WOM growth by industry sector as US looks forward to a post-pandemic future

by | May 24, 2021 | Marketing, Public Relations

Our last blog talked about America’s changing brand buzz since Covid-19, noting that WOM levels held steady during COVID-19 era, with certain categories gaining momentum during the pandemic.

Now, Engagement Labs takes a closer look at the brands that have the greatest WOM strength as we prepare to enter the summer months, with hopes and dreams for a return to a more normal America this summer. To do so, we, examine the top brands by industry sector and report on those who’s WOM has grown over the past quarter versus the prior quarter. These are the brands that are showing the most improved performance. As more states plan to fully reopen, the ranker gives an outlook to what may come.


We start with a category view. With warmer months approaching and vaccination numbers surging, Americans are ready to hit the road. We see WOM about brands in travel services increasing the most (+13% as a category, led by Expedia, Airbnb and Southwest). After travel, the categories with the biggest WOM growth are automotive (+9%, led by Toyota, Ford and Honda), telecom (+5% led by Comcast, Tracfone and Cricket), and financial (+3% led by Robinhood, Navy Federal Credit Union and Wells Fargo).

WOM Growth by Sector

WOM Growth by Sector - Engagement Labs

Meanwhile, some categories continue to have challenges: children’s products (-23%), beauty and personal care (-14%), sports (-8%), and household products (-8%) have each decreased dramatically for the same time period.

At the individual brand level, across nearly 1000 brands Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are all among the top 5 brands in all industries in terms of growth in offline WOM, joined by Toyota and Home Depot.

Reopening Outlook: Top 5 Brands in WOM Volume Growth (All Categories)

Here are the top 3 brands by category.

Top 3 Brands per Industry Sector based on % Growth - Travel, Auto, Telecom, Financial, Healthcare, Beverages, Food/Dining, Technology

Top 3 Brands per Industry Sector based on % Growth - Media & Entertainment, The Home, Retail/Apparel, Household Products, Sports, Beauty & Personal Care, and Children's Products

WOM is a proven indicator of sales and brand health. Congratulations to those brands that are getting ready for summer with the wind behind their sails (and sales).

This article originally appeared on the Engagement Labs blog; reprinted with permission.

Engagement Labs
Engagement Labs is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies.


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