New York Times READ

Corona: A Social Misfit Who is the Life of the IRL Party

Published by Engagement Labs December 13, 2016

The beer category is known for having great online sharing. So why is Corona a Social Misfit?

The beer category itself is defined by sociability. Corona’s strong connection to summertime and the beach well aligns it with prompts for consumers to share pictures and good times involving the brand on social media.

But, when we look at Corona’s TotalSocial™ Online score, it’s only 29 - the worst among all beer brands we measure. At the same time, Corona does very well offline, with a TotalSocial Offline score of 61. We call brands that have such a large mismatch between their online and offline TotalSocial conversation performance “Social Misfits.” Corona, in particular, falls into the “Word of Mouth Maven” genre of Social Misfits – meaning that the beer brand has a leading Offline TotalSocial score, but a below-average Online one.

So, is Corona’s Word of Mouth Maven status causing the brand to leave potential sales on the beach? To answer this question, we did a deeper Total Social analysis.

Corona TotalSocial Scres | Engagement Labs

Positive Word of Mouth and Sharing Drive Corona’s Social Marketing Performance

Corona’s success with offline word of mouth is driven by two key factors. First, it enjoys highly positive word of mouth, exceeded only by Heineken, Blue Moon, and Sam Adams. But perhaps even more important, Corona gets the highest “brand sharing” offline, with a score of 71, meaning that people are talking about its marketing and advertising, particularly its TV commercials. In 22% of all Corona conversations people talk about something they have seen on TV, versus 13% for all brands. In addition, lots of these Corona conversations involve discussion of the point-of-sale marketing, well above the category average.

Engagement Labs | 22% of all Corona conversations include info on TV

Corona’s Social Media Following is Modest, Costing its Potential

Corona has a clearly defined marketing image tied to the beach, and it also connects strongly to its Mexican heritage with marketing tied to Cinco de Mayo. Hispanic Americans are among the most active consumers when it comes to word of mouth. While Corona qualifies in our parlance as a Word of Mouth Maven, the brand’s doesn’t try very hard with its social media conversations. In three recent months, including the month of August—presumably a key month for a beer brand associated itself with beach life—the brand only posted three pieces of content to its Facebook page. It has only 20,000 Twitter followers, a modest count for a brand as large as Corona.

What price has the brand paid for its split personality? Overall, Corona is a highly successful brand in the marketplace—the second biggest import brand—so the focus on offline can’t be bad. A question for the brand’s marketing team is:

How much potential it may be leaving on the beach by not engaging more in social media?

To read more about Social Mistfits including more brand case studies,  please download our ebook.


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