Brandtags' home page offers visitors a random brand name, with logo, and an empty field. Visitors are asked to enter any word or words that they associate with that brand. The total results are displayed as a word cloud.
There are also other tabs which allow you to explore brand tags without adding your own input, along with my favorite tab called "Guess Brands." That's where you see the word cloud and have to guess the brand. While it's no Words With Friends, it does keep me amused and the results can be very interesting.
I would have thought that airlines would have a tough time with an anonymous audience allowed to post any words that came to mind, including profanity. But American Airlines receives compliments like Awesome, Cool, Good, and OK. Words like Sucks and Late are comparatively small in the world cloud.
Maybe people were saving their wrath for banks. Bank of America’s biggest word is simply Bank. Close behind is Money, along with Red and Blue, the brand’s colors. But a wide variety of negative terms can be found throughout the word cloud: Corrupt, Terrible, Dishonest, Bankrupt, Evil, Bailout. The public wasn’t any more kind to Goldman Sachs, where Crooks, Evil, and Greedy are as large as Banking, Financial, and Investments.
Compare that to Zappos, which has a virtual thesaurus of positive words: Cute, Beautiful, Best, Nice, Comfortable, Amazing, Fun. As with any brand, there are also some negative sentiments, but they’re buried in the cloud of compliments.
Adidas seems to have a clear branding path, as its three most popular terms are Sport, Sports, and Sporty. No one seems to have a problem with Kellogg’s, either, which gets plenty of votes for Crunchy, Delicious, Yummy, and Healthy.
Brandtags turns this feature around to create a guessing game; visitors are given a brand’s word cloud and must guess the brand. For example, given terms like Car, Foreign, Dependable, Great, and Japan, would you have guessed Toyota or Honda? Either way, you’d be wrong -- the answer is Subaru.
Solve Media explains that “a brand exists entirely in people's heads, therefore a brand is whatever they say it is. Brandtags is a place where people can share their opinions about brands freely, and brand owners can learn how their brands are viewed.” I suggest all brand managers and branding agencies check in with brandtags to get a clear, honest view of what people think of brands.