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The Relative Review – text analysis insights digest

The Relative Review is a monthly roundup showcasing examples of Relative Insight’s text analysis platform in action. From competitor insights to voice of the customer analysis and market research – here’s a look back at some of our most interesting text analysis insights and use cases. Happy insight-ing!


October 2021

Understanding the evolution of brand perceptions by comparing reviews of Vauxhall and Hyundai vehicles over time.

What we learned:

Vauxhall reviews from 2016-2018 were 10x more likely than more recent reviews to mention, often in a negative context, Vauxhall’s lifetime warranty programme. The use of the words shoddy and never purchase were also more likely to be used to describe the vehicles. Reviews from 2019 onwards were infinitely more likely to include the word love. While this suggests a general improvement in brand perception, compliments of the vehicles were often accompanied by persistent complaints about the service.

From 2016-2018, Hyundai reviews were 7.2x more likely to include mentions of battery issues and 9x more likely to reference rude experiences in the dealership. Reviews from 2019 onwards were much more likely to reference the expensive cost of Hyundai vehicles.

Why it’s useful:

Tracking changes in voice of the customer data such as reviews, survey open-ends and social media mentions is essential to helping brands spot emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in their business.

Comparing app store reviews of leading streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer, SoundCloud, TIDAL and iHeartRadio.

What we learned:

Using Heatmaps to identify which pairs of comparisons are the most and least different, we discovered Apple Music and Pandora were the most different. Despite holding a huge portion of the market, Apple Music was far more likely than Pandora to receive reviews mentioning technical issues of the app. Pandora users were more likely to use words like best and amazing. Spotify and Deezer were the least different, with each receiving high praise for the quality of their apps. Users particularly appreciated the breadth of content available on Spotify while Deezer stood out for its superior sound quality.

Why it’s useful:

Publicly accessible voice of the customer data is an invaluable source of competitor intelligence. It can help brands identify points of differentiation and areas for improvement to help keep the competition at bay.

To understand what people care about when reading vs listening to a book, we analysed book and audiobook reviews of the Great Gatsby.

What we learned:

Reviews from readers of the book were 8.7x more likely than audiobook reviews to reflect the emotions of fear and shock. They were also infinitely more likely to comment on the qualities of the writer. Audiobook listeners were 3x more likely than readers to use the word ease in recognition of the convenience of listening to books on the go. Listeners were also more likely to comment on the performance aspects of the audiobook with a particular focus on the narrator’s voice.

Why it’s useful:

Understanding how the experience of reading vs listening to a book differs enables publishers to develop and market their content in a way that resonates with their target audiences.


September 2021

Comparing social media discourse about different types of spirits to understand how to best market individual products.

What we learned:

Vodka drinkers are more likely to discuss their mates, clubbing and getting drunk than consumers of other spirits. Gin drinkers enjoy a more relaxed and casual experience, talking about earning their drink and enjoying it in the garden in the summertime. The conversation around whiskey featured heavy use of masculine pronouns and evoked memories of fathers and granddads. Rum drinkers associated the drink with exotic places, beaches and cultural celebrations such as Carnival. Those talking about tequila were likely to associate the drink with taking shots and having fun on the weekends but afterwards were more likely to mention hangovers and regrets.

Why it’s useful:

By discovering how consumers talk about drinking different spirits, brands can better align their brand and creative messaging with those experiences.

Analysing the brand messaging of new, disruptive entrants in the sex toy industry compared to established legacy players to understand how they’ve been able to re-energise the market and reach new consumers.

What we learned:

Modern sex toy brands focus their brand messaging on sexual education and employ the use of anatomical language to describe the function of their products. They also connect to themes of consent, setting boundaries and communication within relationships, where older brands focus on play, fun and seduction. These more established brands tend also to emphasise discretion in their comms which contributes to the persistence of old stereotypes that the use of sex toys is something to be ashamed of.

Why it’s useful:

This is a classic case of innovators vs the establishment. This type of market research analysis can help established brands stay relevant and combat losses in market share to upstart players, and help the new players double down on the things that have contributed to their success thus far.

Analysing the language used in property listings of three competing estate agencies in the UK.

