The five most loved brands are….
A social media giant and an online retail giant are the most loved brands in the world.
Facebook took the top spot, followed by Amazon, in NetBase's third annual "Top 100 Global Brand Love List." Rounding out the top five were eBay, Apple, and Snap.
For the ranking, which leveraged NetBase’s social analytics technology, the company said it reviewed more than 367 million social media mentions or brand conversations across social networks, review sites, blogs, forums and news sites worldwide (from May 2016 through July 2017) to identify the strongest, most positive consumer emotions towards brands. Four factors were used to map the NetBase survey, including passion intensity on a scale of zero to 100, the volume of earned and owned mentions, and net sentiment covering customer service, products, and marketing.
The NetBase report ranks the most loved brands in technology, retail, telecommunications and several other categories, along with the overall ranking. In the retail category, Best Buy (#16 overall) came out on top, followed by Target (#18), Walmart (#39), Victoria's Secret (#45) and Sephora (#48).
McDonald's (#14 overall) topped the food beverage category, followed by Starbucks (#23).
The NetBase Brand Passion Report 2017:Top 100 Global Brand Love List can be downloaded here.
TJX to open 260 stores this year
Off-price powerhouse TJX Companies still seems plenty of room for store expansion — particularly in the home good sector.
The retailer, which reported strong second quarter results on Tuesday, has more than 3,800 stores worldwide and will open 260 new locations this year. Long term, it sees the opportunity for 5,600 stores with it current banners, or about 1,700 more locations than it currently operates.
"We see enormous global store growth potential for TJX," CEO Ernie Herrman said on the company's quarterly call with investors and analysts. "We have plenty of white space or markets to fill in throughout our current countries. We continue to see store openings as an attractive investment and a very good use of capital internationally."
TJX's remains committed to its brick-and-mortar strategy. More importantly, so do its customers.
"The customer is clearly telling us that brick-and-mortar retail continues to be an essential part of the shopping experience and certainly when it is executed right with the right values," Herrman said. "All of this gives us confidence in our long-term global store growth potential. Our key pillars for growth remain driving comp sales and customer traffic and our global store expansion."
On the call, Hermann also discussed TJX's new U.S. home concept, HomeSense, which debuts Aug. 17 in Framingham, Mass. He emphasized that HomeSense will look and feel very different from the company's HomeGoods chain.
"HomeSense is rooted in inspiration and discovery and will complement HomeGoods by offering expanding categories such as large scale furniture lighting and art," Herrman said.
The new format will also include such new departments as a general store, which will offer organization and hardware items, with an element of fashion. Certain departments, including kids and pets, will be featured only at HomeGoods.
“We believe an enormous opportunity remains for us to gain additional share in the U.S. home market,” Herrman said. “We are confident that shoppers are going to love our new HomeSense stores.”
While HomeGoods is typically a standalone format, TJX is experimenting. It has "successfully" opened more than 20 HomeGoods stores co-joined with an existing larger Marshalls or T.J. Maxx store. Pleased with the above-plan sales of this group of stores, the retailer plans to convert an additional 10 Marmaxx (Marshalls or T.J. Maxx) locations to this format this year.
“This initiative will bring even more HomeGoods stores to new markets more quickly and efficiently and increase our overall HomeGoods openings to almost 100 this year,” Hermann said. “Again, we are seeing great opportunity for the future of our company within the U.S. home sector.”
BJ’s seeks greater consumer insight with predictive analytics
BJ's Wholesale Club will leverage predictive analytics and machine learning to assist with buying decisions.
The warehouse club operator will begin using First Insight’s consumer-driven predictive analytics. The tools are designed to help BJ’s make design and buying decisions on the broad spectrum of products offered in its warehouse clubs.
“Providing the products our members really want at the right prices is critical to our growth strategy,” said Lee Delaney, chief growth officer at BJ’s Wholesale Club. “First Insight is helping us make sure we have the right products, including seasonal assortments, with the features and prices our members’ value.”
First Insight uses online social engagement tools to gather real-time preference, pricing and sentiment data on potential product offerings. The information is filtered through First Insight’s predictive analytic models to determine which products present the greatest opportunity. The solution will enable BJ’s to evaluate a greater number of products and reflect direct consumer input in their buying decisions.
“First Insight will help BJ’s make efficient operational decisions about product assortments that will benefit both the company and its members," said Greg Petro, CEO and founder of First Insight. "By introducing the voice of the customer through predictive analytics, BJ’s will increase their speed to market with trend-right products, targeted to their members.”