To help IKEA better understand what their brand means to the people they serve we deployed a new to world approach – Social Watching. Simply put it’s a succinct and nimble way of creating value out of one of the most significant growth areas of the digital age – user-generated images.
For a brand, making sense of the millions of images people post generates unprecedented insight into what they mean to people, and how their brand is showing up in people’s lives. Unlike survey data it is completely unsolicited and exceedingly rich in emotion and meaning.
Through the analysis, at scale, of consumer generated visual content we helped IKEA to discover how consumers are engaging with the brand like never before.
Our lead IKEA client Flemming Thygesen has since described Social Watching as “the only tool I’ve found that allows me to truly understand how consumers are engaging with and feeling about brands.”
We analysed 1,561 spam filtered images against the hashtag #IKEA to uncover how the IKEA brand was being visualized and spoken about online.
To make sure we were getting an authentic and unbiased view of how people feel about IKEA we also excluded any imagery that was uploaded by the brand, or driven by a brand campaign.
By combining user-generated content at scale, image recognition technology, semiotic analysis and machine learning we could understand, quantify, cluster and learn from these pictures.
This lead to a quantified picture of the brand’s earned equity in people’s minds – a picture that was spontaneous and unsolicited.
This was the very first project of this nature that we had carried out, and we deployed methods of research that we had never done before.