iCrossing recently published the results of its first Connected Brands Index, a first-of-its-kind research report which gauges the quality and performance of a brand's presence in networks.
Using the Connected Brands Scorecard, a diagnostic tool developed by iCrossing, the Connected Brands Index ranks the Interbrand Best Global Brands against five categories — visible, useful, usable, desirable and engaged — to determine an overall "connectedness" score on a scale of one to 10. The Scorecard consists of more than 65 data points across the five criteria, including presence and consumer engagement across social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; unique visitors, inbound URLs, and consumer actions on corporate blogs, as well as an extensive review of each brand's website using a standardized review methodology.
iCrossing found that the brands that ranked well in Interbrand's analysis are not necessarily the most connected brands online:
- Few of the analyzed companies are truly connected brands: Of the top 10 Interbrand companies analyzed, only three (Google, Disney, Intel) had a score of five or better (out of 10). The average for all 10 companies was 4.83.
- Brands are not engaging users: Brands scored lowest in the "engaged" category. The average score for "engaged" was 2.11, with only Google scoring above five.
- Brands scored well in categories relating to search and website design: The 10 companies scored highest in "visible," "usable," desirable" categories, likely reflecting their experience in Web development.
The study indicates that significant opportunities exist for brands to improve their awareness of the networks where their customers spend time, realign infrastructure and processes to be more agile in their ability to interact with customers and increase the quality and quantity of the actions they take with those customers to create greater intimacy.
"Brands know they need to connect with consumers across new media channels, but the brutal fact is few are doing it well," said Adam Lavelle, chief strategy officer, iCrossing. "Connectedness is an approach to marketing within networks that focuses on audiences, not targets, dialogue not shouting, and building trust that lasts."
"Connected Brands Index," conducted by iCrossing, October 28, 2009. Website: www.icrossing.com.