This year’s Meaningful Brand research results have just been published and there are some incredibly powerful new insights for all brands to consider. The annual study explores the role brands play in society and how they impact on consumer lives.
The study defines a meaningful brand as, “…defined by its impact on our personal and collective wellbeing, along with its functional benefits.” It considered things like personal and collective benefits and attributes such as saving time, delivering on promises and making consumers feel happier across 43 different content types, in 31 markets and 22 different industries.
One of the headline findings from this year’s report is that consumers wouldn’t care if 77% of brands disappeared. The study, which focuses on 1800 brands and 35000 respondents from around the world found that almost 8 in 10 big brands fail to be relevant to most consumers.
Over half of brands were also found to fall short on one of the key foundations of any marketing endeavour – that of content creation. While 90% of consumers expect that brands will provide them with content, 58% of that content fails to be meaningful. This figure is interesting in light of that fact that the majority of consumers expect brands to make a contribution to their wellbeing and quality of life – suggesting that much branded content effort misses the mark.
For brands that are able to add value and meaning to their customers, there are many rewards to reap – not least of which is a greater purchase intent. Meaningful brands also benefit from a much higher repurchase intent (70% versus just 29% for the least meaningful brands) and greater consumer advocacy (76% versus 37% for the least meaningful).
Along with this comes a key additional benefit too – meaningful brands can charge a premium price for their goods and services. The study says, “Buying today is a political act! 55% of consumers believe brands actually have a more important role than our governments to create a better future!
“Our findings show that consumers will reward brands who want to make the world a better place and who reflect their values. Consumers are using their buying power to make a stand!
“There’s no question – brand activism will become a part of a brand’s strategy.”
Who made the cut?
According to the research results, the world’s most meaningful brand is Google. PayPal, Mercedes-Benz, WhatsApp and YouTube round out the top five, with Johnson & Johnson, Gillette, BMW, Microsoft and Danone in the top 10.
In North America, the top 3 most meaningful industries were consumer goods, food and entertainment while in Western Europe they were retail, electronics and food. In Eastern Europe, the food, automotive and transport sectors occupied the top three slots.
When it comes to creating the most effective content, the industries are a mix of the regional winners – with automotive the most effective industry at content creation, followed by electronics, travel and tourism, consumer goods and food.
Across the board, consumers said they expected brand content to inspire, help, inform and reward.