Google takes top spot away from Apple
This year’s BrandZ report has been released. The researchers analyse corporate earnings and combine this data with large-scale consumer research in 30 countries. The findings demonstrate what is important to consumers around the world and what trends are driving – and disrupting – brand growth. There is much to be learned from how top brands build and maintain relationships with their customers.
- Google, Apple and IBM take the top three slots in this year’s global top 100.
- This year’s top European brands include SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Louis Vuitton, and BMW.
- Brands based in Europe have increased by 19% in value in the last year, up from only a 5% rise last year.
- Authenticity – “sometimes the most compelling aspect of a brand is the product itself”
- Convenience – consumers want to seamlessly combine online with physical – e.g. the growth in click and collect
- Customisation and personalisation – self-expression and a focus on ‘the unique’
- Localisation – ‘local’ implies quality, reliability and attention to detail
- Seamlessness – brands need to make the transition between physical and virtual invisible
- Technology – new technologies are both enhancing and disrupting brands. Wearables are converging technology with clothing
- Trust – consumers expect brands to keep their promises whether implied or explicit. Banks are continuing to experience the long-term effects of lost trust even as they try to change because of continued revelations of past mis-deeds
How to grow your brand value
The researchers draw lessons from the best performing brands:
- Forget ‘the customer comes first’ but focus on ‘each customer comes first’. Forget old archetypes and use data to help you be truly consumer-centric
- Stand for more than profit – but make sure your brand purpose is relevant to what you do
- Be ‘meaningfully different’ so that customers can understand your brand and what differentiates you
- Be ‘mindfully present’ – use discretion on social media!
- Stay relevant – respect your heritage but stay up-to-date
- Be agile – planning is important but so is flexibility
The full report is packed with essays, infographics and data and may be downloaded here.