Generation Z Report Reveals them to be Social Foodies with Declining Interest in Cars and Retail Malls

Back-to-School Report by Engagement Labs Declares Gen Z to be a “TotalSocial Generation”

  NEW YORK, NY (August 28, 2018) – For decades, the most important right of passage for American teenagers was the purchase of a first car to drive to the mall to hang out with friends. A new analysis of teenage conversation patterns by Engagement Labs shows that teens today—popularly known as Generation Z—present an entirely new challenge to marketers. Enabled by mobile devices, ride sharing, and a penchant for walkable restaurants and retail, teenagers are shunning destination retail and the auto industry for FaceTime, 7-Eleven, and Starbucks. Marketers have an inherent fascination with the next big thing, and the next big thing is Generation Z. Generation Z, the next consumer powerhouse is expected to account for 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. In a recent landmark study, Engagement Labs proved that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19 percent of U.S. consumer purchases, representing between $7 and $10 trillion in annual sales. For that reason, Engagement Labs’ analysis includes not only social media, but also what Generation Z is talking about face-to-face, in the real world. The study “Gen Z: The TotalSocial Generation,” reveals that Gen Z is highly talkative about brands. They have 13.4 conversations about products and services on average each day, one-third more than the 9.9 conversations among people 21 and older. They also talk more about political and cultural topics such as the environment and health eating or nutrition. In a typical day they have 30 percent more conversations than adults about such issues. How Many Daily Conversations- Gen Z Report by Engagement Labs “We call Generation Z a TotalSocial generation because they are socializing both online and offline. They have more consumer conversations than older consumers, but it’s not just a digital phenomenon. They are talking more face-to-face about products and services as well,” said Ed Keller, CEO, Engagement Labs. “We are also seeing major shifts from the teenagers of five years ago, indicating that Gen Z is a very different type of generation, with long-term implications for marketers.” The study identifies broad patterns from changes in the individual brands that teenagers talk about every day, indicating that restaurants and local retail are in, while cars, specialty and department stores are all out with this generation of teenagers.  Gen Z Most Talked About Brands iPhone and Apple are the two most talked about brands of Generation Z, making a profound statement about the importance of technology, connectivity, and mobility for teenagers today. Other rising brands on the list include Nike, proving its relevance to yet another generation of youth, and the ever-present Walmart brand. Two of the great competitive brands of our eras—Coca Cola and Pepsi—are down 21 percent and 49 percent, respectively, suggesting Generation Z is moving away from sugary beverage brands that have dominated their category for several generations. The Gen Z Top 8 Brands “As important as the trends may be, there are plenty of brands that are succeeding despite them. No matter which category you’re in, the key to connecting with Generation Z is to listen—and learn.” Destination Retail Gives Way to Convenience Among Teens The biggest declines among teens since 2013 are for Nordstrom, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Kmart, Sears, and TJ Maxx. Some bright spot for teenagers are “neighborhood” convenience and drugstores. 7-Eleven is up by more than 300 percent among Generation Z in terms of the frequency of conversation, while Aldi’s, Walgreens, and CVS are also posing double and triple digit gains. Taken together with the increase in Walmart conversations, the reports’ authors attribute the shift to a preference for “around the corner” retail in place of destination retail. A Cultural Shift Away from Cars Generation Z is turning away from the American love affair with cars, in a trend which may be related, as well, to the declining allure of destination retail. In a world with ride sharing via Uber and Lyft, electric bicycles, and public transit, conversation levels for automobiles have plummeted among teenagers for nearly every mass market brand and many smaller nameplates as well. Teenagers today have many ways to get to the places they want to be, without needing to own a car upon their 16th birthday. Most Restaurant Brands Gain from TotalSocial Gen Z Today, compared to 2013, nearly every restaurant is being talked about more often by Gen Z. Conversation levels among teens have literally tripled—or more—for several restaurant chains: Baskin & Robbins, Del Taco, Domino’s, and California Pizza Kitchen. Despite the rising tide for restaurants among Generation Z overall, several quick services restaurants in like McDonald’s are seeing modest declines, including Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. The report authors see evidence that casual chains that enable “hanging out” with friends are becoming more popular than the in-and-out convenience of “quick service” restaurants.  Gen Z is taking the “fast” out of “food.” Teen Talk Favors Mobility and Connectivity to Hardware Among Generation Z, the ascendant brands in tech are the one that travel well in denim pockets—brands like iPhone, iTunes, Facebook, Amazon, and Google. These brands are much more talked about by teens versus five years ago, while less portable hardware brands like Toshiba, Sony, HP, and Lenovo are being talked about far less often by teens. Traditional Youth Brands No Longer at the “Cool Table” A surprising number of youth-oriented brands are being left out of the conversation among Generation Z. The biggest declines are for retail & apparel brands Aeropostale, Hollister, and Abercrombie & Fitch, a large shift away from shopping mall retailers. Many of the declining brands are athletic shoes—Reebok, Converse, Vans, Puma—might lead one to think there is a category effect going on, except for the fact that Nike is rising, and is now one of the most talked about brands among Gen Z. Brands of Our Grandparents Are Back! Brands as diverse as Ace Hardware, Scott Tissue, Breyers Ice Cream, and Post cereals are seeing new life with today’s teens who are talking much more about their brands than five years ago – some of these brands have commitments to environmental sustainability, a topic that Gen Z talks about much more than their elders. The full white paper, “Gen Z: The TotalSocial Generation” is available for download at http://bit.ly/2ohzipi To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   Connect with us on Twitter: @engagementlabs #totalsocial     About The Study Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial platform measures online and offline conversations for leading brands. For this report, Generation Z: A TotalSocial Generation, analysts focused on the offline conversations of consumers aged 13 to 20, with comparisons to the same age group in 2013, and to older consumers today. Additional detail available at www.engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc Engagement Labs 732-846-6800 vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial® Ranking of Top Food Brands

