Using social media in a "brandless" category

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Digital communications is today's leading marketing force, owing to the fact that consumers have candid conversations about brands online. Yet, it is more challenging to derive insights in a category where there are excessive brands, or where the category overpowers the brands, making it virtually 'brandless'. Illustrated by a butter/margarine case study and stepping back to cover some fundamentals of social media research, Sourabh will reveal how to revitalize your digital communications with greater effectiveness in such a scenario.

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  • We have the big fish big pond scenario. And the little fishes out there too.What should you do if your brand is small or if you are in a category that is brandless
  • What do we mean by brandless?It is perhaps more intuitive to do social media studies with brands: Coke to Toyota, these are very clearly soft drinks and cars. We define brandless as being in a category where the product is more prevalent to its brands.
  • What c
  • E.g. sourabh tweets about a baking experience, without mentioning a brand name. A simple twitter search of margarine shows that it is indeed ‘brandless’ – one does not know which brands are being used. As such, what are margarine manufacturers to do?
  • Online privacyBetrayal of age via conversationsLocation statistics
  • 1. Specification of products, brands, key words and themes2. Internet scanning, variable and key word coding, and sentiment calibration on a 5 point Likert scale3. Choices entail brand maps, quantified associations, trigger identification, personas, etc.
  • What do we mean by brandless?It is perhaps more intuitive to do social media studies with brands: Coke to Toyota, these are very clearly soft drinks and cars. We define brandless as being in a category where the product is more prevalent to its brands.
  • Local brands in Brazil are more passionately spoken ofAcross countries, Hershey’s and Twix are polarized in perceptions, while KitKat is neutralAcross countries, social media data in the US is more negative, while in Brazil it is more positive for this categoryThe less Positive / Less Passionate quadrant is not ideal. Snickers is advised to drive up the positive conversations before incentivizing more passionate mentions.
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  • Continue to emphasize key health benefits (low fat, low calories), but strengthen taste perceptionsFocus on bringing in salty, tasty and fresh attributes to product and messagingPosition margarine to align with consumers’ usage and perceptionsMake breakfasts and/or baking central to consumer targeted messagingEmphasize personal and individual use, seconded by whole family consumptionEmphasize ease of use due to lack of greasiness and supreme texture compared to other spreads
  • This study enlightens on consumer behavior in the category - Butter is generally talked about with positivity and passion, owing to its taste benefits, usage and association with happiness. Margarine is disliked due to poor taste and a debate over natural ingredients and true health benefitsConsumers often compare the different products in the category; primarily butter to margarine, but also other oils and spreadsConsumers focus on product attributes, primarily taste and health They are thus relatively less brand loyal than other product categories, and identify no clear category leader
  • The key elements from the brand identity that your brand owns are your “triggers”– in the sense that it has more mentions than expected and also that it does not share this elements as strengths with other brands.You can use these to create claims for your study like we have here (in blue)You can use it to add validation stamps (non greasy) or ads to your online platforms (communities)Position margarine to align with consumers’ usage and perceptionsMake breakfasts and/or baking central to consumer targeted messagingEmphasize personal and individual use, seconded by whole family consumptionEmphasize ease of use due to lack of greasiness and supreme texture compared to other spreads
  • Using social media in a "brandless" category

