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Pixlee Publishes the First Visual Brand Equity Index, Giving Top 150 Brands Performance Benchmarks of Their Visual Footprints on Social Media

Index Measures Reach and Impact of Both Consumer-Initiated and Brand-Initiated Photos & Videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/15/14 -- Pixlee, the leader in Personalized Visual Marketing, today announced its inaugural Visual Brand Equity Index -- a quarterly index of the top 150 consumer brands ranked by visual social engagement. The Index measures the quality and impact of a brand's visual footprint, giving marketers visibility and insight into how customers feel about the brand. The Index also provides relative performance rankings, by platform, by conversation type, by industry, and overall.

"User-generated photos are a form of communication for the products and places people love. Those consumer endorsements plus brand-initiated visual conversations are the two sides of the visual brand equity equation," said Sharon Goldstein, CMO, Pixlee. "The Visual Brand Equity Index enables marketers to better understand the impact of their brand footprint and gain insights on what's most effective in connecting with their audiences."

"While brands universally recognize there is positive value to engaging with consumers on social networks, measuring the impact of those efforts is challenging," said Gregg Colvin, U.S. COO Universal McCann. "Pixlee's Visual Brand Equity Index provides a clear vantage point for brands to measure brand-affiliated content, how it effectively drives reach, engagement and conversion, and what content is ultimately worth repurposing on websites or in paid media."

The top 25 performers in the Q1 brands index are (in rank order): Starbucks, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tiffany's & Company, Red Bull, Jordan, Taco Bell, Forever 21, Disney, Converse, Mini Cooper, Harley Davidson, Playstation, Audi, Essie, Samsung, Revlon, Under Armor, Nike, Bud Light, McDonalds, Acura, Volkswagen, Ford, and Toyota. (See Graphic).

These brands were selected based on evaluating the following four criteria:

  • Brand Quality: How effective is the content posted by the brand? Does it resonate with consumers?
  • Brand Impact: What is the total engagement (likes, clicks, favorites, etc.) with the brand-initiated content?
  • Organic Quality: Do consumers post quality content about the brand? Do other consumers interact with this content?
  • Organic Impact: How many customer-initiated brand endorsements are posted?


  • Automotive leads the pack with 15 of the top 50 brands: While there are leaders and laggards in every brand category, automotive brands have harnessed the power of consumers in building a strong visual footprint. These brands are heavy experimenters of contests and campaigns, and incorporating social calls-to-action in many of their integrated marketing activities. (See Graphic)

  • Instagram is a strong platform for brand-initiated conversations -- There's long been question as to whether consumers will accept and respond positively to brand-initiated content on Instagram. Pixlee's analysis showed that branded content on Instagram is not only effective, it is critical to brands in building their visual footprint.

  • Quantity of Organic visual content is a double-edged sword. While many brands push for quantity of content, for several of the lifestyle brands, too much organic content, especially when undirected, resulted in low engagement, likely because followers were overwhelmed. Brands may benefit from being more targeted in their requests for consumer photos, to increase the quality and contextual relevance.

  • Other Interesting observations:
    • Typically brands create different voices on different platforms. Tiffany & Co. enjoyed high organic and branded scores and obtained a #4 ranking even with a singular voice, look-and-feel across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (See Graphic)
    • Newer brands can use visual brand equity to their advantage. Essie, a young nail polish brand came in #15, beating market veterans Revlon #17, L'oreal #64 and Covergirl #74 (See Graphic)
    • Target is a top 10 performer in organic engagement on Facebook, pulling its entire industry segment into the category of "consumer-led" (See Graphic)
    • The top performing brands on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook respectively were Visa, PlayStation and Harley-Davidson (See Graphic)

The top 25 brands capitalize on the passion consumers have for their products to maximize their visual impact. To do so, in Q1 these brands demonstrated most, if not all of the following behaviors:

  • Developed a multi-platform approach but most focused on targeting customers where they already spend time
  • Explicitly used social media calls-to-action in integrated marketing campaigns
  • Established and maintained a consistent cadence of conversation
  • Actively encouraged open dialogue
  • Kept it fresh, and experimented

As these findings show, developing visual brand equity requires investment. Leading brands use Pixlee to develop, measure, and optimize, consumer-initiated and brand-led conversations to brand equity, engagement, lift and conversion.

Over 100 brands including UGG, Playstation, 1800 Flowers, Betabrand and Chubbies; and sports teams including the Golden State Warriors, UFC, San Francisco 49ers, and OK Thunder, use Pixlee. The campaign-friendly Pixlee SaaS platform gives brands the ability collect, curate, publish, and measure the impact of visual content. Pixlee uniquely combines authentic customer content with image, performance, and contextual data to give brands insights about their customers pre- and post-purchase and to deliver personalized visual content at scale.

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L.A. Lassek
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