• Transform magazine
  • September 25, 2020

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Global perception study says brands should prioritise consumers and staff

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FutureBrand Index 2020, the first study into the perception of global brands since lockdown commissioned by global brand consultancy FutureBrand, reveals it is now necessary for brands to put the needs of their staff and employees first to gain the competitive advantage in the year ahead.

The study, which assesses how future proof the world’s 100 most prominent companies are based on perception, rather than financial strengths, highlights that consumer goods and services brands that adopted a proactive response to the pandemic have had the biggest perception boost. Among them are L’Oréal, Walmart Netflix, which scored highly on resilience, future prospects and people’s passion for its service.

The common denominator between the best performing companies in the index is their significantly individual response to the Covid-19 crisis, explains global chief strategy officer at FutureBrand Jon Tipple.

“This means prioritising what their staff and customers need and want most and delivering with oodles of authentic personality even if it means breaking with category conventions and norms. While these traits were once a ‘nice-to-have,’ they are now crucial for corporate success,” he says.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals are now seen as innovative sectors that put human needs first; Roche is one of the highest risers, up 49 places, with projects that include the production of coronavirus antibody tests and experimental treatments for the virus. Tech and telecoms financial services, on the other hand, have seen a deep plunge in perception.

Innovative energy and infrastructure firms, such as Nextera Energy, Reliance and ASML, made their first appearances in the index top 20, suggesting future economies will be high tech, renewable and ethical.