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Asia Pacific Digital Brand Index

October 23, 2009

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve revisited why I never pursued a career in research – it’s seriously hard work! However, many weeks of hard slog have resulted in a great pay-off, with the launch of the Asia-Pacific Digital Brand Index (DBI), a regional study of online conversations about major technology brands that Edelman APAC conducted with our partners Brandtology. All the details are on this site – but it spans eight APAC countries and incorporates 800,000 mentions of 233 major technology and telco brands, spread across over 4,000 online sites. Whew!

After looking through the data, we decided to focus on country-by-country launches and results, because (mock shock, horror), when you roll the results up at a regional level, the insights become less meaningful. If anything, this exercise has reinforced just how hyper-local social media environments, channels, topics and successful brand engagement really is.

It’s a point well-made by Blair Currie in a recent MEDIA post. However, my point is not that regional social media strategies are not important, but that any expectation that regional silver-bullet targeting, content and engagement strategies exist is misguided. The recent downturn really stressed local over regional and for social media this is also true. Regional marketers still have a very important role to play – esp. in terms of social media policy and strategy formation, driving best practice, benchmarking/measurement and central creation of strong online content. The more that regional marketers can gain a deep understand what’s hot in key markets, which people and sites are most influential for a particular topic and what other firms are doing that is successful or can be learnt from, the more valuable they become.

Shared insight and measurement also helps to better connect regional and local colleagues, so we hope that the DBI helps in the age-old debate about measuring the impact and effectiveness of social media. This is especially so in comparing the performance of brands in markets and across the region – that’s why we created a series of indices that help local and regional marketers to find a common language and measurement benchmark around important areas such as conversation volume, engagement (or mentions per unique voice) and channel volume and breadth.

Just because I know you want to know, here is the ranking of the most discussed technology brands across the eight markets in Asia Pacific:

1. Google
2. Microsoft
3. Nokia
4. Samsung
5. Sony
6. Intel
7. AMD
8. Apple
9. Yahoo!
10. Dell

Disclosure: Edelman represents technology brands around the world, many of which are included in the Digital Brand Index.

With 800,000 pieces of data to review, there’s a whole range of other interesting insights, but more on those at a later date. Would love any questions or feedback you have on the DBI (apart from how bad I look on the below video, ok?!) – let me know.

NOTE: This is a mirror of a post that I did for the MEDIA blog

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2009 1:09 AM

    Nice one John, some interesting results, I was surprised by two things:
    – Prominence of AMD relative to other brands
    – The apparent lack of a Chinese native brand in the top 10 like Baidu, QQ, Lenovo etc

  2. johnkerrnz permalink*
    October 25, 2009 3:43 PM

    Hey Ged – always great to hear from you! AMD was surprising, but once we dug into it, we realized that in many countries a large number of online conversations revolve around PC specifications – which is part of the reason AMD and Intel (and Seagate) do well. We decided to keep these in, because for PC manufacturers there’s probably nothing more powerful than people promoting a specification and saying “go buy this,” which is what we found. In terms of Baidu, QQ etc – we actually tried not to spend too much time researching online platforms (e.g. Hong Kong is the only market that was adamant they wanted Facebook and MSN included) and focus more on tech and telco firms that had a product or service to offer. Depending on feedback, we may revisit this next quarter. Finally, for Lenovo, I was surprised that they did not do better – they actually do a pretty good job in online engagement, but I think that the perception remains that they are a business laptop – maybe something for them to benchmark and work on? Hope that helps – really value any thoughts/feedback you might have. Cheers, J

  3. October 26, 2009 5:24 PM

    Thanks for this John, interesting stuff. I guess with online services you have the philosophical question of are they technology or are they media businesses and this is likely to be be in even sharper contrast as the line is blurred with productivity software beyond PIMs and communications tools.

    Lenovo was also interesting, I don’t pay a lot of attention to them being a bourgeois Apple user, but what I have seen has been some interesting industrial design, surprised the brand positioning hasn’t matched the aspirations in the product design.

    Thanks once again,



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