Danone assumes top billing in online word of mouth rankings

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st August 2008

networking - word of mouth

UK PR company Kaizo has established Danone as the number one food brand on the web, according to the Kaizo Advocacy Index – which establishes the impact of online word of mouth.

The Index searches links generated by Google and takes into account web, news, groups and blog content. The content is analyzed and assigned as either negative (detractor), neutral (passive) or positive (promoter), with the overall company rating based on subtracting the percentage of promoters from detractors.

Due to the difficulty of the task, only a select number of firms are analyzed, with five prominent companies within four different sectors put to the test. The sectors chosen were food, airlines, mobile phones, and software.

In the food sector Danone led the way with a score of +25, eclipsing last year’s inaugural winner Kellogg’s – who this year fell to third place. Del Monte, Hovis (a UK bread manufacturer) and Heinz were the other food companies involved in the study.

Overall results for those in the food industry compared favourably to other sectors and Danone was not only the food sector leader but also the overall winner.

Word of mouth is a key sign of the reputation of a brand and a driver of consumer decision-making. It is often an indicator of where the company is heading and, as the web becomes increasingly used as a communication tool, the need for a strong and positive online presence becomes paramount.

Results for the food sector are listed below:

(Position/Company/This Year’s Score/Last Year’s Score)

1. Danone +25 (-7.5)

2. Hovis +2 (+10)

3. Kellogg’s -6 (+35)

4. Heinz -11 (-40)

5. Del Monte -13 (-53)

Kelogg’s was seen to be the most likely to polarise opinion as they had least amount of neutral content – comfortably lower than Heinz and Danone.

(Detractors – Passives – Promoters)

Danone: 15% – 45% – 40%

Hovis: 17% – 64% – 19%

Kellogg’s: 38.5% – 29% – 32.5%

Heinz: 32% – 47% – 21%

Del Monte: 27.5% – 58% – 14.5%