What brands inspire the most interest and passion online?

November 1, 2017

Nike ranked the highest in overall brand performance—overtaking last year’s top achiever, Amazon—when NetBase released the results on September 19 of it 2017 Retail Brands Report, which examined 594 million social media posts and 71 global companies across seven categories to find the trends and emotions that drive retail customers.

In order from one through ten, the brands that placed at the top of the list were Amazon, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, eBay, Adidas, Zara, Chanel, Target and Louis Vuitton. EBay also was cited as “the [number-one] most passionately and positively discussed brand.”

Although Amazon’s eCommerce platform again was the significant leader in overall volume of posts—ballyhooing Amazon Prime and its traditional bread and butter, books—Nike claimed the top spot “due to its combined reach and brand passion,” the researchers said. The athletic shoe and activewear brand’s results were driven by sponsorships with athletes, such as soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo; social campaigns, including the Nike Pro Hijab for female Muslim athletes; and an attempt to break the sub- two-hour marathon.

In the same sector, Adidas made a strong initial debut to the list at overall number six. It gave Nike a run for its money by commanding 41 percent of the athletic share of voice, as compared to Nike’s 47 percent.

“This year’s report shows why it is important to go beyond volume and tonality for social analytics,” stated NetBase CMO Paige Leidig, adding, “Consumers want to have authentic engagements with brands and products, and are enthusiastic to share these experiences— positive or negative. It’s more crucial than ever to understand the sentiment behind the emotions of your brand, competitors, and industry, and how strong those feelings are.”

Although the top ten brands cumulatively accounted for 427 million posts—or 72% of the total conversation volume that NetBase measured for all retailers on the list—some small companies’ zealous fans came through: Warby came in at number 44; Wayfair, at 56; and Kate Spade, at 57.

The top luxury brand, Chanel, finished at number eight, reflecting shoppers’ passion for the cosmetics and fashion line by making the top ten two years in a row. It pummeled number 16, Gucci, which leads in the combined brick-and-mortar and online market with a 42% share and had nearly twice the mentions of Chanel.

And speaking of bricks, department store Nordstrom generated more than 1.4 million posts in just one week after it dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. While the sentiment was very negative, ‘#boycott Nordstrom’ garnered fewer than 1 percent of mentions for the year. This shows that while attention was generated, Nordstrom’s social performance was not affected long term.

Target led in the big box category at number nine, with a 54% share; while new Amazon acquisition Whole Foods topped the list of grocery brands with a 15% jump in the number of mentions after news of the takeover broke.

Survey contact: info@netbase.com