To give an example of a business-focused netnography done for marketers using our ConsumerBase tool, I’ve posted a recent PowerPoint of a netnography on Listerine.

I’ll keep this post short because you can find all the in-depth information in the PowerPoint, but here’s a quick executive overview:

• The study is an analysis of consumers’ perception of Listerine. The source data is social media, that is, content on the Internet generated by consumers in Internet forums, blogs, and microblogs.
• We do a quantitative analysis of the amount of discussion about Listerine relative to other topics and consumer sentiment about Listerine relative to other topics.
• We do a qualitative analysis on overall reasons consumers like or dislike Listerine and offer key insights about Listerine consumers.
• We discover and discuss a range of business opportunities for Listerine, including introducing a Soothing Power flavor and a non-alcohol-based formula for Gen Y users (with tongue piercings), and promoting it as a toenail fungus treatment and mosquito repellent.
• Key threats we uncover include alcohol abuse and drying out the mouth.

In summary, we found that:

• Consumers most like Listerine’s germ-killing action
• The most prevalent complaint from consumers is that Listerine is too harsh
• Listerine has a tremendous number of off-label uses for personal and home care based on its efficacy

There are even some Lead User insights in the netnography, for example, the one about dissolving suboxone. (Lead User provides useful information links for those interested in academic lead user research, or interested in lead user consulting projects for firms involving graduate student training or research.)

It simply wouldn’t be possible for an individual researcher, or even a team of researchers, to find, read, understand, and analyze the amount of social media content that ConsumerBase processed to very quickly build this netnography. Netnographies like this can deliver insights into consumer attitudes and behavior, and ideas for new markets and products, that businesses simply couldn’t get any other way.

If you’re interested in talking more about netnography, pre-register for our netnography best-practices forum we’re launching in September. The netnography best practices forum can be found at