    1. 1. Using social media in a “brandless” categoryImproving digital communications through effective and actionable social media researchSourabh SharmaCommunication &Social Media Research ExpertAbigail JoffreToday’s Webinar Host#SKIMwebinarShare your thoughts online:
    2. 2. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Blog• sssourabh.com• Facebook PageProfessional• LinkedIn• Carbonmade PortfolioSocial• Facebook• Twitter• Google+• LookbookPhoto / Video• Tumblr• Flickr• Instagr.am• Vine• Pinterest• Gentlemint• DudepinsIdeas• Formspring• Stumbleupon2
    3. 3. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”4of people trust online peer recommendations90%trust advertisements14%
    4. 4. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”5social media users believe twitter influences purchases2 of 3of people follow brands on social media50%of social media users post brand related content46%
    5. 5. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”6
    6. 6. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”7what if I ambrandless
    7. 7. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”SKIM conducted “fieldwork” (web scraping) across the social media universe onthe spreads category, focusing on butter and margarine for a period of 1 year8Discover what you can learn about the overallcategoryUnderstand how to impact digital communicationsDevelop actionable recommendations formargarine producers
    8. 8. BackgroundHow things came about
    9. 9. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”ClassicResearchSocialMediaMonitoringSocialMediaResearch10
    10. 10. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”11sssourabhsssourabhtried to make my favoriteAmerican cheesecake inNew York a bit morehealthy by usingmargarine in the frosting.#bitter #cake 25 minutes agoGetting ready for our#webinar!1 hour ago
    11. 11. The social media research methodHow things came about
    12. 12. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Publicly availabledemographic dataIP trackinggeographic dataAllusion to demographicsin verbatims“Using real butterto make my 25thbirthday cake formy party inMiami!”13
    13. 13. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”141. Design Study2. FieldworkInternet Scraping and Coding3. Customized analysis andoutput
    14. 14. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”• Author• Date• Location• Hashtags• Context• Emotions• Personality151. Design Studysssourabhsssourabhtried to make my favoriteAmerican cheesecake inNew York a bit morehealthy by usingmargarine in the frosting.#bitter #cake 25 minutes agoGetting ready for our#webinar!1 hour ago
    15. 15. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”162. FieldworkInternet Scraping andCoding• Very Positive• Positive• Neutral• Negative• Very NegativeSentiment• Location• Demographics• Psycographics• Usage context• Decision makingConsumer • Words• Emoticons• AssociationsEmotions
    16. 16. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”17Social MediaResearchCampaigneffectivenessCompetitivecomparisonsNetnographyandpsychographicsSupplementtraditionalresearchFind productflaws quicklyInnovation andideation3. Customized analysis andoutput
    17. 17. In spreads, it’s all about usageWho talks about brands?
    18. 18. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”20of butter conversations mention brands2%of margarine conversations mention brands9%
    19. 19. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”21brandless
    20. 20. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”22Butter MargarineGeneral CookingBakingFryingGrillingRoastingRecipes“I use it for everything except baking. Butter isthe only thing that will do when baking.”Community Post, July 2012“I really think butter vs. margarine in baking ismore texture than taste. Butter seems to give abetter chew to cookies than margarine does.”Forum Comment, July 2012usage
    21. 21. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”23Butter MargarineKitchenPersonal UseFastfood RestaurantsDiscount StoresHotelsCasual Dining“Ruth Chris Steakhouse has the beststeaks - maybe because they aresizzling in butter”Blog, June 2012“Fresh butter on fresh bread in mykitchen – the best way to eat it.”Blog, March 2012location context
    22. 22. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”24digdeeper
    23. 23. I love my butter, but not my margarineFact or fiction?
    24. 24. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”26LoveHateDislike LikeIncreasingPassionIncreasing Positivity of SentimentSentiment:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions/sentimentPassion:Conversations that are extreme
    25. 25. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”27MargarineButterSentiment:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions/sentimentPassion:Conversations that are extremeSize of Bubble:Volume of conversationsIncreasingPassionIncreasing Positivity of Sentiment
    26. 26. The taste versus health debateLet’s debate
    27. 27. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”TasteHealth29Best for me!Healthy and TastyYummy!Tasty, not HealthyWhy bother?Neither Healthy nor TastyGood for me!Healthy, not TastyTaste:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions of tasteHealth:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions of health
    28. 28. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”30MargarineButterTaste:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions of tasteHealth:Continuum of negative to positiveperceptions of healthSize of Bubble:Volume of conversationsTasteHealth
    29. 29. What stands out about these spreads?
    30. 30. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Butter MargarineTastySaltyFresh tasteSweetSpicy32Moderate StrengthModerate WeaknessNeutralWeaknessStrengthIncreasingorderofimportancebybuzzIncreasing Volume of Buzz“Ohh the disappointment whenyou realize the butter youbought isnt salted. :(#RuinedCrumpets.”Twitter User, May 2012“You could use margarine ifyou like, but personally I thinkbutter is the best option (interms of taste) ”Youtube Recipe, June 2012taste
    31. 31. Using social media in a “brandless” category
    32. 32. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Butter MargarineSmall sizedColorUse at hot temperaturesTextureEase of useLarge sizedGreasinessUse at cold temperatures34IncreasingorderofimportancebybuzzIncreasing Volume of BuzzModerate StrengthModerate WeaknessNeutralWeaknessStrength“I love that my margarinestays soft in the fridge!”Blog, December 2011“My butter was rancid afterjust a couple of days andthis wasnt even thesummer time when theambient temperaturewould turn it into goo!”Community, March 2012functional
    33. 33. The frequent chatters and followersBut who is “talking”?
    34. 34. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”3645%43%55%57%MargarineButterMale FemaleGender Age4%52%50%41%39%5%7%MargarineButter< 18 18-34 35-65 >65
    35. 35. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”370%20%40%ButterMargarine
    36. 36. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”38They talk mostly onforums and blogsThey talk about tasteelementsIt is consumed in thehousehold bymen, alongside theentire familyIt is used in cookingand frying (especiallyto fry snacks)Young and middleaged consumers talkabout butterIt is used during breakfastor as toppings at othermealtimes (e.g. onmeats, burgers)It evokes emotions ofhappinessbutter
    37. 37. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”39They talk mostlyon forums, blogsand onlinecommunitiesThey often talkabout it as asubstitute tobutter, andcompare to otheroils tooIt is consumed byindividuals, or bymembers of ahouseholdThey focuson areas ofboth tasteand healthYoung and middleaged consumerstalk aboutmargarine Health issuesinclude healthymeals, menuofferings, andweight lossConcerns includethe debate ofnatural ingredientsIt is used incooking, especiallybakingIt is used mostoften forbreakfast, mainlyon toastmargarine
    38. 38. what do we take away?
    39. 39. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”41Develop perceptionsofsaltiness, tastinessand freshness, witha creamy texture.Target by usagetypes.A healthy option withlow fat and lowcalories, which isnon-greasy and easyto use. Substitute tobutter/oils dependingon messagingmedium.
    40. 40. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Extreme preferencebehaviorComparative behaviorProduct overpowersbrand42
    41. 41. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”43A creamy texture forcookies that tasteperfect - every time youbake!A healthy way to start the dayfor you and your familyThe best thing to put on toast for a healthy breakfast.Keep your cake tastywithout the caloriesJoin our onlinecommunity fortasty recipesand healthytips!
    42. 42. It worksUse social media
    43. 43. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”45Branded or brandlessYou can learn from yourconsumers.
    44. 44. SKIM Webinar “Using social media in a “brandless” category”Big brand or small brand,social media will tell you a story.Listen.46Concept andclaimsgenerationNetnographyCampaign /launcheffectivenessStand alonesocial mediaresearch studyQuantitative studyvalidation /complementarystudy
    45. 45. Using social media in a “brandless” category47Sourabh SharmaCommunication &Social Media Research Experts.sharma@skimgroup.com@sssourabhAbigail JoffreToday’s Webinar Hosta.joffre@skimgroup.com@InAbbyLandSign up for more of our spring webinars! http://www.skimgroup.com/webinarsShare your thoughts online:#SKIMwebinar

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