Vodafone and Del Monte scored the highest in this season’s Kaizo Advocacy Index published today (7 April 2010), thanks to Apple and a Naked ice lolly respectively. Overall, though, the trend across vital sectors such as airlines and mobile telecoms was down, with disaffected customers becoming increasingly vocal online.
The Kaizo Advocacy Index is a biannual study that measures the online reputation of 20 brands across Food, Software, Airline and Mobile sectors.
The study found that in order to increase online reputation, brands need to be creative and make the most of new product launches, whilst maintaining a reliable and sincere service.
Vodafone benefited from a raft of positive coverage around the launch of the mobile brand’s network on Apple’s iPhone helping it increase its score by the most across all brands. Del Monte once again promoted its products in a fun, creative way. This year’s promotion of its ‘Naked Fruit’ range using the Man from Delmonte wearing nothing but his Panama hat created positive reaction online. Completing the top five across all sectors were Hovis, Symbian and SAP.
Rhodri Harries, Managing Director of Kaizo, said:
“Del Monte is a great example of a brand which is not afraid to take a few risks and customers clearly respond to this online. Associations with popular brands also often help increase positive conversations as shown with Vodafone.
“The current economic climate means that consumers want more from products and services. If brands are honest, provide helpful customer service, offer true value for money, or provide some light relief, then they will be consistently recommended. If not, then their reputation can suffer.”
Virgin Atlantic, knocked off the top spot in the last report due to Del Monte’s launch of an ice lolly shaped like 007 actor Daniel Craig, saw its score slip further. The airline sector in general performed poorly, as poor customer experiences over delays, cancellations and extra charges were all aired by frustrated customers online. With research completed prior to the BA strikes we can expect this to have worsened in recent weeks. Most mobile brands also performed poorly as consumers bemoaned network coverage and the quality of customer services.
Improved product ranges and appealing promotional offers ensured food brands remained ahead of the pack. Hovis performed well alongside Del Monte, with its decision to only use British wheat in their loaves generating a rich supply of positive content. Creative PR also helped food brands score high with fun publicity stunts such as Kellogg’s development of a laser to brand their Corn Flakes with the Kellogg’s logo boosting scores.
Of the software brands, Symbian increased its score, pulling away from the rest of the brands in the sector, as it strengthened its reputation for being a robust and flexible operating system for mobile devices.
“When consumers care about the product or service, such as a flight or phone, they are more likely to talk about negative issues that arise than positive experiences. With many brands still feeling the effects of the downturn, social media is playing an ever-increasing role.”
The Kaizo Advocacy Index uniquely explores a brand’s reputation from the position of a customer’s own online experience and directly compares this with other brands within the industry. Replicating the way customers search for information on the Web has shown that brands which actively promote online communication generate more positive comments as a result.
Notes to Editors
- Kaizo is an independent award winning PR and Digital Consultancy. Our strategies and campaigns seamlessly integrate traditional and social media to increase opportunities for business and consumer brands online and offline. We achieve genuine results across a range of sectors that includes: technology, consumer gadgets, food & drink, FMCG, health, science, transport & travel and industry.
Clients include: Unilever, Flip Video, Elsevier, Quantum and Johnson & Johnson.
Google is the first port of call for 80 per cent of web searches and has a significant influence over the way consumers form brand opinions. Consumer generated content in Google Blogs and Groups are having an increasing impact on a brand’s recommendability. Even brands that perform well through a news search can be negatively impacted by user generated content.
Research from the London School of Economics shows that companies with above-average recommendability and below-average negative word of mouth, grow four to five times faster than other companies. Not surprisingly, negative word of mouth is more powerful than positive word of mouth by a factor of three-and-a-half times.