New Study Answers Question: How Do You Build a Passion Brand?

Despite the proliferation of social media – and the race to use it to boost brands – the lion’s share of those efforts appears to be falling short, according to a new study by Social@Ogilvy.

The good news: people have millions of conversations about brands around the world on a daily basis, and much of the chatter is advocacy mentions that help brands significantly amplify their marketing.

The bad news: Despite this huge potential value, “brands are failing at driving satisfied customers to share in social media,” said Irfan Kamal, global head of Data+Analytics and Products at Social@Ogilvy. “Our study suggests that the vast majority of satisfied customers are not publicly advocating for brands on social platforms. Brands have not provided the technology, incentives or content that both inspire and enable customers to speak out positively. To help close the gap, brands must help facilitate advocacy volume, reward passion and amplify reach.”

Social@Ogilvy analyzed 7 million brand social mentions across 4 countries (Brazil, China, UK, US) and 22 brands (with data from partners CIC, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Visible Technologies) to analyze the key drivers of advocacy. The researchers found that:
• Few brands are driving true passion.
• For most brands, the majority of mentions were casual. In the US, only two brands out of 22 had over 50 percent of mentions falling in the most enthusiastic advocacy category (love, excitement, must-do/buy). Yet, these two brands had even more enthusiastic advocacy than blockbuster movies like The Avengers and The Hunger Games.
• To drive passionate advocacy, brands have to know and focus on their fans’ true advocacy (not satisfaction) inspirations.
• Using tools that help identify “clusters” of discussion, The researchers noticed that Holiday Inn’s breakfast tends to drive more advocacy than its peers’; in comparison, Kimpton’s bars are more often cited than those of other brands. This data can be useful as the inspiration point for creative/campaign messaging – more deeply, these insights can be used to inform changes in messaging and even products.
• Move beyond the blunt metric of “sentiment” to tracking advocacy levels.
• Brands that really want to strengthen advocacy will implement a quantitative advocacy tracking index. Ogilvy’s Advocacy Index features a scoring system that identify key drivers by brand and evaluate differentiators between brands over time.

G2 Market Inside Scoop: Social media is a critically important component of content marketing, but it is extremely challenging to effect a strategy that pays off big for your brand. It is an additional challenge that advocacy mentions account for only about 15 percent of brand mentions – with the remainder being neutral or negative mentions. Tracking is a critically important function when trying to craft a brand-boosting strategy – after all, you can’t fix what you don’t know about.

(For more information contact Social@Ogilvy at

- Lane Cooper
Chief Content Strategist, G2Market