What we learned:

Savills listings were more likely to focus on creating a sense of high demand for properties through the use of phrases such as highly sought after. Foxtons, however, promotes stylish interiors using words like chic, sleek, lush and gorgeous. Marsh & Parsons is more likely than their two competitors to focus on the proximity of properties to local amenities and transport links.

Why it’s useful:

This kind of competitive analysis sheds light on how competitors think about what is important to their potential buyers. Equipped with the insights, estate agents can better position their properties in relation to others on the market.

Comparing the brand messaging for tourism boards in New York and California to understand how each state markets itself to potential visitors.

What we learned:

New York state was more likely than California to emphasise the cultural events and cuisine on offer to visitors. They were also more likely to discuss the topic of accessibility. California, on the other hand, focused heavily on its beautiful, lush natural environment – from the oceans to forests and national parks.

Why it’s useful:

As tourism continues to rebound from the pandemic, country tourist boards will be keen to attract visitors to get their economies going again. Taking a look into how two of the most popular US states are marketing themselves can inspire other countries (and other US states) to think about how they can capture the interest of potential visitors.


August 2021

Comparing activewear brand reviews to reveal points of differentiation and opportunities to gain market share

What we learned:
Tala is 18.3x more likely than Sweaty Betty to receive a review describing their clothes as super flattering, suggesting a strong design aesthetic. However, despite being 5.1x more likely than Gymshark to be described as super soft, Tala is less likely to receive reviews mentioning the intention to recommend.

However, compared to Pangaia, a brand well known for its sustainable products, Tala was nearly 5x more likely to be questioned over its sustainability and ethical commitments.

Why it’s useful:
This kind of text analysis can help brands understand their strengths and weaknesses when stacked against each of their competitors. With these insights, organisations are better equipped to improve their offering, manage brand perception and chip away at the market share of their top competitors.

Comparing brand messaging for products treating sensitive health conditions against other health products

What we learned:
Adverts for products treating intimate health conditions displayed several distinct features compared to other health products. They attempt to put the consumer at ease by using words that normalise the issue such as common and everyday. They also take care to make a solution seem within reach by using phrases like easy fix and fast acting.

We also noticed that solutions are presented as soothing and calm, and supported by clinical accolades and professional recommendations.

Why it’s useful:
Marketers must take care not to offend or scare their audience. This is particularly important when it comes to managing discreet conditions. This kind of analysis can help brands as they launch new products in this space.

Comparing British and American public discourse on the topic of wellness

What we learned:
Americans discuss wellness as a journey and are 6x more likely than Brits to mention specific wellness products such as supplements and essential oils. They are also more likely to discuss monetary themes, suggesting a more established wellness industry.

Americans are also more likely than Brits to connect wellness with religion and spirituality. Conversely, Brits are more likely to discuss the benefits of exercise, nature and fresh air when it comes to wellness.

British people see wellness as being connected with individual behaviour more so than Americans who take a more product-focused approach. They are also more likely to discuss the wellness of young people and employees in the workplace.

Why it’s useful:
The wellness industry is poised for huge growth, but it’s clear that Americans and Brits differ considerably in how they think about the topic. The wellness industry is more developed in the US and different approaches will be needed to win over consumers across the Atlantic.


July 2021

Competitor review comparison – retailers with loyalty programmes vs those without

What we learned:
When loyalty perks are offered through a mobile app, they are often explicitly praised in user reviews. This suggests a connection between offering a loyalty programme and a positive customer experience.  Conversely, apps that don’t feature a loyalty programme are 3x more likely to receive negative comments including words like difficult, hard, poor and bad. This suggests that the user experience of apps may be given more attention when viewed through a revenue generation and loyalty lens.

Why it’s useful:
Knowing what a competitor has done is one thing but understanding the impact of their strategic decisions is another. This kind of analysis can help brands take a more informed approach to strategic decision making. 

Weight loss forum analysis – Noom, Slimming World, WW and Lighter Life

What we learned:
Using heatmaps, we identified Noom and Slimming World as being the most different, with Noom and WW (formerly Weight Watchers) being the least different. Noom customers emphasised the educational components of the program including lessons and coaches. Slimming World customers were more focused on affordability and food options with fewer explicit mentions of weight loss. Noom and WW were both likely to receive positive evaluations and customers focused predominantly on weight loss as opposed to other health indicators. WW stand out from the rest for their ability to foster a sense of community, and this is highly valued by their customers as a means of staying accountable.

