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Buzziest brands online: All three telco big boys accounted for

Digital communications and PR company Edelman Digital together with digital brand inteligence group Brantology have just released their third quarterly Asia Pacific Digital Brand Index.

From the period of January to March 2010, Edelman Digital and Brandtology have sifted through over 67,000 mentions of over 50 major tech brands across over 460 influential online channels in the country to reveal the Malaysia’s most talked about brands online.

Despite this being in its third installment, one fact remained consistent throughout, and that is – Malaysia’s top three telcos have always been at the heart of online conversations. From the first APAC DBI, Celcom, DiGi and Maxis have comanded strong top 10 positions on the list of Malaysia’s buzziest brands online (pointing out: DiGi only made it on the list after October 2009. The first APAC DBI was published third quarter 2009).

Maxis looks to be Malaysia’s most talked about telco placing fourth in the latest APAC DBI list. It’s worthwhile to note that two quarters previously, Maxis was only at seventh spot. DiGi is setting up to be one of the telco brands to look out for as it leapfrogged Celcom to fifth spot on the index from sixth in the previous quarter. Oddly enough, Malaysia’s largest telco is not the most talked about – Celcom dropped two spots in the index and placed seventh in the latest APAC DBI.

In terms of mobile phone manufacturers, only Nokia remained as the dominant brand in the index placing sixth in the latest APAC DBI. It’s worth noting that Samsung and Sony are also in the index (ninth and third respectively), but because they make other devices as well, we can’t definitively conclude that the conversations were all based around mobile phones.

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Simillarly, Apple made its debut in the index but was placed in a surprisingly low eight position. We say surprising because if there’s a brand that’s talked about a lot – it is Apple.

Although the APAC DBI provides a good feel of what people are talking about online, it doesn’t indicate if the conversations are mostly neutral, negative or positive.

So what does this mean?
Simply, we Malaysians like talking about our telcos. Be it good or bad, our online conversations inadvertently revolves around a local telco. Do we see this changing? Most probably not. From our experience, we can see that there is a corelation between telcos launching new packages and an increased in conversations online.

It’s pretty obvious that the more active the telco is in churning out new device bundles, the more likely that the brand will generate more conversations online But on the other side, there is also a strong link between a telco’s poor performance with an increase of mentions online.

With a bevy of new phones coming our way in the second half of this year we can definitely expect to a lot more things to talk about our telcos in the coming months. At the same time, we hope telcos will improve on network consistentcy this year.

[official press release]