Retail pharmacy drugstore chain CVS and Crystal Light, the beverage mix, grabbed the top spots of the brands most successful with everyday influencers – CVS for online (via social media) and Crystal Light for offline (via face-to-face conversations). The brands bested more than 600 other brands to take the first positions of Engagement Labs' TotalSocial® system as part of this year's TotalSocial Brand Awards series.
The awards analyzed more than 600 U.S. consumer brands, Engagement Labs selected winners based on the extent to which this influential audience represented a large proportion of those people who talk about and recommend the brands offline and online.
"There are 'everyday influencers,' in people's own social networks who get sought out for advice and recommendations," said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs and author of the seminal book, The Influentials: One American in Ten Americans tells the Other 9 How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy. "It is important for brands to focus marketing on the "influencer next-door" who is often called upon to tell their close network about great products without being paid and maintain authenticity," said Keller. "Marketers have a much more sustainable opportunity to engage everyday influencers whose value comes from personal relationships with their closest friends and families. They should not, however, be confused with paid influencers on places like Instagram and YouTube."
Everyday influencers are the one in 10 consumers with large social networks who frequently make product and service recommendations – they are your neighbors who are first to try new electronics or beauty products, and eager to tell you what worked and what didn't.
"This year's most influential brands is a mix of sectors from retail, airlines, quick service restaurants and not surprisingly the beauty industry earned positive recommendations from consumers," noted Keller. "We see dramatic leaps in ranking from Costco's Kirkland brand from social media, and Subaru from offline face to face conversations."