The Digital Brand Risk Report: How is your brand perceived online?

By Samantha McCarthy


NetNames 2014 research into the future of the Internet, revealed that consumers will avoid a brand for two years after a bad experience, 45% will share negative experiences on social media and 78% trust peer reviews(1). Therefore, today’s digital brands must work harder than ever before to remain present, protected and prosperous on the Internet.

Without visibility into those using your brand online, you have no control. The Internet presents an open and unrestricted environment where anyone can exploit your reputation at little risk or expense. Brands must work to understand their digital presence: where they’re being seen, how large their digital footprint is, how much online activity is authorised and how much is from third-parties, such as customers, partners and resellers.

Next, they must go further: understand what’s being said, by whom and why. Only with this insight can brands take the necessary actions to protect their reputations from illegal and illicit activity. This will ultimately enable brands to remain prosperous, squeezing the best possible results from lucrative online channels, as well as informing new digital strategies that can drive growth and outwit competitors.

NetNames’ new Digital Brand Risk report looks at the Top 100 brands from the Interbrand list and uses our in-house technology ‘Discovery Engine’ (DEX) to give each brand a prominence and sentiment score. These are custom metrics unique to NetNames which firstly measures a brands visibility on the Internet and secondly measures the positivity of the comments made about the brand on the Internet.

Our Results

Our findings show that Amazon is the top name on the net. It scored the highest in terms of how positively it is perceived with an overall sentiment score of 18.18. It was followed closely by Sony (15.00), Facebook in third (12.39) and technology company HP in fourth (9.78).

As businesses who have succeeded by harnessing new innovations it is no surprise that it is these businesses, only made possible by the Internet, who would have high prominence scores. However it is notable that Facebook has the greatest total volume of negative mentions of all brands online (-5.63), closely followed by Google (-4.87) so potentially the more prominent you are the more susceptible and exposed you are to negative sentiment.

Interestingly, this is also the case with luxury brands. Those which have both higher online prominence and more positive sentiment tend to suffer from more negative mentions as well. As a traditional industry with well-established target markets, luxury brands have been reluctant to engage with the online ecosystem but it seems like those who have engaged may not be protecting their digital domains effectively.

When you look at financial brands it would seem that time isn’t always a great healer and Goldman Sachs places in the bottom ten brands by overall online sentiment (0.41). However, it is interesting to note that the top two financial brands for sentiment and prominence were both payment facilitators – Visa and MasterCard suggesting that the negative impact of banking scandals remains solely the problem of the banks.

Overall, the DEX score provides a clear understanding of how the Interbrand 100 is perceived online. This visibility provides brand holder with key knowledge on how clients interact with their brands online and can help shape future consumer focused strategies to help improve or maintain this perception. Gaining such insights in real time, allows you to be proactive in your mission to be a market leader. Nevertheless, being armed with such client focused information will help ensure your business stays One Step Ahead

For the full report please click here: NetNames Brand Risk Index Report 2015


1 Sources: NetNames, Dimensional Research, Pew Research.