Zoom! How We Used Text Analytics To Quickly Compare Top Car Brands

By Natalie Haynes, Contributor

Online research is increasingly part of the consumer’s car purchase decision, and we’ve used Metametrix to highlight different values associated with 10 top car brands, based on online content. These values are derived from aggregating and filtering content that includes unstructured text data from brand websites, reviews from critics, reviews from customers, news articles, and blog posts.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the top values associated with the top 10 car brands according to US News Best Car Brand Study released January 2019.

The values listed are in rank order for each brand in terms of how strongly the value is associated with the brand, based on a Metametrix search and analysis. Darker colors represent the most common values among the entire set of results, and lighter colors represent less common values.

Luxury and Exclusivity appear as important values for all ten brands (dark navy). Next steps for a marketer might be to delve into what Luxury means to each brand’s customer. Looking at descriptions of specific luxury cars reveals a distinct difference in what luxury can mean across brands and models. For example, some people are looking for sleek, some for comfort, and some for a tech-savvy car.

On the other end of the spectrum (lighter colors), the less common values really differentiate the brands, and they are generally very positive differentiations. Honda is associated with Freedom, Chevrolet with Thrill, Volkswagon with Community, Mini Cooper with Novelty, etc. These are all brand strengths, and a researcher could use Metametrix to dig into any of those further.

One example of digging further would be Chevrolet’s Thrill factor. If we search specifically on Chevrolet Thrill, we can see that Speed is a top topic, and if you click on any of these values in the Metametrix results, you can see the articles relating to that value.

In this example, it’s clear that the Chevrolet brand definitely has a thrill factor based on Camaro and Corvette models. The topics of convertibles and stunt driving are also mentioned here. A marketer for Chevrolet could play to that strength. None of the other top brands had thrill as a top value.

Since we’re talking about thrill, I will leave you with a video of professional driver Ken Block driving a Ford Fiesta at unbelievable racing speeds around San Francisco.

(For the curious, this shoot took four days and cost 1 million dollars paid to the city of San Francisco for shutting down all of these streets.)

If you look back at the chart of values above, Excellence, Power, Innovation, and Performance are all in the list for Ford. This video delivers on all of those and more. Thrill is missing from this list, so Ford has an opportunity to leverage Thrill in terms of perception.

What this means for business

Metametrix shows how brands are being portrayed and perceived relative to competitors. This is important for marketers who want to ensure that their messaging is being conveyed as intended and resonating with customers.