Apple takes top position in brand league table in July, but not all news is good news

Each month, we commission research looking at which of the top 20 international brands are dominating media coverage. For the first time since starting this research, Google is no longer the most-talked about brand, but is in second place behind Apple. In the five league tables so far, Google, Apple and Microsoft are the only brands that have always been in the top five, reflecting the media’s obsession with technology and the Internet.

Research by Echo Sonar

One reason for Apple attracting such interest in July was because of the negative publicity surrounding its latest iPhone launch. This largely explains why Apple got more negative coverage than any of the four other brands. For example, on July 12, http://venturebeat.com reported: “Apple’s stock price fell 3 percent on Tuesday after Consumer Reports gave a negative review of the iPhone 4 because of its reception problems.”

Google also received a fair amount of criticism (32 per cent of its coverage was negative), and much of this focused on the decision to discontinue the Nexus mobile phone.

Microsoft’s coverage was much more positive than Apple’s last month, with just 18 per cent negative coverage and 40 per cent positive. Explaining this, Paul Hammond, digital account executive at Echo Research, says: “Microsoft gained good coverage surrounding the new Xbox 360 slim, sales reporting and the upcoming Kinetic device. The integration of Zune created some positive coverage, it did however come under some criticisms due to the removal of popular title '1 vs 100' from Xbox live.”

Car brands have regularly featured in the PRmoment brand league table, and last month Honda and Mercedes-Benz made the fourth and fifth positions respectively. Many stories surrounding Honda concerned it using customer insight to release a hybrid car in 2013. Mercedes-Benz was the brand with the highest percentage of positive stories in July (44 per cent), and many stories related to Formula One motor racing.

Methodology

PRmoment asked Echo Sonar to look at all UK online media coverage of the 20 top global brands as identified by Interbrand. Echo Sonar further analysed coverage of the five brands which had most coverage from 18 June to 19 July 2010, looking at volume and tonality.