Brand Influence - The Importance of Being “Liked”

Half (49%) of Online Canadians Say Their Views of Products and Brands are Influenced by Recommendations of Those in Their Social Network

Half (48%) of Online Canadians with an Online Social Network Profile “Like” or “Follow” At Least One Brand or Company

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vancouver, BC – For years, brands and products have acknowledged the importance of being "recommended" by friends and family, but in the new world of social media does this mean that brands should strive to be "liked"? The results of a poll conducted by Ipsos Loyalty in early May with online Canadians, illustrate that the importance of positive commentary extends to Canadians' social networks.

Half (49%) of online Canadians state that they are either strongly (5%) or somewhat (44%) influenced by brand or product recommendations by members of their social network. The influence of social network recommendations is significantly stronger for online Canadians aged 18-34 (56%) than for online Canadians aged 55+ (40%).

Within social networks, being "liked" or "promoted" is also critical, as four in ten (41%) online Canadians are influenced when those in their social network "like" or "promote" a brand or product. Once again the influence of being "liked" is significantly higher for online Canadians aged 18-34 (46%) than for online Canadians aged 55+ (34%).

Dave Pierzchala, Vice President with Ipsos Loyalty explains, "These results show that social networks influence impressions and ultimately the bottom line. For younger Canadians the importance of being 'liked' is the generational equivalent of being 'recommended' at the backyard BBQ."

Close to half (48%) of online Canadians with an online social network "follow" or "like" at least one brand, with younger online Canadians being more apt to do so. Six in ten (59%) of younger online Canadians (18-34) follow as least one brand and they follow an average of five brands. At the other end of the age demographic, less than a third (30%) of older online Canadians (those 55 and over) follows a brand and on average they only follow one brand).

Not all online relationships last forever, as 28% of online Canadians have "unliked" or stopped "following" a brand or company. Younger online Canadians are more fickle (41% have "unliked") than their older online counterparts (15% have "unliked"). The main reason given for "unliking" is that the consumer simply "lost interest" (55%).

Dave Pierzchala explains, "Brands and products cannot assume that once a consumer befriends their organization that they will be friends for life. To be successful, organizations must work on their virtual relationships as hard as they work on their face-to-face ones."

This release is based on the findings of the Ipsos Reid syndicated study, the Inter@ctive Reid Report, fielded in Q1, 2011. This online survey of 844 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos Online Panel. The results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please see the Inter@ctive Reid Report and the Special Features Report for more information.

For more information on this news release and Ipsos Loyalty research, please contact:

Dave Pierzchala
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Loyalty

About Ipsos Loyalty

Ipsos Loyalty is a global, specialized practice dedicated to helping companies improve business performance through customer satisfaction management, customer relationship management, and employee climate management. Ipsos Loyalty provides a state-of-the-art approach to customer-driven business performance through a modular suite of innovative research tools that provides an integrated framework to identify complex global business solutions. Ipsos Loyalty is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

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Brand Influence - The Importance of Being “Liked”

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Michael Rodenburgh
Executive Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Marketing