The results of LynxEye Brands of Tomorrow 2014 are now official. The Brands of Tomorrow is a study that covers two questions: which brands have the right to grow, and why? The results are based on a rich consumer survey conducted in Sweden, China and US. This year, the survey includes six industries: Automotive, Airlines, Cosmetics, Consumer Electronics, Household Appliances and Electronics Retail, with insights into nearly 300 brands.
One of the hot topics in management at the moment is the importance of purpose. In this year’s edition of Brands of Tomorrow, we tried to shed some light on brands with a purpose and how consumers actually respond to them. A Brand Purpose is a guiding statement that describes the company’s sole reason to exist and explains what greater good they want to achieve for consumers and our society as a whole. Looking across all the consumer responses in Brands of Tomorrow, we found an interesting pattern of answers that seems to capture how purposeful a brand is in the eyes of a consumer. We can see that purposeful brands are more associated with “does NOT exist only for profits”, “have values I believe in”, and “is socially responsible”. We can also confirm that the top 3 brands in each category are over 40% more associated with having a clear purpose than brands further down in the list.
Brands that focus on sustainability or democratization of products and services often have an explicit purpose. However, our study shows that Brand Purpose can be so much more. There are in particular two types of brands that tend to feel more purposeful to consumers. Often, these brands focus on empowering people, which many consumers feel that Microsoft and Samsung do. The other type are brands that make us feel welcomed and appreciated, which is associated with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and The Body Shop. But there are many ways to do it, and Brands of Tomorrow often find their unique purpose that guides the brand.
Finding a unique and relevant purpose is no walk in the park. When we explore the most critical success factors behind Brands of Tomorrow, we get a better understanding of all the work that makes these brands feel more purposeful. Across countries and categories we see three things that Brands of Tomorrow do better than others, and explain their top placement in our lists. First, top brands generate the strongest interest among a target group with similar values in life. Secondly, top brands “own” a brand position and promise that distinguish them from other brands and helps them attract their target group. Finally, top brands feel more consistent, through a holistic brand-driven way of working that often means they have to mobilize everyone in the company.
One example of a brand with top potential in their category is Audi. Our study reveals that they are particularly strong among image-driven and outgoing premium car buyers, who represent a big share of the value in the car market. We can also see what helps Audi win. Car buyers believe that Audi have a clear and aspirational mission: to bring joy and inspiration with a sophisticated touch. This brand promise is manifested through superior design and quality, based on technological innovation. Audi also manage to execute their brand promise consistently through engaging communication, a broad yet coherent product range, and exciting shopping experiences.
In summary: top brands start in shared values with the consumers they serve (who), with a clear and purposeful brand promise (what), and live their brand everywhere (how). Not only does this help generate new business potential. It is also a key to answer one of the most fundamental questions in management – why does your brand exist?
To see the full lists from the Brands of Tomorrow 2014, click here.
If you would like to learn more about the secrets behind Brands of Tomorrow and other top performing brands, do not hesitate to get in touch with us at LynxEye.