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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Google, Samsung, Microsoft Head A Tech-Dominated List of The Most 'Meaningful' Brands 06-30

Google, Samsung, Microsoft Head A Tech-Dominated List of The Most 'Meaningful' Brands

Technology giants Google , Samsung, and Microsoft head the 2013 Meaningful Brand Index, compiled by Havas Media. The index measures 12 areas of consumer well-being, including health, happiness, and financial. Also among the top five were Nestle and Sony .

To create the Index, Havas Media measured 700 brands and more than 134,000 consumers in 23 countries. Brands were chosen on the basis of global as well as regional significance and ad spend.

Technology companies have gained significance since the last Index was released in 2011, while traditional retailers have surrendered some ground.

“What the results tell us is 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,” said Umair Haque, director of Havas Media Labs. “It’s possible to move up and down these scales pretty radically in a short period of time.”

Havas’ research also indicates that the top 25 meaningful brands outperform stock markets by 120 percent, commensurate with top hedge funds. Haque says that those brands doing best are those understood to be providing the most well-being to shareholders and consumers.

“For every dollar that consumers invest, brands are going to have to deliver more human well-being to them,” said Haque. “In that kind of environment, institutions have to understand that every dollar or euro or pound has to result in more concrete human benefit for people, and if it doesn’t people simply won’t trust those brands anymore.”

Unchanged since 2011 is a prevailing consumer disinterest in the vast majority of brands around the world. The majority of those surveyed worldwide say they wouldn’t care if 73 percent of brands no longer existed tomorrow, and only 20 percent of all brands are viewed as having a positive role in consumers’ lives.

Though distrust prevails globally, consumers in developing markets maintain stronger relationships to brands, with people in Latin America and Asia six times more attached to brands than consumers in the U.S. and Europe.

“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,” said Haque.  ”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.”

Ultimately, said Haque, people are responding most strongly to brands that view them as participants rather than consumers.

“People aren’t irrational in what they expect. They don’t want perfect lives—but they do want better lives,” he said. “What we consistently find is that institutions don’t meet their expectations in real human terms. When they do find companies that are willing to benefit them, they’re really happy doing business with them.”

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