BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands 2016 - Who's on Top?

21 Jun 2016|Added Value

Continual innovation, increased revenue from advertising, and growth in its cloud business has helped Google reclaim from Apple the no.1 position in the 2016 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, released last week by WPP and Kantar’s Millward Brown.

The BrandZ data and analysis indicates that this was a stable year for the world’s most powerful brands in the face of global financial pressures, including the economic slowdown in China. However the brands that innovated, and then showcased their innovations to consumers through the brand experience, have achieved standout growth with Google, Amazon and Facebook acting as prime examples.

Disruption was the dominant trend, with brands changing the status quo with their offerings in a number of ways, often beyond the use of digital technologies. Brands of all kinds moved to build a multi-faceted ecosystem around the consumer’s needs and desires, often by diversifying into new categories.

Kantar’s Added Value contributed to this year’s report.

“BrandZ continues to be a fantastic bell-weather for brand marketing success. It’s interesting to note the successes driven by many of the brands leading in innovation and disrupting the conventional ways of doing business, thereby transcending their category and reinventing themselves in the process.  Essentially they are using a form of cultural strategy to stand out on an emotional level. We know that to sustain future growth, brands need to be seen as improving the life of the consumer in a relevant way. In an ultra-competitive landscape they must earn every piece of equity from each moment of contact with consumers, as well as add value to the network they are a part of.

This report is an example of how the combined efforts of WPP (including Kantar) agencies can produce illuminating and actionable results supported by true strategic rigour. Given the extremely high calibre of talent we have across the wider network, I’m glad to see that so many of our people have made important contributions to this report and its findings” says Bart Michels, CEO Added Value Group and Head of Kantar Consulting UK. @BartAMichels

Our experts examine where the value lies in the personal care, technology, luxury categories…

A purpose is useless without action. Create a galvanising purpose and amazing things can happen.
By Emily Smith, Brand Director, Added Value UK – @TooManySmiths

“Many brands today develop a purpose but then don’t do anything differently. Often the necessary change conflicts with existing business objectives and capabilities, and the brand purpose is seen as something for only marketers to worry about. But without clear and consistent action behind a compelling purpose, the consumer remains unaware and unengaged. If a brand can create a purpose that galvanizes the whole business as well as its marketing strategy, amazing things can happen.”

Purpose is critical in attracting young talented employees and achieving best-in-class employee contribution
By Emily Smith, Brand Director, Added Value UK – @TooManySmiths

“Most brand owners recognize that each individual in their organization plays a role in bringing their brand to life. They’re aware that employees impact how the brand is perceived across a range of touch points, and that employee involvement can help transform a product or service into a useful and meaningful brand that has an active role in people’s lives. To truly achieve best-in-class employee contribution, businesses need to capture their employees’ hearts and minds, by building their understanding and passion for the brand until employees become advocates capable of inspiring others.”

Brands are stretching the meaning of luxury with playful designs
By Eleanor Lloyd Malcolm, Associate Director, Cultural Strategy, Added Value UK

“Although people feel uncertainty, there’s increased confidence in celebrating luxury. A demonstration of this is a shift back to logos and more brazen luxury. This is in stark contrast from recent years when it was about discretion and being in the know, rather than showing off with badges. We’re seeing trends of opulence, flamboyance and romance; people want to have fun with luxury and be playful.”

Brands should depict women as culture does, as multifaceted
By Laura Tarbox, Strategic Director, Cultural Strategy, Added Value US – @lauratarb

“Just as the cultural conversation around femininity has broadened beyond obvious traits and tropes, so too has that around beauty. Ushered in by Dove with their inaugural “Campaign for Real Beauty,” we have seen a wider definition of what constitutes gorgeous pervade culture. While the self-care giant introduced a timely celebration (and reappraisal) of diverse types of beauty and has now shifted to a

focus on positive self-esteem, the tide of culture is fast moving beyond an appreciation of looks and consequent good feeling about those aesthetics, to the full spectrum of everything a woman is about. We see the woman, in all of her glorious multiplicity, being celebrated in areas of culture as myriad as fashion to technology: her abilities and achievements, her intellect, the depth of her spiritual connection to herself – the list goes on. If this is how women are being represented in wider culture, the implications for the beauty industry are clear: dimensionalize your subject or risk being rendered obsolete.”

Understanding cultural context is essential for building valuable brands
By Laura Tarbox, Strategic Director, Cultural Strategy, Added Value US – @lauratarb

“Ideas get old – quickly. Every notion has its eventual antithesis. And those that once led the conversation can stagnate. Every brand’s success depends on its ability to listen. To reconfigure. To know that it is not the center of anyone’s world. To heed what culture tells it.

 The worlds of beauty and personal care are no different. Today especially, so many timely notions and movements in culture have direct impact. From a continued examination of beauty ideals to moving beyond stereotypes and understanding women as multidimensional beings, and even deconstructing the notion of gender itself, the context in which these categories exist has never been so exciting.

 The brands that get it right are those that are constantly attuned into these shifts – whether large or small.”

Tech leaders need to be perceived as experience brands
By Jonathan Hall, President of Consulting, North America, Added Value – @hallcjonathan

“It’s ironic that when we work in other categories, businesses are scrambling to be perceived as tech brands. But actual tech brands need to be perceived as experience brands. The best technology brands are doing that already, pulling away from being perceived purely as functional and creating a customer experience supported by the ecosystem. The experience pervades every touch point that the brand has with the customer, from the product itself to the marketing of that product to the real-time interaction.”

Sustained success requires a broader brand perspective
By Emily Smith, Brand Director, Added Value UK – @TooManySmiths

“Established Telco brands were founded on engineering expertise. These brands still seek differentiation via functional benefits – high Internet speed, coverage, data – meaning they remain focused inwards on their immediate businesses or category.

They’re missing the opportunity to play a more meaningful role in people’s lives. The brands that can look forward, recognize the industry is expanding to include Facebook, Google or other technology companies, and seek to stand out among these brands on an emotional level, will win.”

For more information about the BrandZ report please contact us.

Image source: Millward Brown and WPP

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