Love Brands American style: Hotels and Beauty
Talkwalker’s Brand Love Story 2020 measured those brands around the world who elicited the most love from consumers and for U.S. brands, no one could beat hotels as three hotel brands are among the most loved U.S. brands. The report from Talkwalker, the leading social listening and analytics company, comes at a pivotal time, as brands adapt to a post-pandemic world. Brand love is known to improve consumer loyalty and advocacy.
Among the most loved hotel brands is Four Seasons. This prestigious hospitality group checks off several categories on Talkwalker’s list, but excels at driving brand love through positive PR. Four Seasons’ online sentiment is overwhelmingly good, with only three percent of mentions around the brand registering as negative within the last year. This is in large part due to news coverage that properties and programs have received.
This strategic newsjacking helped Four Seasons to pivot quickly this year and reframe both PR efforts and business offerings around current events. The brand created new initiatives that continued to earn good mentions during the pandemic and beyond, such as giving free stays to essential workers and partnering with Johns Hopkins Medicine International for a new global health and safety program. Timely-launched internal initiatives that help employees who have been impacted by COVID-19 closures are generating even more positive PR for the brand.
In addition, Intercontinental Hotel Group was among the U.S. most loved brands. Loyalty programs are big business drivers for the hospitality industry. Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) uses the Rewards Club to foster lasting relationships with its guests – the program puts customer experience at the heart of IHG’s marketing strategy, and sentiment analysis shows a correlation between the Rewards Club and positive mentions in online conversations about the hospitality group. The many facets of the rewards program further drives consumer engagement with IHG and helps the brand establish a position as an experiential force in people’s lives.
Also, Hyatt was among the most loved American brands. The brand excels at highlighting this on social platforms, giving Hyatt an aspirational aesthetic that makes audience members want to become guests. Hyatt Hotels invites customers into the story by incorporating user-generated content with brand posts. This encourages online engagement with Hyatt and makes guests feel like they get to be part of its aspirational narrative. Even now, when many Hyatt Hotels properties have been closed due to COVID-19, the brand is staying relevant with consumers through digital engagement.
But hotels aren’t the only brands that Americans love. Two beauty brands – that couldn’t be more different – were also among the most loved brands in the U.S.: Huda Beauty and Urban Decay.
Huda Beauty is a blog-to-beauty brand success story that leverages influencer marketing and positive PR to build brand love. Founded by Huda Kattan, an Iraqi-American businesswoman and makeup artist, Huda Beauty started as a blog and YouTube channel that developed a devoted following. Today, the million-dollar brand boasts one of the top accounts on Instagram’s Beauty section and four million subscribers on YouTube.
Urban Decay made a splash in the beauty scene when it launched in the late 1990s. The brand became wildly popular for its alternative hues with names like Asphyxia and Smog, which offered relief from the many shades of pink that dominated makeup counters at the time. Urban Decay’s fanbase and popularity became even bigger with the rise of social media as the brand has 11 million followers on Instagram and is known for content that challenges traditional standards of beauty, according to Talkwalker. For example, this campaign named Pretty Different, features stars like Lizzo and Ezra Klein promoting messages of self-love.
Among other top U.S. brands were: Warner Brothers, Whole Foods Market, General Mills, Billabong and Instagram.
Talkwalker used a quarter billion conversations around 781 brands in 28 different industries to create its Brand Love Story 2020 report, identifying the 50 most loved brands from across the world, through the power of social listening and highlighting just what these brands do to be loved.
Talkwalker measured social media mentions that are specific symptoms of a brand that generates actual love from its social media fans. Analysts studied everything from consumer engagement and sentiment in both social media and the news, as well as the percentage of mentions that were categorized as related to “joy” and the percentage of mentions that contain love-related words. So brands were actually rewarded for a higher percentage of joyful mentions, and love-related keywords.