How Do You Build a Passion Brand?

A new study on driving brand advocacy in social media

Jul 16, 2013, 10:00 ET from Social@Ogilvy

NEW YORK, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day people have millions of conversations about brands around the world. Many of these are advocacy mentions that help brands significantly amplify their marketing.


Research suggests that up to 80% of reach from marketing campaigns now comes from network amplification through advocacy. This means brands that can't generate substantial advocacy will simply pay more to market less efficiently than those who make advocacy a brand priority.

Despite this huge potential value, "brands are failing at driving satisfied customers to share in social media," said Irfan Kamal, global head of Data+Analytics and Products at Social@Ogilvy. "Our study suggests that the vast majority of satisfied customers are not publicly advocating for brands on social platforms. Brands have not provided the technology, incentives or content that both inspire and enable customers to speak out positively. To help close the gap, brands must help facilitate advocacy volume, reward passion and amplify reach."

Advocacy mentions represented about 15% of all brand mentions, with the remainder being either neutral or negative mentions. However, when we dove deeper into the US hotel category, we found less than 1 advocacy mention per 100 stays. With some of the studied hotels reporting guest satisfaction scores of 80% or more, there is clearly a large social advocacy gap: the vast majority of people satisfied with their experience aren't advocating online.

Social@Ogilvy analyzed 7 million brand social mentions across 4 countries (Brazil, China, UK, US) and 22 brands (with data from partners CIC, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Visible Technologies) to analyze the key drivers of advocacy. We found that:

  • Few brands are driving true passion.
    For most brands, the majority of mentions were casual. In the US, only 2 brands out of 22 had over 50% of mentions falling in the most enthusiastic advocacy category (love, excitement, must-do/buy). Yet, these 2 brands had even more enthusiastic advocacy than blockbuster movies like The Avengers and The Hunger Games.
  • To drive passionate advocacy, brands have to know and focus on their fans' true advocacy (not satisfaction) inspirations.
    Using tools that help identify "clusters" of discussion, we notice that Holiday Inn's breakfast tends to drive more advocacy than its peers'; in comparison, Kimpton's bars are more often cited than those of other brands. This data can be useful as the inspiration point for creative/campaign messaging – more deeply, these insights can be used to inform changes in messaging and even products.
  • Move beyond the blunt metric of "sentiment" to tracking advocacy levels.
    Brands that really want to strengthen advocacy will implement a quantitative advocacy tracking index. Ogilvy's Advocacy Index feature a scoring system that identify key drivers by brand and evaluate differentiators between brands over time.

These comprehensive findings and accompanying infographic from Visually will be published on July 16, 2013.

Note to the editor:


Social@Ogilvy is the world's largest network of social media strategists. Named 2011 Global Digital/Social Consultancy of the Year by The Holmes Report, the practice leverages social media expertise across all Ogilvy & Mather disciplines, offering an extensive list of services within the foundational business solutions -- Listening and Analytics; Social Business Solutions; Social Media Marketing and Communications; Social Shopping; Social CRM; Social Care; and Conversation Impact™.

Advocacy Index
In the Social@Ogilvy 2013 Global Brand Advocacy Study, Ogilvy analyzed data from almost 7 million social media mentions of 22 brands spanning 4 countries (Brazil, China, United Kingdom and United States) and 5 categories (hotels, fashion retail, skincare, coffee and movies). Our findings and recommendations include:


  • Where advocacy is concerned, features trump emotion.
    Features were the #1 driver of advocacy in every country studied, and deserve the most attention. We looked at advocacy mentions of ads, benefits, features, deals/savings and customer service. In all markets, features (for example, the characteristics of skin cream) were the most often mentioned. In comparison, mentions of ads/commercials typically garnered the fewest mentions.
  • Advocacy can occur anywhere; no category is too "boring."
    Of the 22 brands we looked at, the five with the highest advocacy % included 2 hotels, 2 skin care brands and 1 fashion retailer. One instant coffee brand came in among the top 10. It's a myth that people only advocate in specific categories.

