Meaningful Brands beat stock market by 120%

1. The Meaningful Brands Index outperforms the stock markets by 120% - an out performance on par with the top hedge funds
2. The majority of people worldwide wouldn't care if 73% of brands disappeared tomorrow.
3. Only 20% of brands worldwide are seen to meaningfully positively impact people's lives.

The results from Havas Media Group’s 2013 Meaningful Brands statistically demonstrate that Meaningful Brands outperform the stock market by 120%. It demonstrates in hard financial terms, how the relationship between people and brands can benefit from measuring, communicating and delivering increased well-being.

Despite this, Meaningful Brands reveals that this disconnect between brands and people continues with the majority of people still not caring if over 73% of brands ceased to exist.

Meaningful Brands - Havas Media Group’s new metric of brand strength - is the first global analytical framework to connect human well-being with brands at a business level. It measures the benefits brands bring to our lives. It’s unique in both scale – 700 brands, over 134,000 consumers, 23 countries - and scope. It measures the impact of the brand’s benefits alongside its impact on 12 different areas of well-being (such as health, happiness, financial, relationships and community among others) for a full view of its effect on our quality of life.

Top ranking brands

The Meaningful Brand Index (MBi) forms the core of the Meaningful Brands framework. In 2013 it shows significant shifts in both sectors and brands since its last report in 2011. The global rankings place Google in first place followed by Samsung, Microsoft, Nestle and Sony as the top five meaningful brands of 2013 followed by IKEA, Dove, Nike, Wal-Mart, DANONE, Philips and P&G.  This year, half of the top ten brands are technological.

Sara de Dios, Global Director of Meaningful Brands:

“Technology brands are becoming new personal icons, empowering us to expand our potential. Not only do they make our lives easier, help us become smarter, fitter or enhance our capabilities, they more importantly, have become aspirational icons. They help people express themselves and connect with others making people feel better, happier and more satisfied with their lives. Technology brands are becoming more meaningful in our lives because they are the key enablers that help us achieve our full potential.”

Brands gaining momentum in this report include Nike ranked globally as number 7, Mercedes Benz and Adidas both ranked globally as number 11 and Dove which comes in globally at number 6. Brands which continue to flourish according to the Meaningful Brand Index include Wal-Mart, Microsoft, P&G and Samsung, among others. This clearly demonstrates that brands with higher MBi scores build stronger brands, gaining stronger brand equity, greater preference, loyalty and emotional attachment.

Geographical trends

Continuing the trend from 2011 only 20% of brands make a significant, positive difference to people’s well-being with a strong and growing gap between developed and emerging markets (Europe 5%, USA 9%, LATAM 27% and Asia 39%). Although on a global basis most people would not care if 73% of brands disappeared, this relationship between people and brands differs widely amongst markets with a strong polarisation between developed and developing markets.
In Europe and the US people would not care if 92% of brands disappeared. In Latam it’s 58% and in Asia it’s 49%. In Latam and Asia, people are attached six times more to brands than western markets
Expectations in the West are largely unmet, fuelling a growing lack of trust and indifference towards brands. Only 29%/36% of people in Western Europe and the US think brands work hard at improving our quality of life and only 21%/26% feel that brands communicate honestly in comparison to 32% globally, 36% in Latam and 52% in Asia.

A move towards the individual

Since 2011, enhancing our individual quality of live and personal well-being has become increasingly important in western economies. In emerging markets, people place relatively more importance on a brand’s impact on their community and environment. At the same time, people in India, China and Mexico increasingly expect that brands enhance their individual and personal lifestyles, as many brands in these countries become aspirational symbols of an improved standard of living and status.
The importance of brands delivering on personal benefits has seen an increase, with the US seeing a jump of 5%, Europe 2% and APAC 2%. However, when looking at the data from the top performing brands, the majority take a holistic approach, balancing and contributing to both our personal well-being as individuals and to the collective well-being of our societies.

Sector trends

2013 shows a marked increase in the importance of ITC. The top 10 sectors ranked as Retail, Food & Beverages, IT & Consumer Electronics, Travel & Tourism, Consumer Goods, Media, Public Transport, Auto, Oil & Energy/Utilities, Telecom and Finance & Insurance. Brands are however able to break the limitations of their sectors. Examples can be found even in the more difficult categories such as oil & energy with Petrobras in Brazil, EDF in France and Repsol in Spain who are breaking the sector barriers and gaining increasing levels of meaning 

Umair Haque Author, Thinkers50 member and Director at Havas Media Group:

“Across the globe already slowing economies are losing steam. This is not a simple crisis but a transformation in the nature of global growth. A new model for prosperity is emerging centred around the idea of human potential and well-being. Human well-being is what matters if economies are to prosper. Meaningful Brands is pioneering because it helps us to understand whether, where, when and how corporations are impacting on people’s lives. In this hyper connected and transparent world people are more willing and able than ever to punish brands that fail to positively impact their lives. Conversely those institutions that do build meaningful brands don’t just succeed in the short-term they consistently outperform their rivals and the stock markets in the long-term. The case for Meaningful Brands isn’t just about altruism, responsibility or reputation but the creation of real financial value by delivering what matters economically.”

Amy du Pon, Global Head of Data Insights:

“Meaningful Brands is both our wake-up call, and a practical but inspirational guide. In order to fix the largely broken relationships, and survive in 21st century terms, we need to evolve from our increasingly commoditised world. Relying on incremental marketing dollars alone is not sustainable. The opportunity today is for us to reinvigorate our brands, the role they play and the human value they realize. Learning from the leading brands coming from emerging markets and moving on from the prior practices in developed markets, will help achieve tomorrow's success. The results from this year’s analysis allow us to redefine current expectations, who achieves them and how to meet. And upon activating the areas of opportunity, we can naturally track and see your business performance meaningful rise."

About Havas Media Group
Havas Media Group gathers together the global media expertise of Havas, one of the leading global communications and marketing groups.

It consists of two media brands, Havas Media and Arena, as well as Havas Sports & Entertainment, the industry’s largest brand engagement network.

Suzie Warner
T: + 44 (0)7968 450185


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