• Transform magazine
  • December 13, 2017

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Prophet releases Brand Relevance Index 2017

Lego 2.jpg

Global brand and marketing consultancy, Prophet, has released its Brand Relevance Index 2017, highlighting the top performing brands across numerous sectors in China, Germany, the US and UK. With a strong focus on ‘relentless relevance,’ this year’s study indicates the nuanced ways in which brands are engaging with consumers, as customer-centric strategy forms a key feature of the index.

In partnership with Survey Sampling International (SSI), Prophet surveyed 50,000 consumers about 750 brands. Each participating consumer ranked up to five brands within a single category, all in correspondence with Prophet’s four brand principles; customer obsession, ruthless pragmatism, distinctive inspiration and pervasive innovation.

Tech specialists Apple, Google and Amazon remain amongst the top performers in three out of four of the rankings this year, championing ubiquity and widespread integration across various consumer needs. Yet for China, largely localised brands such as Alipay and WeChat continue to dominate the market, equally providing large swathes of customers with flexible, pragmatic and simplistic features.

Yet each of the rankings offer no shortage of individual surprises. In the UK for example, cosmetics retailer, Lush, ranked eighth overall, two places higher than Amazon. Equally, Lego’s ongoing dominance across several categories led to fourth-place ranking in the UK, fifth in Germany and 26th overall in the US. And in much the same way, the dual between photo-based apps Instagram and Pinterest led to the unlikely winner being the latter, ranking fifth in the US and 18th in the UK.

Ian Kirk, partner at Prophet, says, “The obvious thing about the top row, is just how unbelievably digital it is. Having a brand in your pocket, and one that can personalise itself around you, is what customers are looking for. Big brands such as Apple, Google and Amazon all have a very interesting position, which is that they’re extremely personally relevant, and all part of people’s lives. They can only do that because they’ve got global scale and massive penetration from millions of users, which has allowed them to highly customise things.”

Spotify’s consistent positioning in the top 10 across the US, UK and German rankings speaks to Kirk’s point. Its adaptable service model has not only garnered huge following for personalised playlists and recommendations, but its surge in multiplatform usability has largely defined the pace of the streaming music sector. Similarly, Netflix's dominance on digital lines falls in the same category of relevance - ranking in the top 20 across US, UK and German indexes - due to the value of its original content, ad-free streaming, cheap subscription price and, more recently, its booming personalisation model. 

Kirk says, “Every brand, to some degree, needs to be aware of the need to be able to adapt and evolve with its customers, and to stop treating customers like big lumps of categories and start treating them like individuals. Data is one way to do that, and certainly to do it at scale. It’s not about image-building now, it’s about intimacy and closeness.”

For a closer look at this year's Brand Relevance Index, click here.