Mirror, Mirror, on the Web: a Lexical-Semantic Analysis of Brand Positioning

Praveen Aggarwal, University of Minnesota Duluth
Rajiv Vaidyanathan, University of Minnesota Duluth
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - The World Wide Web (WWW) provides a vast amount of information on products and services. This includes both information put out by the organizations marketing the products as well as the general public’s comments and observations pertaining to those products. While marketers in the pre-Internet era had considerable influence on the information made available to their audiences, today they have much less control over what is disseminated about their products on the WWW (Ward and Ostrom 2003). This democratization of information dispersal over the Internet is exacerbated by the widespread availability and use of Internet search engines that give equal weight to official product sites and those created by consumers either in support of or opposition to the product or brand. While companies routinely scour the chat rooms and Areview@ sites to understand emerging patterns and to examine the reactions of individuals to products, there have been few attempts in the marketing literature to mine the wealth of data available across the entire web to draw meaningful conclusions on how products are perceived online. However, the combination of potent search engines that constantly update their databases with new web pages and the ready willingness of a variety of people to post information online offers a powerful opportunity for marketers to gain an understanding of how information about their brands are structured in this unique environment. It is possibly the lack of research on how to manage this morass of disjointed information that has led to a greater focus on the threat rather than the opportunity afforded by information dissemination on the web.
[ to cite ]:
Praveen Aggarwal and Rajiv Vaidyanathan (2005) ,"Mirror, Mirror, on the Web: a Lexical-Semantic Analysis of Brand Positioning", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 153-154.