Goya and Pillsbury Spice Up Tableside Chats while General Mills and Quaker Oats Stay on the Shelf, According to Analysis of Online and Offline Media Conversations

  NEW YORK, NY (August 9, 2018)Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business, today released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top food brands in the U.S. based on social influence. The analysis is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations and is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face (offline) and social media (online) conversations. The brands in the top ten have earned the highest TotalSocial scores in the category for the last six months, compared to the Company’s previous ranking in September 2017. Top 10 TotalSocial Food Brands by Engagement Labs According to Engagement Labs’ report, Goya climbed up five spots in the ranking to the number two spot due to an increase in online sentiment and offline influence – revealing that consumers are talking positively about the brand via social media, while an influential group of consumers are spreading the word about the brand in face-to-face conversations. For example, the company’s Goya Gives initiative donated 1 billion pounds of supplies to the people of Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which resonated positively with consumers. The company also successfully engaged with bloggers to help generate buzz for meat-free recipes as part of its “Can Do” program with Meatless Monday, which donates food to Feeding America with every purchase. Pillsbury, another company which saw a significant jump in the rankings, moved into the top ten into fifth place from its previous spot at number 13, due to its overall success in sparking face-to-face conversations among consumers. The company successfully engaged with consumers in February when they announced a winner for its “Pillsbury Bake-Off,” an iconic baking competition that partnered with celebrity chef and Food Network star Ree Drummond after a four-year hiatus. “When consumers make purchases, they care about how that brand makes a difference and takes a stand on social responsibility,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “With so many competing food products available to shoppers today, it is imperative for brand marketers to understand what values resonate with consumers and are driving conversations. For most of the brands in our ranking, these conversations may serve as the determining factor as to whether or not their product lands into shopping carts.” With all of the ingredients for success, Betty Crocker earned top leaderboard status at number one, up from its previous ranking in second place. However, while the brand climbed in the ranking, its parent company, General Mills saw the steepest decline in its category, falling out of the top ten entirely due to a significant drop in offline influence as well as offline brand sharing, which measures the extent to which consumers are talking about a brand’s marketing campaigns in face-to-face conversations. General Mills has reported a continued slide in sales due to its inability to keep up with changing consumer tastes, as customers opt for healthier breakfast options to replace sugary cereals. The declining consumer interest in sugary breakfast items also had an impact on Quaker Oats, which experienced a drop down to seventh place from its number one spot due to a fall in offline influence and in both offline and online brand sharing, or the amount of consumers sharing the brands’ marketing campaigns via social media. To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Brad Fay Engagement Labs 732-846-6800 vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / brad.fay@engagementlabs.com

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial® Ranking of Top Automotive Brands

Subaru Leaps into Top Ten, Joined by Toyota and BMW in Driving Online and Offline Conversations; Tesla and Honda Lose Speed

NEW YORK, NY (July 26, 2018)Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business, today released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top automotive brands in the U.S. based on social influence.

