Does Your Favorite Company Have a Meaningful Brand?

In the new 2013 Meaningful Brand Report from Havas Media, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) topped the list followed by SamsungMicrosoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Nestle, and Sony (NYSE:SNE), Forbes reports. The report rates companies using Havas Media’s Meaningful Brand Index, which compares consumer perception to the impact the brands have on the lives of consumers.

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The Index aims to create a global analytical framework that connects human well-being with brands at a business level. It measures a company using twelve areas of consumer well-being including health, happiness, financial, relationships, and community. In total, Havas Media measured 700 brands using 134,000 consumers in 23 countries.

The 2013 results show a considerable rise for many tech companies compared to the 2011 report. Umair Haque, director of Havas Media Labs, explains that “the results tell us that tech companies have done some powerful things over the last few years to focus on people’s lives, and they’re starting to reap the benefits of that.” He continued, “It’s possible to move up and down these scales pretty radically in a short period of time.”

The report reveals many significant findings. One is that most consumers worldwide would not care if the bottom 73 percent of brands disappeared entirely with only one in five brands perceived as making a difference in people’s lives. From a market point of view, the top 20 percent of brands outperform the market by 120 percent and often outperform even hedge funds.

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The results also reveal a stark difference between consumer loyalty in developed and developing nations. In Europe and the U.S., consumers would not care if 92 percent of brands were to disappear. However, in Latin America and Asia that number is 58 percent and 49 percent, respectively. In effect, consumers in developing countries are six times as loyal to brands as consumers in developed countries. “In emerging markets, people trust brands more, but they also expect more from them. The challenge for brands is not to go to emerging markets and replicate the same model,” Haque said.

According to Haque, the Meaningful Brand Report outlines a good blueprint for how companies should market their products to different consumers. However, he also says that companies and their brands need to find new ways to connect with consumers. “If brands don’t get smarter, five years from now, ten years from now we’ll be in a situation where 95 percent of people globally don’t trust brands,” he said.

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