Why it’s useful:
Knowing how consumers perceive your brand in relation to competitors is foundational to establishing a clear value proposition that attracts your ideal customers.

Voice of the customer analysis – Twitter mentions of Pimm’s, Sipsmith and Evian during Wimbledon

What we learned:
Despite only becoming an official sponsor in the past five years, brand mentions of Pimm’s are rooted in conversations of Wimbledon traditions such as strawberries and cream. This indicates an authentically relevant brand fit for this sponsorship. As a newer sponsor, people have reacted positively to Sipsmith’s humorous adverts suggesting that they have successfully expanded their audience through this sponsorship. Evian on the other hand has come under scrutiny as people debate the ethics of promoting bottled water in an increasingly environmentally aware society. 

Why it’s useful:
Measuring the impact of brand building activities such as sponsorships can be challenging. This kind of analysis can help brands understand whether and how they’ve been able to stimulate consumer interest and conversation so they can make informed decisions on future activities.

Podcast listener review analysis – Comfort Eating with Grace Dent, Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed, and My Dad Wrote a Porno

What we learned:
People enjoy Comfort Eating with Grace Dent because of the charming, polite personality of the host and informal, conversational format of the episodes. Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed  is appreciated for the relatability and honesty of its hosts. On the other hand, My Dad Wrote a Porno bring a healthy dose of comedy and wonderful rapport between hosts to win over its audiences.

Why it’s useful:
Podcasts are a dime a dozen and as marketers continue to recognise their value, the market is becoming increasingly saturated. While excellent (and relevant) content is a given, this kind of analysis can help brands understand the most important factors in winning over a loyal audience. 


June 2021

Type of comparison: Time – 2021 vs 2020

Data source: Forums

What we learned:
The 2020 conversation on plant-based diets reflected a heightened awareness of the connection between eating meat and the spread of viruses and other illnesses, undoubtedly related to the ongoing debate about the origins of COVID-19.  The 2021 conversation is more food-centric with greater discussion of specific vegetarian and plant-based alternatives as well as lab-grown meat. The 2021 conversation is also more likely to reference the environmental impact people can have by eating less meat.

Why it’s useful:
Plant-based diets are poised for continued growth, and companies in this space need to understand the trajectory of public opinion in order to capitalise on the opportunities it presents. By mirroring the public discourse in marketing communications, brands can ensure their messaging is resonating with consumers.

Type of comparison: Competitor – Australian Gold vs Hawaiian Tropics vs Sun Bum

Data source: Reviews

What we learned:
Australian Gold was more likely than their competitors to receive positive assessments from reviewers including words like divine, lovely and fantastic. They were also less likely to receive mentions of allergic reactions. Hawaiian Tropics customers were more likely to mention the textural, moisturising and hydration properties of their sunscreen. Sun Bum reviews indicated their customers are more focused on getting tanned than protecting their skin. While they expressed disappointment and the lack of waterproof products, they loved the chocolatey smell.

Why it’s useful:
Comparing product reviews can help brands hone in on their value proposition and understand where there may be opportunities to win market share from competitors.

Type of comparison: Geographic – Brits vs Americans

Data source: Social listening data

What we learned:
Brits are more likely to talk about how cheap high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products are and make connections to child poverty and health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. They are also more likely to debate who should be responsible for the problems created by these products, with discussion focusing on the producers and the role of the government. Americans are more likely to talk about the pervasiveness of these unhealthy products as a cultural issue as opposed to a regulatory one.

Why it’s useful:
Marketers of unhealthy products have to tow a fine line in order to steer clear of controversy. This is especially the case as governments look at imposing increased regulation of these products. By understanding the conversation, companies can better position their products and engage with regulators to manage the impact on their businesses.

Type of comparison: Gender – male vs female journalists

Data source: News articles

What we learned:
Female journalists were more likely to discuss Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open for mental health reasons in relation to broader issues of race and gender. They were also more likely to talk about the need for positive change that protects athletes and creates a safe environment for them to compete in. Males on the other hand were more likely to invoke clinical terms such as depression and anxiety. They were also more likely to express surprise at Osaka’s decision. While they acknowledged the struggle athletes face, there was less discussion of the need for structural change.

