Premium POV

Premium Tools vs. Social Media

In case you’ve missed it, we at the WD tout our specialization in premium brands as our differentiator among other full-service advertising agencies. In our endeavor to be the experts on premium brands, we’ve developed some proprietary Premium Tools—one of which being our Premium Brand Index ™. Basically, we take up to ten brands within a category and rank them using this measurement system designed to accurately gauge the premium strength of each brand.

So, while knee-deep in indexing products within the grocery, home, software, and health & beauty categories, I began to wonder what would happen if I indexed the popular sites YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook against each other. Taking information from Mediamark Research & Intelligence® (MRI), Google analytics and other special goodness (we’ll never tell!), our system plotted these guys on a scale of 0 to 100 in what we call “premiumness.”

Not all too shockingly, MySpace came in as the least premium with a score of 5 out of 100, while Facebook ranked at 49, and YouTube at a whopping 96! Among other factors, the interesting details that surface include the knowledge that 49% less information is consumed on MySpace than it’s counterparts. Also, 45% of MySpace users also use Facebook, which, if talking about cream cheese, we’d consider to be a brand loyalty problem.

The data also reveals interesting trends in the buy styles of these media consumers—20% of YouTube users fall into the category of “Buyers of the Best.” This generally denotes that they are brand loyal and tend to be willing to spend that extra dollar to get it. YouTube users also tend to have a higher overall income and have the most loyal following in incomes of $200K+.

While all this data is wonderful, how do we apply it to marketing in the real world? It may not seem too far-fetched from our current assumptions that YouTube is pandemic, Facebook is getting there (if China will let them), and MySpace is just plain sad. However, when structuring a marketing plan for a brand that utilizes these three modes of social media transportation, it is empirical evidence that it does matter which brands advertise where.

For instance, even though my last post indicated that 18—22 year olds are now purchasing more specialty food items, a similar brand should not inherently push all their efforts into a MySpace campaign. We learn in this study that not only are MySpace subscribers less loyal to brands, they also aren’t the 18—22 year olds with the cash to spend. Also, they tend to lean toward coupon purchases, which most specialty foods cannot afford to do.

So, while this exercise is not 100% fool-proof—and is done mainly as an illustration (we charge for the real thing!)—it does convey the general idea that not all entities within a category can be premium. There are definite factors determined by the consumer’s perceptions, behaviors and experiences that shape what your brand is. And doesn’t it just make you the least bit curious to find out how premium your brand is?


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