Understanding and Redirecting Off-topic Brand Mentions
When caught in the crosshairs of off-topic brand mentions, it’s important to know what’s happening and why. And having the ability to quickly assess whether your brand should be redirecting or embracing the activity – in real-time, is essential. Otherwise, brands may miss out on monumental marketing moments and/or become aligned with something they never intended!

Sharpie offers a recent case in point!

Monitoring Mentions to Know What Matters

Recently, Sharpie saw an uptick in off-topic brand mentions when President Trump extended a weather drawing on a map using the signature writing tool. Online went wild over it and Sharpie’s online alerts (which they undoubtedly have in place, as all savvy brands do!) must have been directing them to countless mentions.

But a closer look at the conversation happening would have revealed what was going on pretty quickly. And particularly if that closer look included a hashtag search:

top hashtags to track off-topic brand mentions

But sometimes (oftentimes) the source of a brand’s off-topic mentions are not nearly as obvious. And being able to disambiguate a flurry of seemingly relevant pieces of data is important. The ability to filter in or filter out keywords to capture cleaner, more relevant results matters:

filter in or out relevant and irrelevant brand mentions

Beyond filtering mentions after-the-fact, how else can a brand track changing sentiment around its offerings? Well, there are lots of ways actually. And they’re all involving exceptional audience understanding . . .

Changing Times for CPG

The All-Purpose Cooker/Simmer Cooker/Slow Cooker was inspired by a story the creator’s grandmother told about making a traditional Jewish stew. It took several hours to cook in an oven. This ‘bean cooker’ morphed into a large-scale production model which could cook an entire family meal. And was reintroduced under the name “Crock-Pot” in 1971.

Slow cookers achieved popularity in the US during the 1970s, when many women began to work outside the home. They could start dinner cooking in the morning before going to work and finish preparing the meal in the evening when they came home.

Keeping the pulse of its target audience, Crock-Pot understood unmet pain points that families were facing. In NetBase, brands (CPG and otherwise) can do the same by understanding its audience interests:

Understanding audience demographics for context

And capturing/exploring sentiment via ultra-accurate word clouds:

word clouds offering ultra-accurate insight around brand mentions

Capitalizing on a Craze – Making the Most of Off-topic Brand Mentions

Rollerblade was in the right place at the right time.

Even though the long established Roces company was the first to manufacture in-line skates in 1981, their distribution was limited to Italy and Central Europe for the first few years. For the first few years after Rollerblade was developed, Rollerblade, Inc. were the only manufacturer of in-line skates that had worldwide distribution.

This allowed Rollerblade, Inc. to capitalize and grab a huge percentage of the world market share and almost total dominance of the North American market with their aggressive advertising campaigns and sponsored in-line-only sporting events.

It had distribution channels established worldwide and won the day. Not every brand is able to replicate that sort of “be everywhere” approach though. And they don’t have to!

In NetBase, brands can see where in the world category conversations are happening:

Seeing where in the world category conversations are happening with geo filter view

And, importantly, how passionately sentiment is in those areas around specific categories/brands/topics:

Net Sentiment score around brand topic or category

That way, committing to a particular geography is an informed choice. One that could pay off wildly. As can keeping pace with everyday trends and how consumer’s lives look.

Kleenex Off-topic Brand Mentions Nothing to Sneeze At

Kleenex likewise had a bit of luck with its branding. It was originally marketed as a makeup remover. But then its “head researcher tried to persuade the head of advertising to try to market the tissue for colds and hay fever. The administrator declined the idea but offered a small amount of ad space to mention using Kleenex tissue as a handkerchief. And that’s all it took.

By the 1930s, Kleenex was being marketed with the slogan ‘Don’t Carry a Cold in Your Pocket’. Its use as a disposable handkerchief replacement became predominant [after that].”

Knowing when to pivot is important, of course. And Kleenex was able to turn on a dime thanks to market intel from a researcher. Imagine the insight Kleenex could have analyzed then using the tools available now? Imagine, as well, how many competitors would be similarly capturing that insight – and the market – around that bit of rebranding genius?

All the more reason for businesses to have super accurate, immediate results informing strategy. You might be the next Kleenex in the CPG space, or a tissue footnote on another brand’s Wikipedia page.

Though, some brand names become too popular and off-topic brand mentions threaten its registered trademark.

Just ask Velcro. Hook-and-loop fasteners are so popular, they’ve become a liability to sticky business. And really, watch the video – it’s hilarious:

Dont say Velcro video around danger of off-topic brand mentions

But most brands will never have to worry about this sort of problem. If anything, they seek the notoriety. And the best way to get there is by understanding CX.

Understand CX or Be Sorry

ChapStick was created in the 1880s by a physician and “pharmacological thinker” who had a great idea but lacked finesse. His handmade lip balm resembled a wickless candle wrapped in tin foil, was sold locally, and did not have much success.”

In 1912, John Morton, also a Lynchburg resident, bought the rights to the product for five dollars. In their kitchen, Mrs. Morton melted the pink ChapStick mixture, cooled it, and cut it into sticks. Their lucrative sales were used to found the Morton Manufacturing Corporation.

Morton, though simply repackaging the exact same product, somehow had a leg up when it came to CX. We know he didn’t have social analytics to inform his efforts, so he had to have spent time watching his audience, in real-time to put two and two together.

It’s too bad for Charles Browne Fleet, the original creator, that he didn’t commit the same effort toward such audience understanding. And although $5 was worth lots more then, than it is today, it would have cost relatively little to spend time on market research and the long-term ROI would have made that $5 laughable.

Instead, it’s a tragic reminder of how important CX is – and if a brand isn’t capturing it, there’s lots to be missed. And they’ll ultimately be quite chapped about it.

Reach out and we’ll show you how to navigate CX like a pro, and capture those million dollar ideas before someone else does!

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