Co-query volume as a proxy for brand relatedness

Sulah Cho (School of Business and Technology Management, College of Business, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Publication date: 14 May 2018



The purpose of this paper is to utilize co-query volumes of brands as relatedness measurement to understand the market structure and demonstrate the usefulness of brand relatedness via a real-world case.


Using brand relatedness measurement obtained using data from Google Trends as data inputs into a multidimensional scaling method, the market structure of the automobile industry is presented to reveal its competitive landscape. The relatedness with brands involved in product-harm crisis is further incorporated in empirical models to estimate the influence of crisis on future sales performance of each brand. A representative incident of a product-harm crisis in the automobile industry, which is the 2009 Toyota recall, is investigated. A panel regression analysis is conducted using US and world sales data.


The use of co-query as brand relatedness measurement is validated. Results indicate that brand relatedness with a brand under crisis is positively associated with future sales for both US and global market. Potential presence of negative spillovers from an affected brand to innocent brands sharing common traits such as same country of origin is shown.


The brand relatedness measured from co-query volumes is considered as a broad concept, which encompasses all associative relationships between two brands perceived by the consumers. This study contributes to the literature by clarifying the concept of brand relatedness and proposing a measure with readily accessible data. Compared to previous studies relying on a vast amount of online data, the proposed measure is proven to be efficient and enhance predictions about the future performance of brands in a turbulent market.



This work was supported by Business for University Entrepreneurship Center funded by Korea Small and Medium Business Administration (N04140205-14); and National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2015R1A2A2A04007359).


Cho, S. (2018), "Co-query volume as a proxy for brand relatedness", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 118 No. 4, pp. 930-944.

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