Dirty Lemon, Glossier, Taco Bell Top Customer Engagement Index

Wellness beverage maker Dirty Lemon, beauty brand Glossier and Taco Bell top the Zyper Community Index 2020, which ranks the most culturally relevant consumer brands as measured by how effectively they build online customer engagement and communities.

The brand community top 10 also includes wellness brand Hims, Cheetos, gaming brand League of Legends, footwear maker Allbirds, Peloton, Palace Skateboards, and tech brand Bumble. Marketing platform Zyper announced the results at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Zyper researched 250 global consumer brands to compile its top 40 rankings of customer engagement, identifying ecommerce, DTC and retail brands that most effectively create online community and engagement. The index is based on metrics solely from Instagram, as Zyper considers it most culturally relevant and a leading platform for brand advertising.

“All the sponsored content that’s being generated by influencers is boring consumers to distraction, and they’re looking instead to the niche communities they’re part of to learn about products and engage with brands they love,” said Amber Atherton, Founder and CEO of Zyper in a release. “The Community Index 2020 identifies which brands are seizing the opportunity to drive engagement and buzz authentically in these communities.”

Dirty Lemon built its brand community and customer engagement around trust and an ecommerce model centered on text messaging, employing numerous social channels, according to a case study in the report. After declaring last September that it would no longer post still images on Instagram, Dirty Lemon began releasing teasers of three new IGTV shows designed to get their followers talking to each other.

Dirty Lemon also asked for customers’ input on products, and once recruited them to pick the next color of drink bottles. “This post was one of their most engaging to date, with 526 comments (nearly five times that of most shoppable posts),” Zyper said in the case study, calling the brand’s Instagram voice “human if even a little bit sassy.” Dirty Lemon drink transactions are done exclusively through text messaging, as Dirty Lemon’s cashier-less store has shoppers text in order to pay for their beverages.

Cheetos, meanwhile, taps into its fans’ creativity on Instagram, a case study recounted. Beauty bloggers and makeup artist influencers have been posting photos of nails, makeup, hair and outfits inspired by both Cheetos and its mascot Chester, with the hashtag #MyCheetoslook. The trend inspired Cheetos to create a “House of Flamin’ Haute” collaboration at New York Fashion Week last September. Cheetos worked with influencers and designers on a collection of 21 outfits that keep fans “lookin like a snack.”

To compile its list of the 40 of most culturally influential brands, Zyper began with a list of companies on the Fortune 1000. Using Google Trends search results, the list was narrowed to 250 companies analyzed for community building and engagement on Instagram during 2019.

Each brand’s volume of followers was factored in, but Zyper said it did not rely on size and scale of social media following as the lead metric. Four key factors were used to assemble the list: engagement in the form of likes, fan actions and comments; positive sentiment toward the brand or product conveyed within those instances of engagement; the audience size of each brand’s followers; and growth in the instances of discussion and appearance in web searches for each brand.

Zyper said the factors were weighted proportionately to indicate which brands had the highest customer engagement over the research period, how that engagement related to their overall online buzz and what role the brands’ fans and influencers’ fans played in building brand community and engagement.

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