To conclude series of articles on Web Equity survey implemented by Japan Brand Strategy following the previous articles Vol.65 – Web Equity Valuation in Japan – Model and Ranking and Vol.66 – KFS of Web Contribution to Sales Generation and Value, the author would like to introduce what kind of corporate websites are ranked high in “Information Value”, one of the two constituents of Web Equity, together with possible KFS (key factors for success) for high “Information Value” in this article.
1. What is “Information Value”? How is it calculated?
“Information Value” is how much the website contributed to corporate branding. This requires customer acquisition (driving web users to the website), retention (making visitors re-visit frequently) and engagement (interacting with online customers to develop long-term relationship).
In calculating Information Value, “Access Value” and “Behaviour Value” were calculated and then added together.
(1) Access Value
Access Value is how much the online customer’s access to view the web site information contributed to brand enhancement of the company and its products/services.
This was calculated by multiplying PV (Page View) = number of pages of web sites viewed by value coefficient (unit value of a page set).
(2) Behaviour Value
Behaviour Value is how much online customer’s behaviour other than viewing pages such as applying for a campaign and requesting for pamphlets contributed to brand enhancement of the company and its products/services.
Number of behaviours such as membership registration and reading e-newsletters were selected.
Then for each behaviour, number of people who took such behaviour was calculated which was multiplied by value coefficient (unit value of a behaviour).
2. Which company websites are ranked high up in Information Value ranking?
They are mostly companies of frequent purchase such as beverage, transportation/leisure and financial services such as the following.
Unit: Million Yen
Information Value / Web Equity / Company/Brand / Information Value / Access Value / Behaviour Value
1 / 7 / Suntory / 29,090 / 19,783 / 9,306
2 / 10 / UniQlo / 25,106 / 21,134 / 3,973
3 / 17 / Kirin (Beverage) / 21,174 / 11,138 / 10,036
4 / 18 / Asahi (Beverage) / 20,027 / 10,409 / 9,618
5 / 4 / NTT DoCoMo / 19,612 / 14,541 / 5,071
6 / 30 / JP Bank / 19,500 / 16,543 / 2,958
7 / 1 / All Nippon Airways / 18,185 / 13,948 / 4,236
8 / 19 / JP Network / 18,119 / 16,860 / 1,259
9 / 2 / Panasonic / 17,567 / 6,905 / 10,662
10 / 14 Tokyo Disney Resort / 16,814 / 15,040 / 1,774
Information Value can be regarded as a leading indicator of sales because increase in awareness and interest of consumers is likely to lead to increase in sales; therefore, Information Value trend can be said as an index that investors are recommended to be aware of.
3. What are some possible KFS for high Information Value?
1) Strategic use of multiple online media
Strategically leveraging multiple online media increases touch points of web users therefore it increases possibility of driving web users to the website.
In the case of Suntory, which was ranked #1 for 3 consecutive years, one reason for high Information Value is many e-newsletter subscribers and people applying to campaigns, driving web users to the website.
The company also has been successful in developing relationship with online consumers through multiple online media including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
2) Continuous update of content meeting customer needs
Web visitors visit website for content (information) and they would re-visit if they are satisfied with the quality and quantity of the content and even recommend to others, meaning increasing loyalty to the website. Thus, this approach consequently leads to creating fans of the website, the company and products/services.
By no means, this approach means increase in access to the website. Also, regular and frequent information update is appropriate for SEO along with optimum key words and phrases.
It is for this reason that many food companies have developed recipe content, which is accessed daily by web users. Entertainment contents such as gaming and beneficial information such as campaign related contents are also content accessed very frequently.
Communication site creating online community is another content that is visited frequently by web users. A good example is UniQlo’s UNIQLOOKS. Web users around the globe can post and share photos of people or themselves in UniQlo fashion (wearing UniQlo clothes). Web users will be able to know popular fashion at a glance and purchase any items they like online.
3) Proactive roll out of mobile website/content
Proactive roll out of mobile website/content creating environment in which web users can access online contents from multiple mobile terminals such as smart phones and tablets when mobiles are drastically becoming popular is also a good approach to drive as many web users to the website.
There have been many companies rolling out websites for mobile phones but lately their challenge has shifted to rolling out contents for smart phones.
For example, in the case of mobile website of SoftBank, types of mobile terminals of the web users accessing the mobile website is automatically determined. Then the optimum display is selected for that particular web user and displayed. The mobile website is not optimized in terms of the display size but also designed to enhance usability such as menu easily operated by touch panels of standard smart phones.
A good approach to encourage web users to benefit from mobile website is providing them with mobile application of frequently used services. Many airplane companies provide application for smart phones free of charge. This enables web users making reservation anytime, anywhere with ease, leading to frequent use of their services.
4. What is the case of Information Value #1 website?
1) Overview of Suntory website initiative
Suntory is ranked #1 for Information Value for 3 consecutive years. The company has been developing variety of contents for the website. And lately the company has been focusing on leveraging social media to increase touch point with online customers.
Their upcoming challenge is rolling out mobile website, adapting each page to smart phones.
2) Examples of online initiatives
(1) Branding contents
Branding contents include TV commercial of products and collection of movies/web casts of the company called Suntory Channel.
There is also Suntory Café Plus in which information to help web users enjoy their life such as about party, gift and cuisine are uploaded together with introduction of related products.
Mixi is the leading SNS in Japan. In November 2010, the company opened a Mixi app specific to Suntory including gaming introducing their products and online community to encourage interaction among web users.
The company also opened their official Facebook Page this June. A few posts are made every day aligning with official company blog and website.
The team members managing the Facebook Page had prepared to the opening of the Page since summer 2010 by using Facebook privately and studying official Facebook Pages of other companies. One of the outputs of such preparation is knowhow of posting in friendly style and manner.
5. The author’s final thoughts
The above possible KFS are mostly the same as those of Sales Value mentioned in the previous article. After all, these together with globalization, are the focuses and challenges of the Japanese companies in enhancing their online branding and Web Equity, engagement with (online) customers, leading to sales/revenue generation.