Brand Value vs. Social Currency
I was reading a blog last week on FastCompany.com regarding a report from Vivaldi Partners on the “Social Currency Ranking” of various brands from Apple, to BMW, to JetBlue.
The concept of social currency is different than overall brand value. Where brand value is based on the difference in cost between a given brand and the generic version (think Coca-Cola and the grocery store brand soda), Social Currency Rankings are based on affiliation, identity, information, advocacy, utility and conversation. As Vivaldi states, it’s “the extent to which people share the brand or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work or at home… Our study shows that social currency significantly drives brand loyalty. Moreover, brands with a high social currency command a price premium.”
In short, if your audience adores and talks about your brand on a social level, there’s a good chance they’ll pay more to remain loyal to your brand.
Out of curiosity over the weekend, I polled my Twitter followers about some of their favorite brands. I asked “What brand makes you feel the most proud, special or hip? Which brands do you aspire to use, own, interact with?”
Here are a few of the responses I received:
@a_kilbourne: my local Starbucks knows my name and my favorite drinks. Many times I will go out of my way to stop there.
@MattWallpe: Always though Kenneth Cole was pretty cool and loved wearing it.
@danebenton: target, starbucks, apple, luxury vehicle brands, just to name a few.
@danebenton: for me it’s a close tie between BMW and Audi, based on style and brand.
@meladorri: I gotta admit I really enjoy the experience of driving my Acura. Been impressed with most brand interactions.
@phidaniels: diesel jeans.
Not surprisingly, you’ll see many of these brands show up in Vivaldi’s report. Check out their findings. Some of the results may surprise you:
“The strongest brands in America, according to a new study, are not American. They are German and Japanese luxury car brands: BMW; Mercedes; and Lexus. But the U.S. brand with the greatest “social currency” is one that has existed a mere ten years (and it’s not even an Internet or tech company): JetBlue.” continue reading on FastCompany.com