Why it’s useful:
Different segments of society experience and view mental health issues differently. Applying an intersectional lens is key to developing a robust understanding that can inform the actions of charities and other organisations working to bring positive change in the area of mental health.


May 2021

Type of comparison: Public vs private universities

Data source: Professor reviews

What we learned:
Public university students were more likely to focus their reviews on the perceived difficulty of the course and offer tips for future students. Private university students were more likely to focus on the accomplishments, intelligence, personality and politics of their professors.

Why it’s useful:
External review sites provide a rich source of language insights that can supplement student surveys and other first-party feedback. Professors are an important part of the ‘product’ that universities offer and understanding what people like and dislike about them is essential to creating happy students and an engaged alumni community.

Type of comparison: Before and after Tesla announced it would stop accepting Bitcoin

Data source: Social media

What we learned:
Tesla’s decision sparked increased discussion of the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining. The discourse also reflected increased stress levels among Bitcoin investors through increased use of words like panic, worry and concern. Others referred to the whole situation and Elon Musk in particular as stupid.

Why it’s useful:
Greater connectivity has made it easier for individual people and events to influence the markets, and this introduces a new kind of volatility that investors must grapple with. These language insights can help investors understand the linkages between public discourse and asset prices more clearly.

Type of comparison: Time – 2010 vs 2021

Data source: News coverage

What we learned:
In 2010, coverage was more likely to include medical terminology such as illness and disorder and mentions of the word stigma. By 2021, coverage was far more positive and focused on mental health as an important part of our overall wellbeing. There was also more discussion of employee mental health and the responsibilities employers have for their workers.

Why it’s useful:
These language insights help to articulate how societies are progressing on matters of mental health. For charities and medical professionals, it is important to keep a pulse on the discourse so that they can target their efforts in a way that reflects the current discussion and lived experiences of people who struggle with their mental health. 

Type of comparison: Geographic – Brits vs Americans

Data source: Social media

What we learned:
Americans are optimistic and excited about visiting exotic and beautiful places despite the discussion around potential consequences of fake vaccination cards. Brits are taking a more conservative approach with discussion focusing on rules, restrictions and the traffic light system. Brits continue to express worry and are more likely to discuss staycation options than Americans.

Why it’s useful:
As the world begins to reopen for tourism, businesses in the travel sector need to take heed of the changed priorities of their guests. This kind of analysis can help hotels, tour operators and airlines keep a pulse on the rapidly changing situation and ensure they are developing their policies, messaging and services in a way that conveys confidence and comfort.


April 2021

Type of comparison: Demographic (gender) – mothers vs fathers

Data source: Parenting forums

What we learned:
New fathers and fathers-to-be are more likely than their female counterparts to discuss their commitment to putting in the effort to be a good parent. During pregnancy, key milestones such as ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat really hit home for men. We found that men also exhibit a great deal of praise and respect for women who are experiencing pregnancy and childbirth in general, and use those terms often. Mums, on the other hand, are far more likely to discuss the parenting journey in an emotional sense, and use forums as support network to help salve their sense of loneliness.

Why it’s useful:
Baby products have historically been marketed predominantly towards women. But with gender roles evolving, men are taking on a larger amount of responsibility for their newborns. Understanding how mothers and fathers differ in their experiences of parenthood can inform brands in developing messaging that reflects the unique journeys that new parents go through.

Type of comparison: Generational – millennials vs gen Z

Data source: Social listening data

What we learned:
For Gen Z, discussions of body image focused on eating habits and specific body parts (and related insecurities). This demographic was more likely than their millennial counterparts to speak out against the unrealistic expectations of beauty that are fostered by social media and engage in frank discussion around traditionally taboo topics such as eating disorders and body shaming. Millennials are more likely to discuss their goals as it relates to body image – including specific types of exercise. They also acknowledge a connection between body image, self-esteem and the health of their romantic relationships.

Why it’s useful:
The health, fitness and beauty industries all play a role in shaping how we see ourselves. These industries play a role in setting societal expectations and helping us achieve our personal goals. Being able to effectively and authentically tap into sentiment about such a deeply personal topic is crucial to long-term success.

