What Brands Won Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

By Stephen Boidock, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Drumroll

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Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rearview mirror, we’re seeing that customers and fans once again took to social media to share their excitement, favorite deals and brand appreciation (or displeasure). With its uniquely formulated algorithm, Austin-based indie agency Drumroll monitored over 3 million tweets to find the brand winners, just as they did earlier in the year during SXSW and gaming conference E3, and there are a few brands that bubbled to the top.

When it comes to brand love, both Microsoft and HyperX saw the highest fan sentiment. HyperX, a peripheral gaming hardware brand, continues the trend of strong fan appreciation of gaming-related brands that were seen during the E3 Brand Love Score experience. HyperX's headset and keyboard giveaways drove the majority of mentions and love. Microsoft's Mixed Reality and Surface deals catapulted it to a 2nd best Brand Love Score of 44. With regards to the most talked about brands, it was a close battle between Etsy and Amazon with over 9,000 and 8,600 mentions, respectively. Etsy's diverse product offerings and built-in influencer marketing (individual sellers promoting their products as well as the Etsy brand) resulted in extremely high post numbers that helped Etsy win 6 of the 8 days that were monitored. As expected, Amazon came roaring back during Cyber Monday and almost took the crown, falling just 350 posts shy of Etsy. The e-tailer capitalized on its vast assortment of products and deals but also saw a high number of people talking about its infrastructure (automated warehouses and prime delivery) as customers clearly were appreciative of the seamless purchase and fulfilment processes. The brand that saw the highest volume of negative sentiment was J.Crew when their site crashed in the middle of Cyber Monday. That said, if the crash was a result of insanely high site traffic, then they might actually see it as a win.

As far as other trends are concerned, there were a few:

Listen Up

This year saw a high volume of audio-based posts, with words like “sound,” “noise-cancelling” and “wireless” all landing in the top 1% used. 4K TVs were one of the hot products customers were looking for with the 50" size being the most popular. Video games, gaming consoles and gaming accessories rounded out the most popular deals over the weekend.

For a good cause

Some brands took an alternative route to the traditional BF/CM approach, featuring non-promotional messages tied to causes and employee wellness programs. Amazon saw a nice boost in brand love from its Amazon Smile effort which donates a portion of its proceeds to charities that consumers choose. (“AmazonSmile” was in the top 1% of all words used and “AmazonSmile” was in the top 1% of all monitored words) While this program exists year-round, they decided to dedicate a portion of promotions to creating additional awareness. In addition, REI once again saw the love from yet another year of their #OptOutside campaign, which encourages employees and customers to spend their day off (thanks to REI closing down for the day) outside instead of shopping. Needless to say, REI saw some of the richest content and sentiment as a result.

Peer to peer for the win

One of the biggest trends we saw this year was the prominent presence of peer-to-peer shopping sites like Etsy, EBay, Shopify, Zazzle and Society6. Many of these sites feature peer-made products and designs that can be sold without the need for large retailers. That level of personalization and uniqueness led to a higher volume of fans sharing their purchases on social compared to other retailers and landed "handmade" as one of the top used words across all brands. Shopify also had a cool real-time data visualization of their own with a map showing live purchases across the world.

Live Streamers

A number of larger brands opted for a QVC -style social/digital live broadcast of their featured deals. Walmart once again streamed Walmart Live in which hosts would hype up hot products and corresponding features. Amazon also saw a string of live broadcasts from within local distribution centers where TV personalities would talk about fan favorites.

Fun Fan Content

One of the most enjoyable by-products of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness, is the originality and cleverness fans use to express their feelings towards brands. From memes to GIFs to witty copy, fans go to great lengths to one-up each other with shared content.

Beneficiary bystanders

While aggregator review sites weren’t included in Drumroll’s results (in order to focus more on retail brands proactively selling and discounting products), it’s clear that review sites like CNET saw a high volume of mentions driven by customers seeking to purchase the right products while aggregator sites like Retale and Retailmenot saw love from customers wanting to ensure they were getting the best prices.

All in all, the top 10 most loved brands were:

  1. HyperX
  2. Microsoft
  3. Sephora
  4. Rawlings Sports
  5. Vizio
  6. BJ's Wholesale
  7. Samsung
  8. Sony
  9. Bose
  10. Sam's Club

And the top 10 most talked about brands:

  1. Etsy
  2. Amazon
  3. Ebay
  4. Bose
  5. Victoria's Secret
  6. Xbox
  7. Walmart
  8. Target
  9. Best Buy
  10. Apple

You can still view the final results of Drumroll’s Brand Love Score on the site, brandlovescore.com.

By Stephen Boidock, Director of Marketing and Business Development Drumroll

About Drumroll:
Drumroll is an engagement agency based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2007 by creative and video game industry veterans Kirk Drummond and Chris Mollo, the agency brings a fresh approach to brands seeking differentiation and affinity.  Drumroll creates exceptional results by making the most out of each and every customer touch point across the entire customer journey, turning often overlooked moments into meaningful engagements that work collectively to build BRAND LOVE. The agency offers a powerful mix of brand enablement, brand experience and brand extension services including overall strategy and planning (including omnichannel strategies), insightful customer journey architecture, innovative brand experiences and content, a full complement of digital and traditional marketing services, social media engagement, technology development and engagement analytics for a wide range of clients including Microsoft, Capital One, Concur, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Macerich and others. For more information visit drumroll.com or stop by their Austin headquarters for a breakfast taco. Drumroll: We Build Brand Love.

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