Mining the Buzz around Automobile Brands – Honda and Volkswagen
You’ve already heard enough spiel on “Big Data”. You have submitted to its might and have accepted that it is indeed going to change the world as we know it. This blog is not another high voltage pitch about how big ‘Big Data’ really is! We attempt to illustrate how insights that can be drawn from user generated buzz and then applied for consumer understanding, product design and brand positioning.
Honda and Volkswagen are some of the most talked about auto brands. Not surprising therefore is the fact that the chatter around these brands is worth thousands of comments every month! Amidst all the chatter about new releases, product features, technical questions, rave reviews and consumer complaints is a gold mine of information. Here is a showcase of what we learnt from the past 90 days of data collected across Facebook, Twitter, Mouthshut, Zigwheels, Carwale, Cardekho & Team BHP.
How do the brands stack-up in the perceptual map?
There are many ways one could slice and dice the perceptions, we chose “premium-ness” and “innovativeness” as the dimensions. Based on the data, below is the perceptual map and the relative positions of the brands.
Overall, the buzz volume around brand Honda is much more than Volkswagen’s, primarily driven through the Facebook platform. Diving deeper into what people are talking about reveals that both in % and absolute numbers, brand Volkswagen is perceived as “innovative” versus brand Honda. About 30% of the positive buzz about Volkswagen have reference to innovation-related keywords. In contrast 4% of the positive comments on Honda relate to innovativeness.
Characterizing the buzz through visualization
Volkswagen fans frequently refer to technology terms such as TDI, TSI & DSG and much of the conversation is around the technology features being introduced in the new models. The comparison of the brand is mostly with Skoda followed by Suzuki.
In contrast, Honda fans frequently comment about looks, interiors, price premiumness which the brand commands as well as quality. The competition here is Suzuki prominently and therefore expectedly, the comparison is value for money, tangible and intangible.
Engagement indices: Honda does a significantly better job on Twitter engagement metrics
The overall buzz is higher for Honda, perhaps due to its longer history in the country. The engagement metrics vary across platforms. Honda seems to run regular engaging brand campaigns on Twitter resulting in an overall higher buzz volume and engagement indices in comparison to Volkswagen. On the other hand, Volkswagen engages a higher % of its fans on Facebook versus Honda.
The brands are perceived quite differently by their respective audiences. Honda is more a “quality” product which commands a premium, while Volkswagen is seen as one which brings in the technology edge. This is more pronounced in the team BHP forum, where you’d find auto-purchase influencers. The compared brands and therefore closest competitors seems to be Skoda for Volkswagen and Suzuki for Honda.
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