Type of comparison: Time based – pre vs post acquisition

Data source: Social media content of Postmates and Uber

What we learned:
Prior to being acquired, Postmates’ social content was community-focused. They emphasised comfort and the convenience of using their service, offering frequent discounts and promotions to encourage orders. Following the acquisition, the tone of voice remained relatively consistent but with a greater focus on running contests and using social as a channel for customer service. Community remained a focus with increased usage of collective pronouns (we, us etc.).

Why it’s useful:
Merging companies is a complex and imperfect process. Establishing a coherent brand voice that reflects the offering of the combined entity is imperative, but care must be taken to ensure existing customers are not alienated in the process. Comparisons such as this one can help ensure consistency in brand messaging. A collection of content representing the desired brand voice can be used to compare against new pieces of content and ensure consistency.  

Type of comparison: Channel – charities, news media, social media, government

Data source: Website copy, news articles, social media

What we learned:
Discussions about domestic violence vary greatly across channels. Charities focus on delivering practical help, serving as a source of information and inspiring hope for a future with less domestic violence. Media coverage focuses on statistics, risk, community response and prevention. The unique elements of the public discourse on Twitter include discussion of male victims and marginalised groups. It also focuses on the importance of listening to and believing victims, often expressing disappointment in how these issues are covered by others. Government resources focus on providing facts as well as guidance on financial and legal recourse for victims.

Why it’s useful:
Developing a robust understanding of how issues are discussed can inform the development of service offerings and fundraising appeals for charities. These organisations play an important role in dismantling stigmas and misinformation around their causes and channel-based comparisons such as this can shed light on key areas of contention.


March 2021

Type of comparison: Competitor comparison

Data source: Tweets from popular fast-food chains

What we learned:
This analysis provided insight into how brands tailor their messaging on Twitter and how they engage with customers on this channel. McDonald’s takes on a highly informal tone and are considerably more likely to use emojis that reflect a playful brand persona. Shake Shack aims to distinguish itself from competitors by using words such as real and authentic to describe their products. White Castle is infinitely more likely to tap into the network effects of social media, using branded hashtags to stimulate conversation, and Five Guys uses Twitter to collect user-generated content to function as social proof across its marketing channels.  

Why it’s useful:
Understanding how competitors are using social can enable you to do a critical evaluation of your own efforts and adapt them accordingly.

Type of comparison: Time-based

Data source: News coverage – 1980s vs. 2021

What we learned:
In the 1980s, there was a great deal of uncertainty and this led to fear and worry among the public. Despite a paucity of hard facts in the early years, people latched on to the opinions of doctors and scientists and held them out as truths. This contributed to the dehumanisation of the crisis in many ways – from the way that gay people were treated to how victims of the disease were reduced to stats. While a stigma still exists in 2021, news coverage has adopted a far more human tone – sharing the stories of those people who have suffered from, and are living with the disease.

Why it’s useful:
Health workers and charities can tap into this analysis to understand the direction of the conversation around HIV and ensure their messaging is aligned with the contemporary discourse around the disease. Beyond that, time-based comparisons shed light on how and why certain perceptions have developed over time. Understanding how AIDS was discussed in the 1980s provides insight into how misconceptions about the disease came to be. By understanding the root of these now-debunked myths, organisations can take an informed approach to public education.

Type of comparison: Geographic – UK vs US

Data source: Twitter

What we learned:
American audiences were more likely to view the infamous Oprah interview as consequential and use language that conveyed empathy for Meghan and Harry. Similarly, they were more likely to cite the couple’s decision to leave the royal family as courageous. The British response was far more polarised. Royalists used words like embarrassment and disgrace to describe the couple. Defenders of the couple used more aggressive language to denounce the royal institution. Brits were naturally more concerned about the political consequences of a tarnished royal family.

Why it’s useful:
Effective crisis management requires a robust understanding of how people have reacted to a particular incident. An analysis such as this can help do just that – quickly sifting through huge volumes of data to help PR professionals get to the heart of the conversation.

Type of comparison: Time-based

Data sources: Forums & social

What we learned:
Socially responsible investing has gone from an emergent idea in 2018 to something that is taking hold in personal investment strategies in 2020. People now understand the connection between climate change and investing in socially responsible organisations, and potential investors are subjecting companies to more in-depth scrutiny of sustainability initiatives and carbon emissions. High public awareness of greenwashing practices has contributed to the need for this increased scrutiny.  

