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Social Media Brand Passion Index: Butterfinger Rules for Trick-or-Treaters

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When trick-or-treaters head out for their favorite candy on Halloween night, they'll be most delighted by the sight of a Nestlé's Butterfinger: Consumers are more passionate about that brand than any other major Halloween candy, according to the NetBase Brand Passion Index, which measures the intensity of consumer passion for brands among users of online communities.

The October brand passion index measured Halloween candy-related consumer insights around popular brands Nestlé's Butterfinger, Brach's Candy Corn, Hershey's Kit-Kat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and Mars' Snickers.

Butterfinger was associated with the most positive passionate feelings, while Snickers was the most talked about candy brand. Surprisingly, sentiment for Brach's Candy Corn was mixed, with the 80-year-old candy generating the most negative conversation among the brands studied.

Using measures across a spectrum of emotions—love, like, dislike, and hate—the Netbase Brand Passion Index reads and understands what people are saying online, then surfaces and aggregates those likes and dislikes, as well as the emotions and behaviors associated with brands. 

Below, excerpts from online discussions capture the passion that consumers feel about some of the major candy brands.



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Among the five brands, Butterfinger generated the highest volume of intensely positive feelings—"love," (70%). Online conversations referenced Butterfinger for its great taste and recognized the brand for its effective use of social media:

Snickers received the highest volume of total conversations, accounting for 50% of those included in the index, but the positive sentiment around that brand was relatively less passionate. Many of such conversations referenced Snickers' historic legacy. The popular candy bar was also associated with energy and wellness, which reflects Snickers' popular advertising campaign from the 1980s:

Though candy corn is synonymous with Halloween, online conversations about the candy are less enthusiastic than they are for other candy favorites. Overall, emotions expressed for the candy were divided.

About the data: To generate the October 2010 NetBase Brand Passion Index, ConsumerBase analyzed Halloween-related conversations around popular candy brands across the Web from Oct. 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2010.


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  • by Jessica Thu Oct 14, 2010 via web

    What have we learned here? Nothing. And now I want a candy bar.

  • by Angie Pedersen Sat Oct 16, 2010 via web

    I think the article is interesting for the process of analyzing the data - how someone might assess the value of comments gleaned from the social sphere. Such as, there is a difference between "the most positive passionate feelings" vs being "the most talked about". Even a brief overview of this process, as outlined in this article, can give marketers insight and inspiration as to how they might interpret their own social data.

    Plus, since this is the month of Halloween, it's just a fun topic in general. (And I'm not just saying that, as a Butterfinger fan myself....)

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