What do Justin Bieber and Real Madrid have in common?

The #1 problem faced by every brand — from toothpaste and TV shows to pop stars and politicians — is grabbing and holding the attention of their target audience. Billions are spent annually researching the consumer landscape in an effort to understand what messages and media will give each brand an edge in the battle for attention (which leads to purchase and — if you’re lucky — preference + loyalty).
The good news for brands is that consumers have made this problem much easier, thanks to social sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (remember MySpace?). Every day hundreds of millions of brand preference signals are sent by consumers via Facebook likes and wall posts, Twitter follows and tweets.
The bad news is that this activity is so diffuse — scattered across so many sites, people and pages — that picking the signal from the noise is almost impossible. Brands do the best they can at understanding activity around their own community with the help of social media monitoring tools like Radian 6 and Visible Technologies. But these company-specific tools stumble when it comes to understanding how brands relate to each other — surfacing the natural allies across the consumer landscape that can help turn forgettable campaigns into pure emotional glue.
Colligent has quietly been helping big brands like Universal Music, Pepsi and MTV Networks make these strategic connections for a few years now. The company’s data scientists continuously analyze more that 270 million public consumer profiles for brand-specific signal, and then crunch that data to surface statistically significant relationships among more than 35,000 brands. (Disclosure: I’m an advisor to the company)
This week Colligent released a free tool that makes this same landscape analysis available to anyone. The free offering doesn’t offer the same depth of exploration and custom queries available to their enterprise customers, but it does serve up the 10 most strongly-correlated positive relationships between any pair of  brands — including celebrities, politicians, TV shows, bands, movies, websites and print media.
As just one example, the chart below shows the 10 strongest emotional connections between Justin Bieber and the leading global sports brands. I was surprised to learn that the strongest mutual engagement (what Colligent calls MeQ) among Bieber fans and the world of sport was with Real Madrid
Want to know what music artists have the strongest emotional resonance with Barack Obama? Or what TV shows John Boehner fans like most? Colligent knows, and now you can too…