Using online social networks to measure consumers’ brand perception

Jennifer Cutler, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and Aron Culotta, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology

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Abstract: The ability to measure and monitor specific dimensions of brand image has a range of useful applications in marketing, from developing competitive strategy to identifying strength and weaknesses to evaluating the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. Nevertheless, obtaining reliable measurements is an ongoing challenge for marketers. This paper describes a recent advance in marketing science that makes use of brand social network connections to make highly scalable inferences about brand image. This promising new approach provides many potential advantages, including the ability to fully automate monitoring for a large number of brands over a wide range of dimensions.


Keywords: social media, brand image, social networks, Big Data, perceptual maps


Jennifer Cutler is an assistant professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her research focuses on using social media to understand consumer behaviour and the effects of marketing communications. She received her PhD in business administration from Duke University with a specialisation in quantitative marketing.


Aron Culotta is an assistant professor of computer science at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he leads the Text Analysis in the Public Interest lab. His research focuses on extracting socially valuable insights from online social networks. He is a former Microsoft Live Labs Fellow with a PhD in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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