The analysis is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations and is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face (offline) and social media (online) conversations. The brands in the top ten have earned the highest TotalSocial scores in the category for the last six months, compared to the Company’s previous ranking in October 2017.

BMW, another brand which saw an increase in online sentiment and influence, bumped up to third place in the top ten from its previous ranking as number seven. The company recently engaged its most influential consumers through the launch of its subscription service, “Access by BMW,” a pilot program which offers its members access to a diverse fleet of BMW vehicles in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.Luxury automotive brand Lamborghini rose to the top spot in the ranking, from its previous position at number four, due to an increase in online sentiment and offline influence—demonstrating that consumers are talking more positively about the brand via social media, while a more influential group of consumers are spreading the word about the brand in face-to-face conversations. In December 2017, the brand announced its new SUV that is set to hit the market this summer, marking the first time Lamborghini has included an SUV in its product line in more than 20 years.

The biggest improvement among the top ten came from Subaru, which moved up the ranks by eight spots all the way to fifth place due to a spike in both online and offline sentiment. Customers of Subaru are known to be fiercely loyal to the brand, and its popular “Share the Love” campaign, which is in its tenth year, includes a donation to a charity of the customer’s choice when they purchase a Subaru.

“What’s most striking about the TotalSocial automotive rankings is that Toyota is the only true mass-market brand that made it into the top ten—which is missing the big American automakers such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “The brands that moved up in the rankings generally have a story to tell, and without a story it’s hard for a brand to make its way into consumer conversations, even when you have a ton of customers as the mass-market brands do.”

While many brands saw an increase and were lifted higher in the ranking, others didn’t fare as well. For example, Ferrari fell from first place in the ranking down to sixth place. The luxury automaker dropped due to a large decline in the number of influential consumers talking about the brand via social media and face-to-face conversations, as measured by Engagement Labs’ online and offline influence scores. Meanwhile, Honda, which recently reported trouble with sales of its 2018 Accord, fell out of the top ten ranking completely due to a decline in online and offline influence, placing it at number 15.

In addition, Tesla dropped from its number two spot from the previous ranking down to number ten. Tesla’s decline in the top ten can be attributed primarily to a decrease in online sentiment. The brand failed to generate positive conversations in light of its recent controversies surrounding production issues with its Model 3 as well as another death linked to the company’s autopilot system.

To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.

About Engagement Labs

Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients.

To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.

About TotalSocial®

TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.

For media inquiries please contact:

Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial® Ranking of Top Financial Services Brands

Fidelity Retains Top Position and American Express Edges into the Number Two Spot, According to Analysis of Online and Offline Conversations   NEW YORK, NY (July 12, 2018)Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business, today released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top financial services brands in the U.S. based on social influence.   The analysis is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations and is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face (offline) and social media (online) conversations. The brands in the top ten have earned the highest TotalSocial scores in the category for the last six months, compared to the Company’s previous ranking in September 2017. Higher offline volume, which is a measure of how frequently consumers mention a brand in face-to-face conversations, lifted Edward Jones into the top 10, according to Engagement Labs’ report. Likewise, stronger offline volume propelled TD Ameritrade’s rise to the number 10 spot from number 12. However, it was not the only driver. The firm also experienced a large increase in offline brand sharing.   “We see the impact of marketing and business decisions on the movements in the rankings for this period,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “Each of the companies that moved upward benefited from corporate actions and marketing sponsorships, which enabled them to earn sustained press coverage and motivated consumers to talk about the brands.”   Strong offline influence, which demonstrates that a more influential group of consumers are talking about the brand in face-to-face conversations, was the biggest force behind Edward Jones’ four-spot jump to seventh place. It also saw improved offline volume and offline brand sharing, which measures the number of consumers talking about a brand’s marketing campaigns in face-to-face conversations. The financial advisory firm has experienced steady growth, recently moving up 27 spots on the Fortune 500 list. In addition, the company was named a “Best Workplace in Financial Services & Insurance” by Fortune in 2018. These accolades contributed to its rise in the rankings.   Meanwhile, American Express’ continued high performance in offline influence and offline brand sharing helped it rise into the number-two spot. The financial giant’s new merchant-focused business model has enabled it to grow—as the company has slashed fees in an effort to attract more merchants to its payment platform. As a result, American Express is poised to become the second-largest card-processing company in the U.S., behind Visa.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial® Ranking of Top Telecommunications Brands

