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The world’s best brands — 2018 edition

At the beginning of this month, Interbrand released its annual ranking of the world’s best global brands. This year’s 2018 report marks the 19th year of the study. If you’d like to download a free copy of the report, you can do that here. But below is a snapshot of the first 24 brands:

Apple and Google are in top position for the 6th year in a row. And Amazon is on a hockey stick trajectory with its brand value jumping by 56%. More than half of the list is comprised of the following five sectors: Automotive (16), Technology (13), Financial Services (12), Luxury (9), and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (9). Luxury is currently the fastest growing sector.

In their report, they outline five themes that have emerged and that are helping these brands outperform. They are:

  1. Positive utility – not enough to just make people feel good through storytelling; you need to create real value and a positive impact in the world
  2. Subscription mindset – there’s an increasing amount of brand value in subscription-based businesses (29% in 2018 compared to 18% in 2009); you need to offer your products and services with the least amount of friction as possible
  3. Customer-centricity – bring the voice of your customer into every aspect of your business; be nimble enough to respond quickly
  4. Learning from luxury – the top performing category in this year’s ranking; about exclusivity and authenticity
  5. Role of brand – make your brand part of the decision-making process; build brand equity and trust

I’ll stop there and let you all dig into the rest of the report if you’re interested. 

But one thing I found particularly interesting about the study is that they used – insert buzzwords here – “AI-powered social listening” to try and measure the emotion and sentiment floating around on the internet around specific brands. The goal was to pin down the perceived trustworthiness of specific brands.

Not surprisingly, they found a pretty strong correlation between customer trust and purchasing intent. Makes sense to me.

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