Michelin, Goodyear Top Online Brands in 2009
The latest Tyres & Accessories online brand equity survey analysis shows that, for the fifth straight year, Michelin is the most prominent online tyre brand by a significant margin. Michelin also came top in the sentiment index, which deducts negative mentions from the overall total. Despite it being the third year running that Michelin has attained the position of being both the most positively-referenced brand and the most prominent brand overall, it is worth noting that the margin of its lead has somewhat decreased compared with 2008. The top six most prominent brands remain the same as observed in the past four years, though with Dunlop dropping from third place in 2008 to fifth place in 2009. There remains a significant drop in relative prominence between the top six brands and the remainder, with the rankings of the bottom three brands remaining unchanged.
The more nuanced sentiment index shows strong improvements from Pirelli (moving from sixth to third) and Goodyear (going up a notch from third to second). There have been mixed results for the Japanese brands. Bridgestone fell one place from fourth to fifth while Toyo gained a place (climbing from ninth to eighth in the sentiment rankings). Meanwhile Yokohama held onto its sharp improvement from 10th place in 2006, staying in seventh. Interestingly, Continental’s brand equity is said to have stayed constant in fifth place overall. This is noteworthy because, due to the ongoing takeover involving Schaeffler Group, the company’s name has been repeated seemingly all over the web, attached to all manner of sentiments.
The survey conducted in cooperation with Internet intelligence specialists, Envisional, analysed online appearances of 12 major tyre brands, following identical studies carried out in September 2005, August 2006, July 2007 and October 2008. The analysis uses Envisional’s DEX methodology to provide measures of the online penetration of and the sentiment of the references to these brands. Envisional‘s Discovery Eye technology crawled over 76,000 pages across the Internet, over a five-day period between 22 and 26 September 2009, during which time the system classified just under 13,000 relevant web pages.
How to read the results
The DEX Sentiment InDEX provides a measure of the average sentiment (positive or negative) of the context in which the brands are mentioned online. This is calculated by measuring the prevalence (reflecting both volume and strength) of positive references against negative references across the Internet for each brand.
The analysis shows that the mentions of all twelve brands were much more positive than negative, on average, with all brands achieving positive sentiment InDEX scores overall. The top six most positively-referenced brands remain the same as identified in all previous studies, though with significant changes seen this year for Dunlop (dropping down the sentiment rankings from second to fourth place) and Pirelli (increasing from sixth to third place).
Despite this article referring to the sentiment index as being more nuanced, the DEX Prominence InDEX is a far more representative comparison of online prominence than a simple count of web page appearances. It combines the number of web pages and hosts which feature each brand, the prominence of the mention of the brand within the page (e.g. higher prominence is granted to the appearance in a domain name; lower prominence for brief mention in page content), brand ‘concentration’ on each host (i.e. the average number of relevant web pages per host), and total Internet coverage of all brands under consideration within a unique algorithm
Because the prominence scores are a function of the total numbers of pages classified, the final scores were ‘normalised’ (by the multiplication of a constant scaling factor), so that the mean score across all brands was the same as for all of the previous analyses, to allow comparison of relative prominences between the five years.