Social Tags and Brand Maps

Posted: 27 Jan 2016

See all articles by Hyoryung Nam

Hyoryung Nam

University of Washington, Bothell

Yogesh V. Joshi

University of Maryland - Department of Marketing

P.K. Kannan

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Date Written: January 1, 2016


This research presents an approach to harvest rich, qualitative information in user-generated social tags. Social tags are user-defined keywords being associated with any content generated online by consumers and reflect their perceptions of various objects, including brands and products. Previous research has shown that social tags contain significant informational value in understanding competitive market structure and predicting firm performance. We build on this work to showcase the unique characteristics of social tags compared to other forms of user generated content, and show how tags can be used to construct perceptual maps. We discuss similarities and complementarities of our approach vis-à-vis conventional techniques such as metaphor elicitation and brand concept maps; as well as more recent text mining techniques. The added value of our approach arises specifically from the unconstrained, open-ended and synoptic nature of consumer generated content contained within social tags. We illustrate how marketers can monitor the information in perceptual brand maps by extracting common dynamic trends, visualize the relative competitive position of their brand, and understand heterogeneous perceptions about a brand by discovering distinct clusters of perceptual maps.

Keywords: Social Tags, User Generated Content, Brand Maps, Concept Maps, Consumer Associative Networks, Social Brand Metrics, Brand Management

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Nam, Hyoryung and Joshi, Yogesh V. and Kannan, Pallassana, Social Tags and Brand Maps (January 1, 2016). Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 2722740, Available at SSRN: or

Hyoryung Nam (Contact Author)

University of Washington, Bothell ( email )

18115 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
United States

Yogesh V. Joshi

University of Maryland - Department of Marketing ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Pallassana Kannan

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

Department of Marketing
College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-2188 (Phone)
301-405-0146 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics