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Brands With Most Online Impact: Apple and Google

February 4, 2011

The Apple and Google brands had the most significant impact online in the fourth quarter of 2010, generating "impact values" of $941.5 million and $875.8 million, respectively, based on high volumes of online media buzz and social media conversation, according to a study by General Sentiment that assigns a dollar value to a brand's online exposure.

Apple led the Top 20 list for the third straight quarter, with 60.5% of its impact value created via social media conversation and an additional 12.5% via Twitter. Some 27% of Apple's impact value ($254.4 million) was generated by online news, much of it from The New York Times.

Apple's fourth-quarter lead over Google, however, shrank dramatically from 3Q10, when the brand dominated tech conversations online primarily because of problems with the iPhone 4's antenna. That media buzz helped contribute to an impact value of $1.489 billion for Apple in 3Q10 (vs. Google's $926.0 million).

Among other key findings:

  • Social media conversation also dominated Google's impact value composition (54.2%) in the fourth quarter, while Twitter conversation was less relevant (7.4%). Online news accounted for 38.4% of Google's impact value, with providing a substantial part of that content.
  • Microsoft ranked third in impact value ($702.5 million), followed by Yahoo ($494.6 million), while Ford rounded out the top 5 with a value of $199.6 million, the carmaker's first time in the top 5.
  • Overall, the tech sector dominated the top 10 impact value list, with Ford and Mercedes-Benz the only non-tech brands to crack the top 10.

Below, other findings from the Q4 2010 Global Top 20 Media Value Report.

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