Why it’s useful:
As investor preferences evolve in response to increased awareness of environmental and social issues, publicly traded companies must adapt their business practices to create and preserve investor confidence. Text analysis like this can reveal the things that are important to investors and help to inform business strategies that recognise broader environmental and social responsibilities.


February 2021

Type of comparison: Time based – before and during the GameStop media frenzy

Data sources: Reddit Forums – r/wallstreetbets

What we learned:
Before the intensive media coverage began, Redditors had begun to recognise their collective influence in taking on hedge funds. As the media coverage took hold, forum contributors were increasingly likely to use language that indicated they were in battle – against the ‘boomers’ that run hedge funds and contribute to massive inequality, and the media who were propagating what they saw as false narratives.

Why it’s useful:
Qualitative analysis can supplement the quantitative methods that are commonplace with finance professionals – helping firms understand and respond to stock market movements being driven by ordinary people who are beginning to realise their collective power.

Type of comparison: Brand and rating based

Data sources: Publicly available reviews of popular coffee shop chains

What we learned:
Fans of Starbucks love the chain for the variety it offers but heavy promotion of their app means that technical issues are a driver of negative reviews. While Pret loyalists appreciate the healthy food options, negative reviews are driven by slow service and unhappy employees. Unlike the others, Costa Coffee is loved for being a social meeting spot for friends and colleagues, but the quality of their food and drink offering is more likely to be critiqued than the other brands.

Why it’s useful:
The internet is a decision-making tool that influences where consumers shop, eat and seek out entertainment. It is easier than ever for us to leave reviews and consume reviews to inform real-time decisions. Restaurants can no longer rely on having a prime location as enough to drive footfall, and this makes understanding the drivers of your customer experience more important than ever.

Type of comparison: Demographic type – Rugby vs Football vs Cricket fans

Data sources: Social media

What we learned:
Rugby fans’ long-standing respect for officials has extended to the Television Match Official (TMO) and they appreciate the transparency offered by being able to hear the commentary between the TMO and on-field referee. Football fans have much less respect for officials and are similarly less enthusiastic about VAR, as they use highly emotional language to express their belief that VAR is ‘ruining the game’. Cricket’s Decision Review System (DRS) however, has taken on strategic importance in they eyes of the fans, given how it enables teams to challenge umpire’s decisions.

Why it’s useful:
By looking at specific types of people (in this case fans of one specific sport), and comparing their opinions against each other – we get a completely unique type of demographic analysis. Rather than finding all the things that sports fans have in common, we see how divided their opinions are when it comes to one topic, and notice how these opinions also provide an interesting social narrative.

Type of comparison: Brand – Evian, Dasani, Fiji, Voss, Smartwater, Poland Spring, Essentia, Aquafina

Data sources: social media, forums, reviews, online rankings

What we learned:
To put it simply – not all water tastes the same! Our analysis showed how consumers often comment on the texture of the water, using adjectives like crisp, velvety and silky. Packaging also shapes brand perceptions with Voss’ signature glass bottle contributing to a sophisticated perception of their brand. More expensive waters were more likely to receive harsh critiques, suggesting expectations are directly related to the price.

Why it’s useful:
This analysis is useful for competitor benchmarking, brand positioning and marketing communications strategies. It can help brands better understand where they are exceeding and falling short of customer expectations so they can adapt their product and brand messaging accordingly.


January 2021

Comparing how brands and consumers discuss a topic

Type of comparison: Topical – consumers vs brands

Data sources: Brand websites, Twitter

What we learned:
Consumers discussing plant-based diets are more likely to talk about the health benefits and ethics of not eating animal products, while brands are more likely to employ descriptive language that focuses on the flavour and experience of eating their products. There is overlap between brands and consumers regarding the aspiration to change our behaviour as humans to lessen our impact on the planet.

Why it’s useful:
These insights can help brands resonate with their target audiences by playing back consumers’ own words in marketing communications.

