Retailers Not Feeling the Love From Social Networkers

Nordstrom, the high-end department store chain that professes untold devotion and fidelity to its customers, apparently isn’t feeling the love in return. A list of the hundred most loved brands on social media released by software provider NetBase found the venerable Nordstrom more likeable than loveable, just sneaking in the door at number 100.

Large retailers in general were shown starving for affection in NetBase’s analysis of some 24 million posts worldwide. It should be mentioned that retailers accounted for a third of those on the list, so perhaps love is spread thinly throughout the vertical, but no big brick-and-mortar chains landed in the top 25. Walmart was the first to rear its head at 27. IKEA and Target fell in the middle of the pack at 46th and 47th, respectively. Sears finished 94th–all in all a nice showing for the much-maligned retailer, ahead of Nordstrom and the entirely absent Macy’s.

Apple is truly the apple of social posters’ eyes, inhabiting four of the top 10 spots with number one iPhone, number three Apple, number five iPad, and number six MacBook Air. (Full list below.) Online retailers were well admired by the social set, with Amazon finishing 12th  and eBay ranking 19th, both just ahead of Oreo.

The old saw about food being the way to a man’s heart obviously applies to both sexes. Starbucks (7) was joined by Chipotle (9), McDonald’s (10), Taco Bell (13), Subway (24), and Chick-fil-A (25) in the top 25. Audi (15) was the most-loved auto brand, and the insurance and financial services segments posted but one lonely heart each—State Farm (51) and MasterCard (72).

After retail, verticals most admired by posters were automotive, food and beverage, media, and leisure sports.

“Understanding consumer preference and emotion is one part art, one part science,” said NetBase CMO Pernille Bruun-Jensen. “Identifying brand emotion can give companies new insight into their brand health and help drive intelligent decision-making.”

NetBase’s study considered a full year of brand conversations, ranging from February 2014 through last month. It singled out posts employing the term “love” and others associated with it, such as “adore, exciting, fantastic, gorgeous, long for, sexy, perfect, and wonderful.” The company applied contextual consideration to its analysis.  A post stating that a brand experience was a “perfect disaster,” for instance, would be eliminated.

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