New study aims to challenge ‘outdated’ method of ranking brands in social

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

A new study released by Intent HQ aims to turn the tables on evaluating how brand strength is calculated through social – yet still comes up with predominantly the usual suspects in the highest echelons.

Google topped the charts as the most social brand with a perfect score of 100, followed by Twitter (86.41), and then a big gap to Instagram (53.74) and Apple (52.38) in third and fourth. Yet there were some left field suggestions which made the top 20; NASA (#5), TED (#11), Whole Foods (#13), Etsy (#19) and Lonely Planet (#20) all charted highly.

According to Intent HQ CEO Jonathan Lakin, social currency is the most important aspect to consider when evaluating brands – and NASA’s success in that department is endemic of this new currency.

“NASA is known for its active social media engagement with followers and these other brands communicate closely with their customers too,” said Lakin. “The power and influence that social media has to allow brands to communicate with customers has great potential to alter a brand’s perceived reputation, and ultimately its value.”

Haydn Shaughnessy, the author of the report, notes how this report coincides with an emerging phase in determining social media return on investment.

“We are now moving to the second phase where social brands such as KickStarter, WhatsApp and others are emerging,” he explained. “These have a stronger affinity with their markets than brands that pay a fortune to acquire loyalty.

“It’s a fundamental business shift which will also play out in the world of publishing where websites have supported the click paradigm, but now need to support real affinity,” he added.

Plenty of other studies have hit the stands which have ranked brands in everything from social to storytelling. Apple – which came fourth in this study – was named the top storytelling brand according to a study from AESOP in association with One Poll earlier this month, with an interesting trend apparent – the failure of UK supermarkets to keep in touch with market leaders.

The top 25 brands according to Intent HQ can be found here:

  1. Google
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Apple
  5. NASA
  6. Amazon
  7. Microsoft
  8. Facebook
  9. Disney
  10. Starbucks
  11. TED
  12. Comcast
  13. Whole Foods Market
  14. Samsung
  15. Pinterest
  16. Nike
  17. Cisco
  18. Android
  19. Etsy
  20. Lonely Planet
  21. Coca-Cola
  22. Github
  23. Kickstarter
  24. WordPress
  25. JetBlue

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