Winners & Losers August 27, 2015

The Best Luxury Brand in the World



Apple has taken a beating in the last few weeks, shedding about two billion dollars in market capitalization. However, the company is still a winner because of the Apple Watch. Anybody that matters in fashion is wearing it, marking Apple as one of the world’s top luxury brands.

A big winner you might not have heard of: Palantir. The company builds software that ties databases together, making it easier to search and analyze information. It recently ranked fourth on a list of the most valuable startups, following Uber, Xiaomi, and Airbnb. Palantir booked more than one billion dollars in 2014, cementing its position among the unicorns. The other big winner here is the U.S.: 72 of the 108 unicorns are based in the U.S., while only nine hail from Europe, pointing to the country’s dearth of innovation.

Another major winner: tennis. With the U.S. Open set to start next week, the sport’s social media season is in full swing. Only basketball and football players have more followers than tennis stars. We took a closer look at social media popularity and found that Rafael Nadal has the most followers overall, with an impressive 23 million across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Maria Sharapova is the most popular tennis player on Facebook with more than 14.5 million followers, while Serena Williams dominates Instagram with more than one million. However, the most important metric for brands is who does the best job integrating their sponsored messages. The winner here? Andy Murray, who integrates Standard Life and Under Armour into his social media missives.

Our final winner this week: Imgur. The most popular image sharing platform in the world, Imgur sees more than 60 billion images viewed per month and has over 150 million active users — double the traffic of Pinterest. Frequently dubbed Pinterest for guys, Imgur has a 75% male audience, and now that the platform has opened to advertising, brands have a chance to appeal to the elusive millennial male demographic. During beta tests with brands such as eBay, promoted posts on Imgur achieved close to 25 seconds of viewership.

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