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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Putting the Genie Back In the Bottle

It’s tricky business to gauge how well a brand is faring in the Internet Age, when a Facebook post can go viral overnight and destroy or enhance a reputation. But a Glendale software company claims to have a new tool in the battle for brand reputation monitoring. Bottlenose Inc. makes software that tracks social media, radio and television, giving companies a real-time view of what is being said about their brand. The software operates by using algorithms to analyze web data and turn it into something tangible so managers can make quick decisions. “We are sort of the secret weapon a lot of these big brands use, said co-founder and Chief Executive Nova Spivack, a Internet entrepreneur who has been involved with several companies, including online metrics provider Klout Inc. But Bottlenose isn’t a secret among financiers. It has raised $17 million since its start in 2010, and earlier this year it landed $13.5 million in venture capital, with the majority coming from KPMG Capital, an arm of the big accounting firm. Spivack said the software can give a company the chance to react before established media gets a hold of a story. For example, Volkswagen Group showed an ad during the 2014 Super Bowl that depicted male engineers getting their wings every 100,000 miles a car is driven. This enraged feminist organizations, and Bottlenose notified the ad agency. The German car maker then released a new video depicting a female engineer getting her wings. Still, Rob Frankel, a brand strategist in Encino, said that companies should be wary of over-reacting to big data and negative feedback on the Internet. “Bad data has a much higher propensity for activity, People are more inclined to complain than they are to praise,” Frankel said, adding its wise not follow every alarm bell on social media. But Bottlenose has found paying customers for its service, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Pepsico, and General Motors Co. The price for Bottlenose software ranges in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and is intended for large companies. With its recent infusion of capital, Spivack plans to grow the company from its current roster of about 40 employees to 65 people by end of this year. Bottlenose differs from such online reputation repair companies as Reputation-Sentry, in New York, in that it doesn’t correct negative posts, but monitors and warns. Spivack said other companies have competing software, but much of it is older technology designed to measure enterprise data. “Nobody has built this sort of general solution that can do what we do,” he boasted. – Mateo Melero

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