Researchers have developed a framework for assessing brand reputation in real-time and over time and built a tool for implementing the framework. In a proof of concept demonstration looking at leading brands, the researchers found that changes in a given brand's stock shares reflected real-time changes in the brand's reputation.
"We've developed something we call the Brand Reputation Tracker that mines social media text on Twitter and uses 11 different measures to give us an in-depth understanding of how users feel about individual brands," said researcher Bill Rand from the North Carolina State University in the US.
The Brand Reputation Tracker is a way of implementing a framework based on the Rust-Zeithaml-Lemon value-brand-relationship framework, suggests the study published in the Journal of Marketing.
Measures include things like "coolness," "goods quality," "social responsibility," and "trustworthiness," but are then aggregated into three scores -- value driver, brand driver and relationship driver.The value driver score effectively measures whether stakeholders think a brand is a good value. The relationship driver score assesses how closely stakeholders identify themselves with the brand. And the brand driver score accounts for pretty much everything else, such as style and popularity.
"The text mining allows us to give a numeric value to each of the measures and each of the driver scores," says Rand, who is also executive director of NC State's Business Analytics Initiative.
"And we are able to place those numeric values in context by comparing them to the measures and aggregate scores of other brands. "Because social media data are updated constantly, the researchers were able to identify changes in brand reputation in real-time -- as well as looking at trend data across days, weeks, months and years.
For this paper, the researchers looked at 100 popular brands as a proof of concept, demonstrating not just how the tool works but that it works. For example, the researchers found that -- for those brands that were publicly traded on the stock market -- changes in value, relationship and brand driver score were reflected in each brand's stock valuation.