Online Brand Sentiment: Which Brands Win & Lose Online

by Jason Falls |

Warning: The crux of this post surrounds the word “shit.” It’s not used to be vulgar or profane, but to show what consumers are saying about brands online. If the word offends you, please move on. If you don’t and it still offends you, you were warned.

Talking with the folks at NetBase in preparation for Friday’s 11 for ’11 Webinar (see below), we came up with a fun little experiment to see A) How good NetBase is at really distinguishing between very similar phrases with very different meanings and B) Which brands are winning and losing in the online sentiment race … at least within these very small parameters.

There’s a major definition difference between saying something is “shit” versus saying something is “the shit.” They are, in fact, polar opposites. But having a sentiment analytics or online research tool that can automatically decipher which is which is tricky. We put NetBase to the task and found that it not only worked, but there are some brands out there that could use some help getting their online audiences to add the word “the” to the phrase.

Here are the brands that lost in the online battle of who is “shit” versus who is “the shit:”

Brands qualified as "Shit" online according to NetBase

Notice how dominant Blackberry is in being called “shit.” Odd also that all the major phone carriers are there. Maybe it’s not the phone carriers themselves, but just the technology in general that sucks.

Now here are the brands that “won” because they were called “the shit:”

Brands called "The Shit" according to NetBase

My only questions as interpret this data are A) McDonald’s? Really? And B) I’m thinking Taco Bell might be listed because it gives you “the shits.” So we may need to go decipher the data a bit. Then again, White Castle didn’t make it, so maybe I’m wrong. Heh.

Silly as it might be, these are potentially interesting bits of data for brands to have. So even though we focused on a little bawdy language today, know that there are online tools out there, like NetBase, that can help your company find and distinguish between the two.

As for the webinar, the last (11th) in the series is this Friday, (11/11 at 11 a.m PT, even), the NetBase gang thought it would be fun to have me do a webinar on my book. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear my stories from the book talk, please join us! NetBase is giving away 250 copies of the book during the webinar, so just being an attendee gives you a chance to win.

Register for the webinar on the NetBase website and then block your calendar off for this Friday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET for some good fun.

See you Friday!


About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).