Which Brands Inspire the Greatest Passion on Social Media?

9/19/2017
NetBase, a global leader in enterprise social analytics, released its 2017 Retail Brands Report, which examines data on social media to illustrate the trends and emotions that drive retail customers.

NetBase, a global provider of enterprise social analytics, released its 2017 Retail Brands Report, which examines data on social media to illustrate the trends and emotions that drive retail customers.

The report looked at more than 594 million social posts to measure and analyze how these retailers ranked among a diverse set of social media metrics and how brands can learn from social to successfully drive their top line. The report revealed that Nike ranked the highest in overall brand performance, with eBay as the most passionately and positively discussed brand.

Nike beat out last year’s winner, Amazon which came in at #2. The e-commerce platform was the significant leader in overall volume of posts, with respect to Amazon Prime and posts about its old bread and butter: books. But, Nike claimed the top spot due to its combined reach and brand passion, which were driven by sponsorships with athletes such as Cristiano Ronaldo, social campaigns including the Nike Pro Hijab and an attempt to break the sub 2-hour marathon.

“This year’s report shows why it is important to go beyond volume and tonality for social analytics,” said NetBase CMO Paige Leidig. “Consumers want to have authentic engagements with brands and products, and are enthusiastic to share these experiences — positive or negative. It’s more crucial than ever to understand the sentiment behind the emotions of your brand, competitors, and industry, and how strong those feelings are.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Crowded at the top: The top 10 brands together accounted for 427 million posts, which is 72 percent of the total conversation volume NetBase measured for all retail brands on the list.
  • Quality not quantity: While they may have lost out in sheer number, smaller brands’ zealous fans came through. #44 Warby Parker, #56 Wayfair and #57 Kate Spade all came in the top 10 for the Brand Passion Index statistic.
  • Online vs. brick and mortar rivalry continues: eCommerce reigned supreme as the most discussed retail category on social, taking the crown from department stores.
  • Athletic: Adidas made a strong initial debut to the list at #6. It gave Nike a run for its money by commanding 41 percent of the athletic share of voice, as compared to Nike’s 47 percent.
  • Luxury: #8 Chanel fans’ passion for the brand elevated Chanel into a top 10 finish for the second year in a row. Chanel leads luxury brands despite #14 Gucci owning 42 percent share for luxury brands volume and nearly twice the mentions of Chanel.
  • Fashion: Victoria’s Secret is a standout; its annual fashion show catapulted the brand to #3 overall. Zara made a big jump in the rankings this year, moving up 20 spots to #7 on the NetBase list due to the large volume of positive conversations around sales.
  • Department Stores: Nordstrom generated more than 1.4 million posts in just one week after it dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. While the sentiment was very negative, ‘#boycott Nordstrom’ garnered fewer than 1 percent of mentions for the year. This shows that while attention was generated, Nordstrom’s social performance was not affected long term.
  • Big Box: #9 Target was dominant with more than 54 percent of the share of voice in big-box retailers. However, #4 Best Buy received a passion intensity score of 100 for the second year in a row, showing that power of passion over volume.
  • Grocery: Whole Foods was top of the grocery brands, with a large spike after Amazon acquired the health-conscious brand. There was a 15x jump in the number of mentions after the news broke, nearly all positive.
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