Word of mouth takes on a whole new meaning with social media. When a consumer shares their love of a retailer not only does their loyalty grow, but they plant seeds of brand loyalty throughout their social network. To measure how well retailers are doing in social media posts, the "NetBase Brand Passion Report 2017: Top 100 Global Brand Love List" sheds light on which retailers consumers not only connect with, but share those feelings with others in social media posts.
NetBase is a social analytics platform that processes millions of social media posts daily. To generate the list NetBase surfaced the strongest, most positive consumer emotions towards brands, then, using patented technology, identified which 100 brands get the most love.
The list looks at English language posts across the world, ranking the most loved brands in technology, consumer goods, automotive, food and beverage, financial services, and energy companies across over 200 countries. Sources include blogs, forums, microblogs, news, review sites, Twitter, Tumblr, and many others (discussions were taken from May, 2016 through July, 2017).
"We only included the mentions where love is an insight for the brand, not just a keyword," said NetBase in the report. "That means we know that ‘Man toyota trd trucks are beautiful’, shows love for Toyota, but ‘a beautiful bird just landed on my Toyota’—does not."
Only three e-commerce companies made the 2017 list (Amazon, eBay and Etsy) but all finished in the Top 10 with Amazon leading the way at No. 2 (Facebook took the No. 1 spot). While they weren’t as high as e-commerce, retails brands outnumbered e-commerce brands 12 to 3 on the list.
Best Buy (16) and Target (18) are neck and neck in big box retail love on social, while Walmart is a distant third (39). Retailers focused on female consumers (Victoria’s Secret at 45, Sephora at 48 and Topshop at 88) etched their way onto the top half of this year’s list, but retailers serving a male audience didn’t finish as high.
Click here for the full 100 global brands that made the list and the full "NetBase Brand Passion Report 2017." Read on to find out the top ten retailers that made the cut.
The 10 Retailers Consumers Express the Most Love for in Social Media
1. Amazon (2)
With 26,141,147 positive mentions, Amazon was the top retailer and top e-commerce retailer on the list. Amazon has about 34% of the U.S. online sales and is expected to see their market share grow to about 50% by 2021, according to NetBase. Driven by the popularity of its Prime membership program, its marketplaces, and its growing mobile application adoption, Amazon appears to be the unstoppable force. Amazon continues to be the No. 2 gift card in the market after VISA for the fifth year running, which shows how consumers like to share this retailer with family and friends—making it not surprising they are also sharing their love of Amazon on social channels.
2. Ebay (3)
EBay is an e-commerce marketplace where millions of people trade every day and can get just about anything imaginable, even when the item isn't available in a brick and mortar store locally. Some are buyers, some are sellers, some are both. Coming in a No. 3 on the list and as the second retailer on our list, clearly no matter how shoppers are using eBay, they are all talking about it. The company had 24,407,563 mentions.
3. Apple (4)
It's not much of a surprise Apple landed so high on this list. The company that revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984 is now a global brand with more than 100,000 employees. Apple has also become known for its innovative and beautifully designed brick and mortar stores. In July, crowds of customers started gathering overnight for the grand opening of Taiwan's first Apple store. According to MacRumors, Apple has opened 497 retail stores across 17 countries, including 270 in the US.
4. Disney (6)
Grated Disney movies were by far the most loved component of the Disney enterprise, representing over 32% of all social posts with positive attributes and sentiment. But that doesn't mean the retailer doesn't benefit from the publicity and praise. The Disney Store retail chain, which debuted in 1987, now has more than 200 brick and mortar locations in North America; more than 40 Disney Store locations in Japan; one flagship location in Shanghai, China; more than 70 locations in additional countries; and several online stores.
5. Etsy (8)
Another e-commerce marketplace to make the list, Etsy connects millions of people around the world to make, sell and buy unique goods. With unique items at the heart of their business, there are plenty of interesting goods for consumers to share about on social. Sellers as well use social tools to promote goods. The company offers a range of Seller Services and tools to help creative entrepreneurs start, manage and scale their businesses. Etsy currently has 1.8 million active sellers and is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.
6. Zara (13)
Zara is the leading consumer goods brand on the list with over 560K more mentions than its close rival Nike. Zara’s fan base is rising as the “fastfashion” retailer quickly responds to catwalk designs, imitates the latest fashion trends and speeds less expensive versions to their stores. Their nimble supply chain also enables them to replicate popular-selling products in new colors and styles faster than its rivals. This all translates into consumer love, comments, and suggestions across social.
According to NetBase, Nike stands out as doing a particularly outstanding job on Instagram at showcasing their brand in the context of everyday people participating and enjoying sports from soccer, to running, to hiking. This approach has really connected Nike with its audience as they can picture themselves in these scenarios.
Last Year Nike and Apple introduced a smartwatch creating a wearable tool for runners, integrating the Nike+ Run Club app for motivation to go for a run, coaching plans that adapt to the owner's unique schedule and progress, and guidance from coaches and athletes. Technological moves like these create a strong brand connection worth sharing with others.
8. Best Buy (16)
Best Buy has been able to consistently grow sales and solidify its place as the nation’s biggest electronics retailer thanks to a commitment to continuous innovation and technological advancements designed to not only dominate the market today but also ensure a flourishing tomorrow. NetBase said the top attributes for Best Buy include “best buy,” “best savings" and “best price.” Best Buy has also generated social media love as result of the compassion and acts of human kindness displayed by their employees toward their customers during the holiday season, which was fully exhibited once by a Best Buy employee who noticed that a kid would come in every day to play the Wii I display, so he decided to buy him one as a gift.
9. Gucci (17)
Alessandro Michele, the brand’s creative director, took the leading role at Gucci two years ago and completely overhauled the brand. Since then, the brand has become Instagram fodder embraced by street style stars around the globe, even embracing memes. Global Luxury group Kering reported record growth at Gucci in the first quarter of 2017 and said Gucci’s collections once again proved extremely popular during the period, with double-digit growth for all product categories and ever-increasing demand for Ready-to-Wear and Shoes.
10. Target (18)
While Target is under competition from e-commerce giant Amazon and rival Walmart, the retailer is still high on the list for consumer social love. Target is constantly looking for new ways to beat the two on fulfilment. But its draw on social media may spring from launching private label brands shoppers enjoy in order to stay relevant and topical. Over the next 18 months, Target will launch more than a dozen new brands, phasing out well-known brands such as Merona and Mossimo. Last year, Target won over the parent crowd with its new Cat & Jack brand that has been growing by double digits and just hit $2 billion in sales in its first year.