Samsung and Sony Lead in Consumer Chatter with T-Mobile as Top Carrier, while HTC and MetroPCS Lose Signal, According to Analysis of Online and Offline Media Conversations   NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2018)Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business, today released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top telecommunications brands in the U.S. based on social influence.   The analysis is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations, and is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face (offline) and social media (online) conversations. The brands in the top ten have earned the highest TotalSocial scores in the category for the last six months, compared to the Company’s previous ranking in January 2018. According to Engagement Labs’ report, Sony jumped up two spots in the ranking into the number two position due to an increase in both online influence and online sentiment—which demonstrates that a more influential group of consumers are talking about the brand via social media, and that those conversations are more positive. In early 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the brand unveiled its Xperia series, a trio of phones that can take 120-degree selfies at 8 megapixels which became available in the U.S. in April.   “The way consumers talk about telecommunications brands is primarily driven by product launches, unique features and customer service,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “With so many competing mobile brands and service providers, it is imperative for telecom marketers to understand what drives a positive reaction among consumers and capitalize on these drivers to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.”   With the largest decline among the top 10 telecom brands, HTC slipped down three spots to eighth place due to a decline in offline brand sharing, or the amount of consumers talking about a brand’s marketing campaigns in face-to-face conversations.   In contrast, Sprint made its way up two spots to tie with LG for the fourth position due to an increase in sentiment both offline and online, proving that consumers are speaking more positively about the brand in conversations happening face-to-face with peers as well as via social media. With the recent news of its merger with T-Mobile, which ranked two spots higher at number three, Sprint announced that the company will be led by T-Mobile CEO John Legere.   Verizon also found itself two spots higher in the ranking at number six, due to an increase in the amount of influential consumers who are talking about the brand, both online and offline. This can be attributed to the company’s recent announcement that it will launch a 5G wireless network in several parts of the U.S. in the second half of 2018.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB:  ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform is the only platform that combines powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence. The Company’s cutting-edge predictive analytics uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increases marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients, consisting of Fortune 500 companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Engagement Labs Releases TotalSocial® Ranking of Top Personal Care and Beauty Brands

Neutrogena and Burt’s Bees Slay Social Influence and Enter the Top 10, While Old Spice, MAC Cosmetics and Nivea Are Washed Away   NEW YORK, NY (June 14, 2018)Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF), an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business, today released its TotalSocial® ranking of the top personal care and beauty brands in the U.S based on social influence.   The analysis is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations. It is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face and social media conversations. The brands in the top 10 have earned the highest TotalSocial scores in the category for the last six months, compared to the Company’s previous ranking in December 2017. When compared to the last six months, several brands found themselves washed away in the latest ranking. In fact, three of the previous top 10 brands – Old Spice, MAC Cosmetics and Nivea – fell out of the top 10 entirely. Dove, a brand which held the top spot in the rankings a year ago and is known for being a highly viral brand, dropped again to number four from number three. By contrast, Neutrogena reversed its decline and reclaimed its place among the top 10.   “Our analysis really drives home the need for beauty brands to understand the importance of having a comprehensive view of social influence that embraces conversations as a powerful asset, regardless of where they take place,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “Each of the brands that lost their hold on the top 10 experienced a decline in offline scores, while those brands that activated offline conversations saw improvement. As proven by our data and analytics, there is no reliable correlation between conversations happening via social media and those that happen in real-life—and as a result, brands need to create integrated strategies to drive consumer buzz about their brand both online and off.”   In the previous ranking, Neutrogena had been pushed out of the top 10—however, stronger sentiment scores helped the skincare brand re-enter the list as it climbed up to number six. The brand’s key reason for success was stronger offline sentiment, which measures how positive its face-to-face conversations are. At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, the skincare brand debuted a new beauty technology and smartphone app, which allows consumers to scan their skin and get tips on a skin regimen that fits their personal needs.   Meanwhile, Burt’s Bees made its first appearance in the ranking, claiming the number eight spot. Remarkably, the brand’s strong improvement in offline sentiment and online influence, which measures the extent to which an influential audience is advocating for the brand in social media, created enough lift to carry the brand 13 spots. In early 2018, the National Eczema Association (NEA) awarded Burt’s Bees its Seal of Acceptance.   Over the same period, Old Spice failed to engage consumers. The personal care brand experienced a steep decline in both offline and online influence as well as offline brand sharing, which is the extent to which people talk about a brand’s marketing content in word-of-mouth conversations. This caused the brand to fall 17 spots to number 21. In February 2018, the brand aired a commercial entirely in French during the Grammy Awards. Rather than spark conversation, the ad simply confused many consumers.   According to Engagement Labs’ report, Old Spice wasn’t the only falling star. Lower offline sentiment caused MAC Cosmetics to experience a precipitous drop – to number 22 from number six. The beauty brand has found itself at the center of a controversy with animal rights activists who oppose the sale of MAC products in China, where brands are still required to conduct animal testing for cosmetic products sold there.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB: ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform is the only platform that combines powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence. The Company’s cutting-edge predictive analytics uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increases marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients, consisting of Fortune 500 companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

