Social media not only gives consumers a voice, but it also gives marketers a channel to listen to what customers and others have to say about their brands. And, methodologies have been developed to analyze social media conversations that can give insight into consumer sentiment toward brands. One example of monitoring online buzz is Netbase’s Brand Passion Index, which measures the volume of conversations and the favorability of consumers’ sentiment.
The most recent installment of the Brand Passion Index examined social media conversations about e-readers. The results are interesting given that the category is in its infancy, but in some ways the findings are hardly new. Apple iPad dominated the chatter about e-readers, coming up in more than 90% of conversations examined. Despite heavy volume of mentions, the iPad drew mixed feelings about its functionality and performance as an e-reader. In contrast, Amazon Kindle was mentioned in far fewer conversations but the affinity expressed for the brand reflected passion for the brand. Of all conversations about Kindle, 87% had positive comments about the brand. Among the favorable sentiments for Kindle were its singular functionality, performance, and ease of use.
Results of the Brand Passion Index provides a lay of the land as to consumers’ beliefs and attitudes toward e-reader brands, but a more fundamental tenet of branding surfaces, too. Why do Kindle users like the brand? It is not because of hype or glitz; they love the simplicity of the product. It has one function: an e-reader. The single focus on an exceptional reading experience is not a weakness compared to the multi-function iPad but an advantage. Kindle represents a simple brand promise and delivers in the eyes of a vast majority of Kindle users.
Simplicity is not a liability for a brand. When a strong and relevant point of difference is possessed, consumers are likely to see the value and, as in the case of Kindle, sing the praises of the brand’s value to others. In the case of e-readers, quality of brand capability trumps quantity of capabilities. Focus on the quality of brand benefits delivered; that is what customers want and that is what they enthusiastically share with others.
Marketing Daily - "Index: IPads Generate Chatter, Kindles Love"
Labels: Brand Management, Brand Positioning, Social Media