Brand Reputation Management (BRM) is more a subspecies of marketing and than of customer experience management. It is product and company rather than customer focused. It reacts to and attempts to shape perceptions rather than to manage experiences. Sentiment analysis is an essential component.
Opinions also help us find products and content that appeal to us once we do reach a site. Note the centrality of reviews at sites such as Amazon.com. Here, look to vendors such as OpenText that provide both sentiment analysis and the semantic navigation capabilities (such as faceted search) needed to exploit sentiment classifications. (Disclosure: OpenText is a consulting client of mine and a Sentiment Analysis Symposium sponsor.) Opinions influence purchases. Look for sentiment analysis built-in to become a standard feature of online commerce sites.
Let the Analysis Begin
I've described seven sentiment-analysis scenarios, seven areas where automated analysis of attitudes and opinions is shaping voter, customer service, marketing, consumer, and company images and actions. The business value of attitudes, opinion, and emotions means sentiment can't be ignored.
The volume and velocity of subjectivity in enterprise, online, and social content means non-automated analyses are no longer, on their own, competitive. And I'll admit that I find applying machines to the task of deciphering human subjectivity simply fascinating.
I think we will soon discover that sentiment applications are like the travelers of an old nursery rhyme:
I met a man with seven wives
Each wife had seven sacks
Each sack had seven cats
Each cat had seven kits
Kits, cats, sacks, wives
How many were going to St Ives?
I expect we will find that my seven scenarios explode into a multitude of real-world sentiment use cases: No puzzle there.