Learning from the world’s top brands

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.
Consumer trends
  • 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 valueThe 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.