The digital revolution changed almost everything about marketing and communications strategy, but one highly organic tactic that never seems to fail is word of mouth—get people talking about your brand or product and everyone else seems to want to know more about it. For this reason, marketers are looking to foster a brand evangelist movement and a community of active brand advocates to boost every campaign.
New research from data and analytics firm Engagement Labs confirms that brand evangelism is important, since positive consumer conversations about the brands they love can accelerate and grow business. The firm’s latest data and brand ratings shows that 19 percent of all consumer purchases are driven by these kinds of consumer conversations.
Most loved brands offline
Nintendo Switch, the fastest-selling console of the current generation, and Gain laundry detergent zoomed up the list of brands most positively talked about in offline conversations, both leapfrogging ahead of more than 600 brands to take the first and second “most loved” positions, respectively, in Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial system.
Most loved brands online
Meantime, online brand conversations generated a completely different list of most loved brands, including American Family Insurance and Great Value, a Walmart brand, earning the most positive online talk. Only one brand, Unilever’s Dove Men + Care, managed to rank among the most positively talked about brands both online and offline.
“The eclectic mix of brands on our ‘most loved’ brands list show that brands in any category can earn positive recommendations from consumers,” said Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller, in a news release. “We also see the potential for brands to improve, dramatically, as Nintendo, Gain, and CoverGirl did last year.”
Many of the brands on both the online and offline lists are in the beauty category. Aveeno and Olay are among the most positively talked about brands offline, while 7 of the 10 top online brands are in the beauty category, including Avon, Mary Kay, and Garnier Fructis.
“The beauty category has worked hard to engage online influencers, and it shows in the positive discussions these brands receive,” said Keller. “It’s a lesson for other categories, as well, that they can benefit from proactive social media campaigns.”
Despite the general strength of beauty brands, several fell of the lists entirely: L’Oréal dropped off the “most loved” offline list, from number 8 in 2018 to 34 in 2019. In terms of positive online conversations, Estee Lauder fell from 8 to 46, and Neutrogena fell from 9 to 73.
For the 2019 analysis of more than 600 US consumer brands across a spectrum of industry sectors and categories, Engagement Labs ranked the most loved brands based on net positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations) based on its annual TotalSocial® Brand Awards series.