How to Beat Amazon: What Retailers like Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s are Doing Right in the War for Consumer Conversations and Retail Dominance

According to an Analysis by Engagement Labs on Word of Mouth and Social Media Conversations, Several Retailers Are Outperforming Amazon

  NEW YORK, NY (May 22, 2018) – Amazon’s impact on the retail industry is undeniable – each and every retailer now competes with the e-Commerce giant. And, rightfully so, according to Engagement Labs, Amazon dominates consumer conversations, and is the focus of more consumer talk than any other retail brand, which equates to increased sales. In a recent landmark study, Engagement Labs proved that conversations about brands, on average, drive 19 percent of U.S. consumer purchases, representing between $7 and $10 trillion in annual sales. As a formidable competitor across every retail category, it is imperative for retail marketers to leverage strategies that motivate consumers to talk about their brands.   According to Engagement Labs’ new analysis of offline (face-to-face) and online (social media) consumer conversations, many retail brands are doing well, and in some cases, even better than Amazon in certain conversational categories. With a greater understanding of the power of consumer talk, as well as a holistic view of online and offline consumer conversations, retailers can more effectively stand up against Amazon in the battle for social influence and market share. The study is based on the Company’s TotalSocial® score, which combines online social media listening data with offline word-of-mouth tracking to provide marketers with a complete view of consumer conversations about their brands. Together, these are proven to be key drivers of sales.   “While it is obvious that Amazon is redefining the retail industry, there is still tremendous opportunity for retailers to compete,” said Ed Keller, CEO, Engagement Labs. “Our research found that several retailers outperform Amazon in offline conversation – which is equally important in driving consumer sales as the conversations happening online. By understanding consumer conversations, and optimizing marketing campaigns based on this data, retailers have the opportunity to increase their marketing ROI and revenue.”   According to the study, brand marketers can learn from different retailers across categories to better measure up against the online shopping behemoth.   Discount Stores Costco In the discount stores category, Costco’s strong TotalSocial score places it second – after Amazon – with high offline scores for volume (how much the brand is being talked about), sentiment (how positive the conversation is) and influence (how well the brand connects with the everyday influencers). In fact, Costco’s offline sentiment and offline volume scores surpass Amazon’s. Costco’s consistent focus on wholesale prices and quality merchandise is a strategy that resonates with its members in their offline conversations. However, the report found Costco does not perform as well online, revealing an area for improvement for the brand.   Target Target has a stronger TotalSocial online score than either Walmart or Costco, and it ranks just behind Amazon with a very competitive online sentiment score. Target’s success in sparking online conversations is driving e-Commerce sales for the brand.   Department Stores Macy’s A retailer’s entire year is often determined in the months leading up to the holiday season, and according to Engagement Labs’ report, Macy’s surpassed Amazon in online sentiment during this period. In addition, Macy’s online and offline brand sharing scores–the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising–are a close second to Amazon’s, and the retailer has higher offline and online influence scores than Amazon, indicating that more influential consumers are talking about Macy’s than Amazon.   Kohl’s The analysis finds that Kohl’s has such strong offline sentiment that it’s a close second to Amazon throughout the year, but similarly to Macy’s, it surpasses Amazon for offline sentiment during the critical holiday shopping season. Over the last several years, Kohl’s has invested in an aggressive omnichannel strategy which motivates brand sharing and both online and offline discussion. For example, mobile now accounts for 67 percent of its online traffic.   The Home Center / Hardware Stores Lowe’s and Home Depot Lowe’s and Home Depot have created experiential marketing campaigns that motivate consumers to talk, leading to strong offline volume and sentiment. Lowe’s ranks higher than Amazon in online sentiment, and both retailers rank higher than Amazon in offline influence, largely due to the fact that when consumers look to make home improvements they seek recommendations from the influencers in their everyday lives.   Specialty Stores Sephora and Ulta Beauty products are intensely personal and Sephora and Ulta understand this. They have created experiential marketing to encourage shoppers to visit the stores, try the products, and then purchase. This approach has motivated consumers to talk about each brand. Sephora has the second highest overall TotalSocial score in the beauty category, behind Amazon. Ulta takes third place. In addition, both brands have higher online sentiment and offline influence scores than Amazon. Ulta also surpasses Amazon in offline sentiment, while Sephora ranks first for offline brand sharing.   “Each conversation metric can impact sales for retail brands,” said Ed Keller. “To better compete, retailers should think about ‘talkability’ when creating their marketing campaigns. By activating consumers to talk positively and share their content offline and online will impact their ability to compete in a rapidly changing retail environment.”   The full e-book, “5 Ways to Beat Amazon” is available for download.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) (OTCQB:  ELBSF) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on business. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform is the only platform that combines powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence. The Company’s cutting-edge predictive analytics uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increases marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients, consisting of Fortune 500 companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Southwest Airlines Maintains its Leadership Position as Most Social Airline Brand

