 18 28 12 31 30 34 19 21

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Brand

Intel IBM Nissan LG Coca-Cola Oracle Audi Ikea Amazon.com adidas Motorola Volkswagen Chanel Kodak Panasonic KFC® Prada Cisco Citi BP Reuters Gucci Lexus Avon Kraft Johnson & Johnson SAP Siemens Pizza Hut

IF Rank 2008 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

IF Rank 2007 21 27 35 25 45 29 46 44 19 42 26 51 37 31 33 47 39 36 79 43 11 38 53 54 24

Interbrand Top 100

50 51 52 53

67 34 52 58

Blog Search

YouTube

MySpace

Bebo

Flickr

Digg

Del.icio.us

Facebook

Twitter

Forums

7 3 98 97 1 27 68 38 62 69 77 54 58 82 78 60 94 18 11 84 76 46 92 65 86

Millward Brown BrandZ 27 6 59 n/a 4 26 n/a 86 61 n/a 92 96 85 n/a n/a n/a n/a 22 15 n/a n/a 79 n/a 94 n/a

12 16 22 9 43 24 21 47 3 34 15 27 40 35 13 57 41 31 53 23 30 39 95 37 38

31 56 18 29 28 55 21 51 27 33 46 30 40 50 39 43 47 59 80 34 65 52 42 58 60

47 31 29 1 26 36 39 46 33 34 66 56 16 48 68 32 15 35 43 28 64 13 49 40 51

68 56 23 36 29 63 30 47 93 22 70 54 10 49 79 18 33 53 65 35 87 27 37 34 41

39 38 27 26 33 50 23 22 62 41 32 24 44 7 11 45 49 46 69 37 63 85 47 31 60

9 27 37 97 21 36 31 35 25 45 24 40 74 41 38 43 64 29 8 79 13 57 39 77 69

15 8 35 30 62 11 32 26 5 39 20 33 56 38 27 68 49 16 6 40 17 54 45 51 46

42 50 22 36 2 52 6 23 77 38 49 16 30 48 78 31 32 92 68 45 76 26 41 56 10

16 19 44 27 23 17 37 11 28 47 35 55 54 48 39 36 49 29 3 41 13 62 56 46 52

13 33 22 23 47 29 40 50 16 42 26 48 39 43 27 46 41 44 52 90 32 45 25 51 55

90 34 43 74

n/a 29 47 n/a

77 93 14 69

8 54 63 57

21 80 41 38

1 73 59 31

48 35 64 59

26 61 60 50

48 43 31 83

73 7 96 43

94 22 45 40

88 36 53 59

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Brand

Budweiser® American Express Zara Hyundai HSBC Marlboro General Electric Harley-Davidson Rolex Heinz Caterpillar UBS Xerox Louis Vuitton Hermès Hewlett-Packard Nestlé Smirnoff Gillette Wrigley Shell Burberry Cartier Hertz Colgate Hennessy Accenture Kleenex L’Oréal

IF Rank 2008 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82

IF Rank 2007 76

Interbrand Top 100

Blog Search

YouTube

MySpace

Bebo

Flickr

Digg

Del.icio.us

Facebook

Twitter

Forums

30

Millward Brown BrandZ 70

74

48

42

45

54

53

79

18

61

62

40 66 59 62 73 48 61 65 74 64 72 71 55 60 56 75 80 83 96 13 57 69 n/a 68 87 85 78 89

15 64 72 23 14 4 45 71 53 66 39 56 17 73 12 63 91 16 59 93 95 83 100 57 87 50 70 51

20 84 n/a 35 10 2 72 n/a n/a n/a 64 n/a 19 76 16 n/a n/a 30 n/a n/a n/a 80 n/a 71 n/a 49 n/a 38

29 60 25 50 62 58 96 51 42 52 59 36 80 44 33 61 83 68 82 94 49 48 56 73 79 78 85 75

72 36 45 64 49 23 35 66 41 88 37 78 81 53 89 69 61 73 70 24 87 67 76 68 79 90 82 62

54 53 65 79 52 18 45 70 97 55 84 77 62 73 57 82 50 72 75 89 83 71 67 58 59 69 74 87

76 7 66 55 57 86 61 60 43 67 83 78 50 96 82 94 32 51 52 3 40 58 62 69 25 84 80 38

84 51 65 52 57 81 28 53 96 30 78 74 61 56 42 55 71 66 36 93 73 58 76 70 75 67 77 72

47 90 63 71 72 58 49 52 67 59 44 48 73 82 34 89 81 55 70 51 95 92 62 84 75 66 80 88

57 77 50 42 80 72 66 58 59 60 55 41 63 53 70 61 87 76 85 82 78 71 74 84 86 52 90 92

64 17 55 21 4 35 59 66 20 65 75 74 27 62 95 5 54 67 60 82 34 58 83 61 72 71 63 79

66 42 59 53 64 91 79 73 60 58 32 50 70 67 80 57 63 76 65 96 81 84 69 72 90 68 51 74

38 70 37 57 73 49 56 35 65 76 69 77 72 54 64 74 75 60 71 61 66 81 63 79 83 92 68 84

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Brand

AIG Allianz Nescafé Merrill Lynch JPMorgan Goldman Sachs AXA Nivea Morgan Stanley Duracell Tiffany & Co. Polo RL Danone Kellogg’s Moët & Chandon

IF Rank 2008 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97

IF Rank 2007 n/a n/a 93 84 86 81 n/a 91 82 94 97 n/a 98 95 100

Interbrand Top 100 47 80 24 22 32 35 49 96 37 89 79 99 67 40 85

Millward Brown BrandZ 98 n/a n/a 74 75 57 97 n/a 63 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Blog Search

YouTube

MySpace

Bebo

Flickr

Digg

Del.icio.us

Facebook

Twitter

Forums

72 55 86 67 76 71 65 64 70 63 89 91 84 97 92

83 71 75 95 91 92 77 74 94 86 93 97 84 85 96

63 91 92 85 61 94 86 81 88 90 78 76 95 93 96

64 85 88 91 90 92 72 71 77 74 81 95 89 75 97

79 68 83 95 87 88 82 80 86 90 91 97 92 94 89

86 76 78 54 68 56 87 96 42 94 83 65 91 85 93

75 73 93 69 65 64 81 88 97 89 67 96 91 94 95

88 90 69 85 91 80 84 89 97 86 94 70 81 87 93

78 85 71 77 88 97 82 83 75 89 92 95 86 87 93

80 94 58 78 82 67 91 85 97 87 86 89 95 93 96

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Brands in Social Media Report 2008