The aim of this new series of posts is to show the impact of Wikileaks related news on US international media reputation. Before showing the results, we need to provide some evidence of what United States media reputation is according to MRI Universidad de Navarra approach and results.
In the first post of this series we have shown some insights of US media reputation by comparing it against the Spanish media reputation.
In this second post we show how top American brands in terms of media impact and international notoriety do actually influence on how media portray the international image of the United States of America. Our approach here is to compare global media reputation of the US, estimated after gathering all news mentionning explicitly the USA, against the media reputation of individual brands. We do not show in fact the media reputation of the individual brands, as we do not analyze the content of all news referring to the single brand. From all news, we select only those where there is also an explicit reference to the United States. Chosing this selection of news allows us to properly infer how does actually any given brand or event affect the reputation of another brand (the United States in our case). We will follow this approach when estimating the impact of Wikileaks on US media reputation.
We have chosen here a limited selection of top American brands. Our technique is not reserved to just formal registered brands. We can apply our analysis to any kind of reality that has a relevant media impact. We have applied mainly to sport related brands in our precedent studies, while in this blog we focus it to countries and companies. But it can really be applied to any field where reputation plays a relevant role.
As the purspose of this post is merely illustrative, we will not carry out a systematic analysis of the media reputation of each brand presented. We chose in fact the opposite: for each brand we just show one or a couple of relevant diamond figures, with no references on how each brand performs in the other brand vectors.
The main goal of this post is to show with empirical examples how top brands actually affect (positively) the media reputation of the United States.
Our first example if the iPhone by Apple. Our results indicate that iPhone media reputation outperforms United States global reputation in the field of “Innovative, Efficiency”, and “Luxury”.
We include a third figure related with a brand vector linked to bad news: “Scandal”. We want to show examples on how top American brands relate to bad media reputation, as we will use these metrics when showing Wikileaks impact. We can observe that the degree of association of iPhone with scandal is low, as the diamond is small, and that this company does not harm the international media reputation of the United States, as the iPhone’s diamond is smaller than the diamond for all news about the US.
The second chosen brand is Coca-Cola. This beberage company reinforces the international media reputation of America related with “Excellence”.
Now, a brand in an intangible field: the media reputation of Oscar Awards. We show the examples of vectors “Excellence” and “Luxury”, where the Academy Awards increase the media reputation of the United States.
The following figures refer to media reputation of individuals, in this case a celebrity: the singer Lady Gaga. Our results indicate that Lady Gaga increase the media reputation of the United States concerning the brand vector “Acclaimed”.
This was also an interesting case to check reputation on scandal, as apparently provocative attitudes are one of the distinctive profile of this star. The results do confirm that the media reputation of Lady Gaga is more associated to “Scandal” that all United States news. This is specially the case with the vector components like “scandal”, “scandalous”, “embarrassing” and “harm”. Of course, comparing the media brand reputation of Lady Gaga against iPhone just presented before, the level of association with “scandal” is dramatically higher for the singer.
The following figure measures media reputation of the just played NBA All-Stars 2011 in Los Angeles. It is a salient brand concerning the vector “Leadership”, and also performs well related to “Acclaimed”, specially as for the component “amazing”, even is in general the US reputation is higher in this field.
Still in the sport field, we show elements of the media reputation of another top local brand: NFL Super Bowl. It is calculated with news form the recent 2011 edition. Super Bowl brand reputation is a good exporter of “excellence” media profile. Compared to other brands also strong in the “excellence” vector, NFL Super Bowl outperforms specially in the component “success”.
We have included for the Super Bowl the analysis of a brand vector that it is apparently highly negative: “Tragedy”. Our results suggest that in some of the components of this vector, Super Bowl is highly associated to tragedy, in comparison with all US related news. This is specially the case for the components “harm” and “awful”, but not for the components “catastrophic” or “horrible”. This result does not reflect in fact really bad media perception (even if it can account somehow for the problems with the snow storm), but mainly that it is a sport oriented brand, where emotional aspects dominate. We want to show nevertheless this case, as we will use the vector “tragedy” when analyzing the reputational impact of Wikileaks.
The last one of the brands proposed here can be really considered as intangible and inmaterial: Thanksgiving. We show the media reputation referring to “Excellence” and “Respected, Coherent”.
If we try to sum up all the learnings emerging from these examples of top American brands is probably that we have not learned that much, if any. In fact, we have confirmed probably all the results that each reader could reach just by the intuition provided by the common sense evidence and basic knowledge of each one of the brands presented in this post.
I probably agree with the readers deriving this conclusion. And then come the methodological implications of this “you providing self-evident results”. If we at MRI Universidad de Navarra are able to provide empirical results that are perfectly in line with what it should be expected concerning some well known and well profiled brands, this also means paradoxically that we provide intelligence to brand reputation. This is precisely because the “so evident” examples provide “so evident and expected” results in terms of media reputation. According to us, the problem would arise if our methodoly based in the analysis of news content generated empirical results that were clearly counterintuitive and unexpected, as this would crearly suggest that our approach is not able to read “inside the soul” of each news.
If we are able to identify reputation vectors that make sense, it is probable that we identify for any analyzed brand really how media is portraying a brand (company, person, institution or country) in comparison to any other relevant brand. We honestly think that with our approach and results we are dealing with relevant factual information about reputation.
Because of the confidence we have on the validity of the empirical results, we consider that our approach is valid and clearly valuable for identifying media reputation of any brand, its state in comparison with rivals or allied brands, and the impact of any relevant event. And this approach can become critically useful when there are not clear signs about how a brand is positionned, or how a specific event is affecting media reputation. Insisting once more, the aim of this series of posts is to show the reputational impact of Wikileaks on the United States media reputation.
Before presenting the results about the US, we move to a third preliminay step, and we show some examples of brands or events that we would expect that harm the American reputation. This is the mission of the next post.