Engagement Labs Releases Latest TotalSocial® Rankings of Top U.S. Airlines Based on Word of Mouth and Social Media Conversations

  NEW YORK, NY (May 10, 2018) – It hasn’t been all smooth rides for the airline sector over the last six months, with technical malfunctions, major hiccups in customer service and even tragedies involving passenger pets. However, according to an in-depth social analysis by Engagement Labs of consumer conversations that take place offline (face-to-face), as well as online (via social media), the best keep getting better while those at the bottom have shown little improvement over the last six months.   To help airline marketers better understand which brands consumers are talking about with family, friends and peers, both offline and online, Engagement Labs released its latest TotalSocial® rankings on the top performing airlines in the U.S. The report looks at how each airline performed in social conversations over the past six months, compared to a previous ranking of the top airlines in September 2017. The analysis, which is unique in that it combines offline and online consumer conversations, is based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data and analytics continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance in both face-to-face and social media conversations. According to the report, Southwest Airlines maintained its leadership position and saw a sizable increase in its online and offline influence score. Engagement Labs defines influence as how well the brand connects with the everyday influencers who have the largest social networks in both the offline and online worlds.   “While our analysis timeframe did not include the recent Southwest tragedy that took place on April 17 killing one passenger, our initial data shows that offline and online sentiment for the brand fell sharply during the week of the incident,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “However, since our analysis only takes into context six months prior to March, we don’t yet know the long-term impact this may have on the brand’s position as the number one airline.”   Keller added, “Southwest has clearly built a brand that consumers enjoy interacting with and sharing positive experiences about. While we do expect to see negative conversations take place around a tragedy like the one that just passed, this doesn’t mean that Southwest will suffer long-term reputational damage if it continues to deliver an authentic experience, create a strong work environment and execute strong marketing campaigns.”      In second place, JetBlue moved up two spots to number two as a result of the airline’s increase in its offline sentiment—indicating that conversations about the airline were positive—and online influence score, which measures the amount of influencers talking about the brand. Its increase was a result from the airline being named the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation at the end of 2017, a title it has earned for the sixth year in a row. In addition, JetBlue was very active in supporting recovery efforts in Puerto Rico launching a public service campaign, 100x35JetBlue.     While the position of United Airlines in the ranking does not change, its sentiment score is lower than that of Spirit Airlines’ in last place, indicating that while many consumers may be talking about the brand, they are having negative conversations.   Alaska Airlines fell to fifth place, previously ranked second, as a result of its decline in offline sentiment. The airline’s decline may have been attributed to an incident in which the flight attendants failed to address a passenger’s lewd and uncomfortable remarks which resulted in negative conversations among the public.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV:EL) provides the world’s leading brands with a unique and powerful data and technology solution to drive sales growth and improve marketing ROI. Our TotalSocial® technology combines online social media listening metrics with the world’s only ongoing measurement of offline word-of-mouth conversations into a single dashboard, to provide marketers with the ability to measure performance, diagnose areas of weakness and opportunity and identify specific strategies and tactics to increase sales and improve marketing ROI. TotalSocial is an “always-on” proprietary scoring system, based on the most important drivers of brand performance: Volume, Sentiment, Brand Sharing and Influence. TotalSocial tracks 500 brands across 16 major industry categories within the U.S., and 350 brands across 18 industry categories in the UK. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Bose, MetroPCS and U.S. Bank Awarded Most Improved Brands by Engagement Labs TotalSocial® Brand Awards

