Moving the Masses: Go-Jek vs Grab

Analysing the social media conversations about two of APAC’s biggest ride-sharing app brands

As every marketer knows, brand success is largely based on emotional connection, and emotions can be volatile. Keeping a close eye on the health of your brand is vital for future success and growth, whether that means monitoring a freshly launched campaign or consumer opinion on your brand over the long-term. What’s more, if your brand is falling short in some way, or is facing a crisis flashpoint, being able to track consumer conversations can offer you the necessary insights to fix the problem.

Monitoring reactions

The case of Asian ride-sharing startup Go-Jek offers a useful case study of the value of brand analysis. Founded in 2010 by an Indonesian entrepreneur, the brand has been growing steadily for a number of years. It recently won a place in Fortune Magazine’s prestigious 50 Companies That Changed the World ranking.

While Go-Jek’s star is clearly on the rise, the Indonesian brand isn’t immune to shifts in consumer sentiment and emotions. In October 2018, Go-Jek came under fire from its consumers as a result of the company’s recent internal campaign to support LGBT diversity and inclusion. A company executive had blogged about the campaign, known as #GOingALLin, and the response was largely negative.

As the blog post circulated online, local audiences responded by sharing the hashtag #UninstallGoJek, and some people even posted screenshots of themselves uninstalling the app. Go-Jek attempted to smooth things over by releasing a statement on Twitter, which claimed that the blog post was simply ‘personal opinion and interpretation’ from one of its employees.

Go-Jek was compelled to reiterate the company’s ‘respect’ for ‘Indonesian values and culture.’ Even without considering debates about tolerance, this is a fine example of the value of conducting regular brand analyses in order to spot flashpoints and maintain good brand health.

Below we can see how the discussion volume about Go-Jek has shifted over the last month. In particular, the large spike shows how coverage of the blog post, including the #UnstallGoJek hashtag, has led to an increase in audience attention on the brand.  

Shifting sentiment

But volume alone doesn’t enlighten us about the sentiment of the discussion. Let’s take a look at whether Go-Jek has been attracting more positive or more negative sentiment recently.

As shown above, the spike in sentiment shows a large increase in the negative, but an even larger increase in positive. Despite the company’s minor setback from the negatively received blog post, brand analysis can cut past the hype and give a more accurate picture, one which could be more reassuring for Go-Jek than the company had previously believed.

Looking at the keywords in the conversation (below) can also help to provide a deeper understanding of what audiences are actually saying about the brand.

It’s not only important to know what audiences are saying about your brand, but where they’re saying it. For Go-Jek, the majority (86%) of discussion takes place on Twitter, followed by Instagram at 13%. This important insight allows brand managers to locate the discussion so they can easily jump in and engage audiences.

Go-Jek vs Grab

As the Go-Jek LGBT blog post issue plays itself out across Indonesia and beyond, the next logical question is about Go-Jek’s key competitor in the region, Grab. Are Go-Jek users uninstalling the app only to move over to Grab instead? Brand analysis can help shed some light on the possibilities.  

We can see that the discussion volume around Grab has consistently been higher than Go-Jek, as might be expected for a larger, more established regional player. At the time of the blog post incident when discussion about Go-Jek spiked, we can see a corresponding spike in the discussion about Grab.

Diving deeper into the discussion topics shows conversation drivers for each brand, shown in particular by the keywords ‘Grab’s sexual harassment vs Go-Jek’s LGBT’. Brand managers from both companies would be advised to take action to re-engage positively with audiences.



There are many benefits for marketers in conducting brand analysis using social media analytics combined with AI-Powered Consumer Insights. We have illustrated some of these with this case study of Grab and Go-Jek.

Request a Demo

Ready to transform your business?

Get a walkthrough of Crimson Hexagon and learn how consumer insights can help you make better business decisions.