• Transform magazine
  • July 18, 2024


New FutureBrand Index reveals boost for brands prioritising innovation and human well-being

Apple on books

The results of the 2021 FutureBrand Index, the annual perception study of PwC’s top 100 companies, reveal extensive changes in the perception of global companies since the start of the pandemic. The Index shows that brands prioritising innovation to impact individual well-being and drive change are those set to thrive.

As a result, there is big change at the top in this year’s ranking, with only Apple keeping its place as one of the top five leading brands, where it is now joined by ASML, Prosus NV, Danaher and Nextra Energy. The success of tech and healthcare companies across this year’s FutureBrand Index points to the heightened need for connectivity and a focus on improving quality of life after what has been a challenging year for the world.

The report also reveals that the pandemic effect has disproportionately affected consumer-facing brands, with many of 2020’s top ten displaced by B2B giants, like ASML and Danaher. Behind-the-scenes tech and pharmaceutical B2B brands have now become ‘household’ names, with society focusing on the innovation that will help people come out of the pandemic.

“There are some familiar names and some many won’t expect in this year’s FutureBrand Index. We’ve seen pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer race ahead, as they are seen by consumers as critical to our future and working within humanity's best interest. Meanwhile, consumers are also looking for the ‘feel good' factor; in a period of 12 months when so much has been taken away from us, luxury brands like Apple and LVMH have done particularly well,” says Jon Tipple, global chief strategy officer at global branding agency, FutureBrand.

Luxury consumer brands such as Apple and LVMH have indeed capitalised on consumers’ needs of feeling good and pursuing simple pleasured during a year of uncertainty. LVMH has also benefitted from increased consumer spending on luxury goods and online shopping, jumping 29 places up the FutureBrand Index.

Consumer goods and services businesses which rely on physical retail have , instead, suffered during the pandemic, with Walmart falling 34 places and McDonald’s falling 32.