Engagement Labs Names Brands that have Experienced the Most Improvement with Respect to Consumer Conversations

  NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2018) – With consumer conversations driving 19 percent of sales, it is no surprise that marketers want to improve how much and how positively consumers are talking about their brands. In a recent analysis of more than 500 consumer brands in a variety of categories, Engagement Labs identified the top brands that saw the most improvement of conversations happening online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations), as part of its TotalSocial® Brand Awards series.   The awards are based on the Company’s proprietary TotalSocial data, which continuously measures the four most important drivers of brand performance. These are: brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising), sentiment (having more positive than negative conversations), volume (a measure of how many conversations mention a brand) and influence (the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand). The Most Improved Award is given to brands with the largest improvement in their TotalSocial scores for 2017 compared to their performance in 2016.   To find the full list of winners across additional categories, click here. “When evaluating what criteria catapulted brands to a significant year-over-year improvement, more positive sentiment was a key driving factor,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “This is an important lesson for brand marketers. It’s not just about generating large quantities of conversations, it’s about generating positive conversations, and minimizing negative ones, in order to propel a brand forward.”   According to the Engagement Labs report, the number one most improved brand for TotalSocial Offline was Bose. The increase was attributed to the brand’s offline sentiment score – which indicates that consumers are speaking more positively about the brand, year-over-year, during face-to-face conversations. Consumers were more likely to respond positively in light of Bose’s commitment to product innovation, including the release of its new noise-canceling headphones developed with the help of Google. In fact, their offline scores peaked in August, when the company “accidentally” released a picture of its new headphones in a company newsletter.   Cisco, ranked second for most improved offline conversation, saw an increase in offline sentiment and offline brand sharing – an indication that consumers are talking about the brand’s marketing during face-to-face conversations. In fact, Cisco’s TotalSocial offline score increased during the second half of 2017 which was due to its “The Network. Intuitive. Explained” ad, featuring Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage.   Ranking third for most improved offline conversation, Michael’s Stores saw an increase in its offline sentiment and offline influence score – which indicates there is an influential audience advocating for the brand through offline conversations. In fact, Michael’s Stores went from below average in 2016 to above average in 2017 upon announcing their “Vision 2020 Strategy,” a plan to launch a “more data-driven approach to retail operations” and a more omni-channel retail experience for consumers.   The top-ranked brand for most improved online conversation went to U.S. Bank due to its increase in online sentiment and online influence. Similarly, MetroPCS, which ranked second in the online category, also saw increases in online sentiment and influence. MetroPCS’ increase in sentiment is particularly noteworthy as it took the company from a below average score in sentiment to above-average performance.   The third place runner-up for most improved online conversation, Ashley Home Furniture, showcased its corporate social responsibility by sponsoring “Hope to Dream” sleep events with the Miami Dolphins and a Minor League Baseball team, the Clearwater Thrashers, which gave new mattresses, bedding and pillows to kids in need. This campaign from the furniture retailer contributed to an increase in its online sentiment score.   “The six brands on the most improved ranking all have reason to be proud of their improving TotalSocial performances, even though they each achieved them in different ways,” added Keller. “These brands are on a solid path toward business improvement, given the linkage between a Company’s business outcomes and TotalSocial scores. Our research shows that a ten percent improvement in TotalSocial scores will lead to a nearly three percent improvement in consumer sales for the average brand.”   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   To learn more about the TotalSocial Brand Awards, click here.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV:EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on businesses. Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial® platform provides brands with unique online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) insights, and predictive analytics achieved through machine learning, to reveal the social metrics and insights that will increase marketing ROI and top line revenue. TotalSocial, which tracks 500 brands, is the only platform that provides marketers with proprietary brand data, industry and competitive intelligence and in-depth analysis of what drives performance and how to improve, while tracking KPI’s and goals. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207

Walmart and Fox News, Dominating Consumer Conversations, Named Most Talked About Brands

