Brand evangelism is the holy grail of brands. Consumers cause their friends and family to buy things when they recommend and talk positively about the brands they love. On average, 19 percent of all consumer purchases are driven by these kinds of consumer conversations, according to Engagement Labs data and analytics published this year in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

For the 2018 analysis of more than 500 U.S. consumer brands in a variety of industry sectors, Engagement Labs ranked the most loved brands based on net positive conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations), on its second annual TotalSocial Brand Awards series.

The awards are based on TotalSocial metrics, including both online and offline conversations, against the following major conversation dimensions:

  • Net sentiment—the difference in the percent positive conversations minus negative
  • Brand sharing—the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising
  • Volume—a measure of how many conversations mention a brand, and
  • Influence—the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand

The Most Loved Award is given to brands with the highest net sentiment scores online and offline in 2018.

The nation’s most loved social brands according to consumer conversations

For the second year in a row, Disney World, promoted as the “Happiest Place on Earth,” tops the list of most loved brands offline and the World’s Best Regarded Companies of 2018. Tied at the number one spot is the iconic Pillsbury brand, that “bakes memories” and kitchen stories with its 49th annual Pillsbury Bake-Off and ugly Christmas sweater hit. At the third position, the Royal Caribbean Cruises invested $120 million in revitalizing their ships cater to millennialsand improve the customer base experience. The most loved brandsoffline are those which are spoken about positively during face-to-face conversations.

American Family tops the list of most loved brands being talked about during online conversations. AmFam continues its #DreamFearlessly marketing campaign that goes beyond TV commercials, but in real lives: from high school sports sponsorships, fan vote contests, scholarship programs to regional “Big Dream” gatherings.

Clean & Clear ranked second for its high sentiment in online conversations by reaching out to Gen Z’s through real stories from teenage nano influencer endorsements with their newline product line C&C. Mary Kay, which ranked third for online conversations, incentivizes top sales representatives by awarding Mini Coopersand being one of the best employers for diversity. The brand has been able to create a positive brand experience that consumers are eager to talk about with friends and family, both offline and online.

“Becoming a beloved and enthusiastically recommended brand involves connecting with consumers through purpose-driven storytelling, delivering great experiences, and refreshing the connection through innovative marketing and advertising,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs, in a news release. “While more than half of the top most loved brands are also the largest advertisers in the nation, companies achieve most loved status in a wide variety of ways.”

The beauty and personal care category stood out for high net sentiment online, winning seven of the top 10 spots for positive online conversations, and one of 10 (L’Oréal) for offline conversation.

“The beauty and personal care category benefits from its intimate connection to consumers—it’s a product you put on your skin, to deliver a healthier, more attractive appearance,” said Keller. “Brands that deliver become beloved, generating very positive recommendations.”

Over the next several months, Engagement Labs will announce awards for the highest scoring brands in each TotalSocial category.

Download the MIT Sloan Management Review article here.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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