  • China boasts the highest level of brand advocacy.
    Overall advocacy rates can vary by as much as 50% between categories and as much as 5x between countries. China had the highest overall brand advocacy rate, coming in at about 30% of mentions vs. Brazil's 6% and the UK and US's levels of 12% and 13% respectively.


  • Identify and use your brand's differentiated advocacy drivers.
    Two of the highest advocacy brands, even when compared to movies, were Kimpton and Kiehls in the US. However, there are significant differences in what drives the higher levels of passion when compared to category averages: for Kiehls, it's features, while for Kimpton, it's benefits and customer service.
  • Close the advocacy gap by encouraging and enabling advocacy everywhere.
    Ogilvy has created an Advocacy Pyramid Framework that builds segment-specific advocacy programs and uses owned and earned platforms to facilitate, amplify and encourage advocacy across each of a brand's key advocacy groups: topic influencers, loyal customers and casual fans.

Irfan Kamal
Irfan is Global Head of Data+Analytics and Products at Social@Ogilvy. He is responsible for identifying innovative opportunities for brands, introducing new products and services and creating leadership around measurement &analytics. His experience includes work with both B2C and B2B brands, including American Express, Nestle, IBM, Caesars Entertainment and Ford. Prior to his Ogilvy experience, Irfan worked with a social startup and a venture investment firm. He has an MBA from Stanford and a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton. Follow Irfan on Twitter @irfankamal.

John Bell

John heads up Social@Ogilvy - Ogilvy's global, social media marketing and communications practice. The world's largest network of social media strategists, the team believes in the power and impact of truly integrated social media business solutions. He drives senior client engagements, the development of Ogilvy's social planning framework, and a global training program for staff and clients, alike.

He has developed and executed enterprise social media strategy for the Ford Motor Company, Nestle, IBM, Coca Cola, and DuPont - including work winning a Silver Lion at Cannes. He has launched a single brand Facebook initiative in 20+ countries, helped telcos in Australia and Greece adopt social care and marketing and consulted with consumer goods marketers in Turkey. John is a Web 1.0 graduate. As Creative Director at Discovery Communications, he transformed a single web site into 14 Web communities and services from to and more. In the early nineties, John headed up the digital studio for the joint ITV venture between Viacom and AT&T to invent interactive television.

John serves on the board as past president of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. He teaches graduate studies in Digital Influence at Johns Hopkins University. He publishes a popular social media business blog The Digital Influence Mapping Project - – syndicated to Social Media Today. He contributes to many more.

Study Partners
This study was compiled with the assistance of three major analytics companies:

CIC is China's leading social business intelligence provider, enabling enterprises to fully leverage the power of social media and Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) intelligence across an organization. Recent acquisition by WPP's Kantar Media, the media research and insight division of Kantar, has strengthened CIC's position and is a step towards expansion of its social offering across Asia Pacific. CIC will continue to provide social business intelligence from an objective, third-party perspective, to the world's leading brands and agencies. Other language services are now available through the Kantar network.

Radian6/Salesforce Marketing Cloud (
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the world's only unified social marketing suite, organizations creating compelling social presences, amplifying content, tracking campaign ROI and ultimately driving real business results. Marketing Cloud allows businesses to make better decisions in marketing, sales and service and in decisions that will impact the bottom line. This is used to empower brands to turn insights into action, and connections into Customers for Life™.

Visible Technologies (
Visible's social monitoring, analytics and engagement platform and expertise help businesses analyze social media conversations to better understand consumer preferences, market dynamics, competitive strengths and weaknesses and other information critical to a company's reputation and brands. Visible's insights and ability to connect with customers on social channels enables brands to rapidly gauge effectiveness of their existing programs and optimize in real time leading to greater ROI, increased marketing effectiveness, improved customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Infographic designed in partnership with Visually:
Visually is a one-stop shop for the creation of data visualizations and infographics. By tapping into Visually's vibrant community of more than 35,000 designers, Marketplace is able to match infographic commissioners – brands, companies, agencies – with designers. Visually Marketplace introduces ecommerce and project management into the Visually platform, making it easier than ever for buyers and sellers of infographics to get them made, distributed, liked, commented on, and shared.

SOURCE Social@Ogilvy