Engagement Labs Announces Winners of TotalSocial® Brand Awards for Volume

  NEW YORK, NY (April 24, 2018) – Before consumers buy, they talk. They seek recommendations from friends, co-workers and family about where to shop, what to eat or drink and what shows to watch. Such conversations have a large impact on the revenue of the brands being discussed. According to Engagement Labs’ analytics, consumer conversations drive 19% of all consumer sales.   In a recent analysis of more than 500 consumer brands in a variety of categories, Engagement Labs ranked the brands that are the most talked about in consumer conversations. The rankings, which are part of the Company’s TotalSocial® Brand Awards series, are based on the volume of conversation about the brand online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations).   The awards are based on Engagement Labs’ proprietary TotalSocial data, which continuously measures the four most important drivers of brand performance. These are: brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising), sentiment (having more positive than negative conversations), volume (a measure of how many conversations mention a brand) and influence (the extent to which an influential audience is talking about a brand). Previously, Engagement Labs announced awards for the highest scoring brands in three of the TotalSocial categories: brand sharing, sentiment and influence. The Most Talked About Brand Award is given to those with the highest volume scores online and offline in 2017. To find the full list of winners across additional categories, click here.

Walmart clipped the top spot as the Most Talked About Brand offline. As the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the world—more than one-third of Americans visit Walmart in person or online every day—it’s no surprise that the brand is the subject of more real-life consumer conversations than any other. But in its fierce competition with Amazon, the retailer has also taken action. For example, the Company revamped its return policy to make it easier to start the process from the Walmart app. By offering customers the comfort of shopping online from home along with the ease of picking up in-store, Walmart has a compelling competitive angle that drives consumer talk. Evidently, this effort is having an impact: the retailer’s U.S. e-commerce sales were up approximately 40 percent in 2017.   “The Most Talked About brands are, of course, leaders in both size and market share. However, their marketing departments also understand the importance of making strategic decisions that get people talking, in order to distinguish themselves from the competition,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “These brands compete fiercely on the playing field by investing in talkworthy advertising, designing talkworthy products and cultivating relationships with loyal customers who advocate for the brand.”   With nearly 3,900 beverage choices, the brand right behind Walmart is – quite literally – on everyone’s lips. The largest beverage company in the world, Coca-Cola, earned the number two spot as Most Talked About Brand in offline conversations. In 2017, the company hired James Quincy as CEO, saying it would “focus on driving revenue growth by building and bringing to market ‘consumer-centric’ brands – including more low- and no-sugar options and drinks in emerging categories.” The brand was also named the official soft drink of Major League Baseball.   Meanwhile, Samsung, which manufactures everything from smartphones to washing machines, comes in at number three among the Most Talked About offline brands. While Samsung beat out key rival Apple for the top three list, this is due mainly to branding decisions by the two companies. For example, Samsung uses the same brand name for all its products, while Apple has several sub brands like iPhone, iTunes, iPad, and Mac. If one were to add all the Apple-owned brands together, it would rise to number one on the list for volume of conversation.   Online, the Most Talked About brand was Fox News, which both won the ratings war in 2017 and found itself in the social media spotlight. President Donald Trump generated significant conversation about the brand when he tweeted numerous times about the channel using the #foxnews hashtag.    Reflecting the dominant role of sports in consumer conversations, the NBA was number two and the NFL number three on the list for the most online conversations. The edge for the NBA comes largely from a longer season than the NFL with five times the number of games, providing basketball fans a greater opportunity to talk about the NBA on social media. Additionally, the last game of the NBA Finals in 2017 was the most watched one since 1998, which enabled the league to jump ahead of other brands.   To learn more about Engagement Labs and how to increase your brand’s word of mouth in real life and online, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.   To learn more about the TotalSocial Brand Awards, click here.   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV:EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that focuses on the entire social ecosystem and its impact on businesses. Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial® platform provides brands with unique online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) insights, and predictive analytics achieved through machine learning, to reveal the social metrics and insights that will increase marketing ROI and top line revenue. TotalSocial, which tracks 500 brands, is the only platform that provides marketers with proprietary brand data, industry and competitive intelligence and in-depth analysis of what drives performance and how to improve, while tracking KPI’s and goals. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   For media inquiries please contact: Kate Tumino / Amrita Singh KCSA Strategic Communications ktumino@kcsa.com / asingh@kcsa.com 212-896-1252 / 212-896-1207