February 08, 2007

Social Media Index: Apparel

Let's try to end the week with a little fun, ok?

Using Google Blogsearch, I queried how often forty-one apparel and shoe brands were mentioned in blogs, both ever, and during the past month. Only brands with distinct names were included. For instance, a query on "Gap" is not fruitful, as the search returns too many instances not related to the Gap store. The problem is much less pronounced with "Zappos".

For each of forty-one brands, I calculated an index that balances long-term blogging buzz, and short-term (30 day) blogging buzz. Long-term and short-term buzz are weighted equally. The results are in the table at the end of this article.

Here are the top ten apparel/shoe brands, based on long-term blog buzz and short-term blog buzz.

1 = REI
2 = American Eagle
3 = Sears
4 = Urban Outfitters
5 = Patagonia
6 = Old Navy
7 = Gymboree
8 = Liz Claiborne
9 = Lane Bryant
10 = Eddie Bauer

Brands that had good long-term rankings include Sears, REI, Lands' End, American Eagle, L.L. Bean, Zappos, J. Crew, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, and Patagonia. Most of those brands sell a ton of merchandise, and therefore, may influence the total number of mentions in the blogosphere.

Brands that had good short-term rankings include Sierra Trading Post, REI, Liz Claiborne, Lane Bryant, Urban Outfitters, Bluefly, Gymboree, Orvis, Anthropologie, Nine West. These brands had "buzz" that exceeded what they had achieved prior to the past thirty days.

By combining long-term and short-term buzz, we get the ranking illustrated earlier.

Buzz does not translate to sales or profit. But it is interesting to see which brands had a lot of long-term mentions, and to compare that list with the brands that have improved their buzz in the short term. REI appears on both lists, clearly leading the pack.

What do you think, folks? Is there any validity to measuring buzz in this manner? Send me your comments, and let me know whether this or some other version of this is a worthy endeavor.



The Table:

Apparel And Shoe Social Media Index: February 8, 2007








Mentioned Ever Mentioned Last Month Last Month Pct. Ever Rank Last Mo. Rank Index
REI 159,992 27,266 17.04% 2 2 2.0
American Eagle 130,589 17,259 13.22% 4 14 9.0
Sears 221,819 27,060 12.20% 1 19 10.0
Urban Outfitters 27,626 4,502 16.30% 16 5 10.5
Patagonia 49,700 6,602 13.28% 10 13 11.5
Old Navy 64,590 7,952 12.31% 8 18 13.0
Gymboree 18,430 2,860 15.52% 20 7 13.5
Liz Claiborne 14,584 2,478 16.99% 25 3 14.0
Lane Bryant 14,760 2,444 16.56% 24 4 14.0
Eddie Bauer 23,582 3,142 13.32% 18 12 15.0
Victoria's Secret 54,609 6,373 11.67% 9 21 15.0
Anthropologie 16,302 2,358 14.46% 22 9 15.5
Neiman Marcus 31,608 4,134 13.08% 15 16 15.5
Sierra Trading Post 7,328 1,511 20.62% 32 1 16.5
Abercrombie & Fitch 35,069 4,221 12.04% 13 20 16.5
L.L. Bean 116,647 12,749 10.93% 5 28 16.5
Lands' End 137,618 14,437 10.49% 3 30 16.5
Nordstrom 44,558 4,981 11.18% 11 23 17.0
J. Crew 70,282 7,708 10.97% 7 27 17.0
Bluefly 9,681 1,521 15.71% 31 6 18.5
Nine West 14,210 1,989 14.00% 27 10 18.5
Orvis 10,180 1,569 15.41% 30 8 19.0
eBags 15,222 2,010 13.20% 23 15 19.0
Bloomingdales 10,601 1,470 13.87% 28 11 19.5
Saks 39,673 4,283 10.80% 12 29 20.5
Ann Taylor 14,544 1,795 12.34% 26 17 21.5
J. Jill 17,713 1,976 11.16% 21 24 22.5
Brooks Brothers 18,650 2,063 11.06% 19 26 22.5
Zappos 75,526 4,978 6.59% 6 39 22.5
Banana Republic 34,739 3,617 10.41% 14 32 23.0
J.C. Penney 26,477 2,777 10.49% 17 31 24.0
Norm Thompson 2,663 303 11.38% 40 22 31.0
Chadwicks 3,101 344 11.09% 39 25 32.0
Burlington Coat Factory 10,572 441 4.17% 29 41 35.0
Dooney & Bourke 3,977 413 10.38% 38 33 35.5
Jos. A. Bank 4,696 432 9.20% 37 34 35.5
Talbots 4,885 432 8.84% 36 35 35.5
Bergdorf Goodman 5,189 441 8.50% 35 36 35.5
dELiA's 5,984 435 7.27% 34 37 35.5
Coldwater Creek 6,562 439 6.69% 33 38 35.5
Lord and Taylor 2,133 117 5.49% 41 40 40.5

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