Slicing-and-dicing product reviews in multiple ways

Types of comparisons: Time – 2019 vs 2020; Sentiment – positive vs negative; Similar products – Sonos One vs Bose Home Speaker 500 vs Amazon Echo Dot

Data sources: Amazon product reviews

What we learned:
As the Echo Dot product has matured, fewer people are complaining about false advertising as consumers begin to realise Amazon’s vision of the smart assistant being viewed as a companion. Positive reviews of the product focus on value and fun, while negative reviews are more likely to contain references to specific technical capabilities of the product.

Why it’s useful:
This kind of analysis helps us understand the trajectory of consumer discourse on a particular topic and can surface the product or service attributes that drive positive and negative interactions. Comparing similar products helps us better understand product positioning, surfacing strengths and weaknesses of a particular product offering. All of this information can be used to support product development and marketing decision-making.

Customer service analysis

Type of comparison: Time-based – pre-COVID vs during COVID

Data sources: TripAdvisor reviews

What we learned:
Prior to the pandemic, airline reviews centred around the overall flight experience with topics such as food, timeliness and the condition of the aircraft likely to feature. Since the pandemic has hit, flight staff have struggled to manage passengers who are dealing with increased stress and anxiety associated with flying during a pandemic resulting in a greater number of negative reviews.

Why it’s useful:
Airlines can take these insights and use it to improve the training of employees. The role of flight attendants has evolved as they take on more rule-enforcement responsibilities, and these insights can be helpful in painting the picture of how customer expectations of changed and how they can better manage passengers while ensuring a safe environment for all.

Actual vs intended workplace culture analysis

Type of comparison: Corporate messaging vs employee reviews

Data sources: Web copy, job descriptions, Glassdoor reviews

What we learned:
With one agency, there were minor variations between the stated company culture and how employees speak about working there. In the other case, there was a greater divergence that highlighted how leadership has prioritised external results over employee wellbeing.

Why it’s useful:
Equipped with these insights, companies can identify the gaps between the workplace culture they endeavour to create and the workplace culture that actually exists and put action plans in place to better align the two.


December 2020

Comparing how different people discuss a similar topic

Type of comparison: Geographic – Americans vs Brits

Data sources: Personal finance forums

What we learned:
Brits are more likely to discuss ways to drive their costs down by budgeting, shopping the sale section, bulk buying, visiting second-hand shops and batch cooking. In contrast, Americans are more likely to talk about personal investments and the stock market – using words like ‘strategy’ and ‘method’ to suggest a long-term growth approach to their finances.

Why it’s useful:
Financial institutions could use this analysis to adapt marketing strategies for their savings products.

Indirect competitor analysis

Type of comparison: Competitor – Jack Daniels vs Kin Euphorics

Data sources used: Instagram captions

What we learned:
Jack Daniels combines the brand’s storied history with sensory adjectives that attempt to convey the experience of drinking their whiskey. Kin Euphorics, on the other hand, positions their products as a healthy alternative to alcoholic beverages that yield positive effects in terms of relaxation and improved cognitive function. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Why it’s useful:
Indirect competitors are often neglected in brand strategy development, yet these fringe competitors can eat up market share if they are left unchecked. This type of analysis can help established brands understand and respond to emerging threats while helping challengers refine and articulate their value proposition.

Market landscaping and segmentation

Type of comparison: Market landscape – network vs independent agencies

Data sources used: Website copy

What we learned:
Network agencies position themselves as brave, innovative creators with a track record of changing lives. They rely on established big-name clients and their global networks as indicators of their success. In contrast, indie agencies promote a personal approach and use affirmative language that creates a sense of enablement and possibility. They are more likely to tout data and analytics capabilities as a point of differentiation.

Why it’s useful:
This kind of analysis facilitates an understanding of how independent newcomer agencies are attempting to disrupt the industry. This knowledge can be used by large network agencies to drive internal changes necessary to remain competitive. Similarly, independent upstarts can better understand what makes them unique – enabling them to confidently pitch their services to potential clients.

Leveraging text analysis for talent strategy

Type of comparison: Job function – STEM vs Creative

Data sources: Job descriptions

What we learned:
STEM job postings featured specific requirements in terms of skills, education and certifications. Postings for creative jobs focused more on personality traits and interpersonal skills, emphasising the importance of team and culture.

Why it’s useful:
Attracting the best talent necessitates putting together a job description that will speak to your ideal candidates. This type of analysis can be helpful for remedying challenges in attracting qualified candidates.

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