A recent study directly links success of a brand to its ideals
This is one question that every brand and their managers invariably end up wondering about – what do successful brands do that keeps them successful year after year. A recent study by research agency Millward Brown and Jim Stengel – former global marketing officer-Proctor & Gamble and now the president of The Jim Stengel company, LLC found out that the 50 brands showing the fastest growth in financial value and customer relationships and regardless of category or their sizes, had one thing in common – they had been built on the ideal of improving their customers life in some way or the other. And to top it all, they communicated exactly this message to their customers. Instead of talking about how great their products were, they talked about how greatly their products would improve your lives.
A company release states, “The study… established a cause and effect relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance. Notably, investment in these 50 companies – over the past decade would have been 4005 more profitable than an investment in the S&P 500.”
Jim Stengel, who’s also the author of ‘GROW’ says, “I have always believed that great brands are built on improving the lives of the people they serve; I wanted to prove that maximum profit and high ideals aren’t incompatible but, in fact, inseparable.”
"We wanted to uncover which brands grew the most over the past decade, both in terms of customer bonding and shareholder value," said Millward Brown Optimor VP Benoit Garbe, who led the study. "Once we identified these brands, our burning question was what, if any, were the common principles that sparked and sustained their growth."
To arrive at the Stengel 50, Millward Brown Optimor valued thousands of brands across 30+ countries. The list included both B2B and B2C businesses in 28 categories ranging in size from $100 million in revenues to well over $100 billion:
The ideal, of improving customer’s life, we now know. But what does it translate to a successful brand and business. The report explains that the research uncovered the extent to which these high-growth brands touch on the five fields of fundamental values as explored in Jim’s book ‘GROW’ – eliciting joy, enabling connection, inspiring exploration, evoking pride and impacting society.
The study is important because it directly links the values of a brand to financial success of the company. It is generally believed the world over, that the in order to be successful, one has to forgo ones ideals. This research clearly shows how that is not the case. Indeed, the case is just the reverse. One actually needs ideals, just the right kind of ideals which follow the age old principle ‘Customer is King’.
Some of the 50 most successful brands found in the research that are also popular in the Middle-East or are from here include: Emirates, Apple, BlackBerry, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Master Card, Red Bull, Mercedez-Benz, IBM, HP, Red Bull, Samsung etc.
Hopefully this research will help marketers change their mindset about importance of values and principle in a successful brand.