A prescription for improving brand value
The most valuable brands, not just in Italy but around the world, are those that stand out from the crowd in a way that makes a positive difference to people’s lives. It’s really that simple, and we call it having Meaningful Difference.
Attaining Meaningful Difference is critical to brand value growth. The most Meaningfully Different brands in the Italian ranking this year grew at a 43 percent faster rate than the rest.
The Top 10 most valuable Italian brands are significantly more Meaningfully Different than the next 20. And these Top 10 brands grew their value at a pace 57 percent faster than the next 20, on average.
So, how can the low scorers become high scorers on Meaningful Difference? By improving their health.
Just as there are many contributors to human wellbeing, there are multiple factors that contribute towards a healthy brand.
BrandZ analysis has identified five key attributes shared by healthy, strong and valuable brands.
It starts with having a purpose (making people’s lives better). MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Barilla and Enel are among the Italian brands with an especially strong sense of purpose.
Brands must be innovative, which means they’re seen as leading the way in their sector and shaking things up. The cruise brands are again strong performers on this measure, along with Barilla and Enel.
They must also be creative, with powerful, memorable advertising and communications. Think here of local brands Barilla, Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises.
They provide a great brand experience that meets consumers’ needs, and are available when and where consumers need them. The two cruise brands, Enel and Nutella are great at providing a memorable brand experience.
Over time, consumers develop a strong sense of love towards the brand.
Consumers feel a strong emotional attachment to brands such Nutella, Enel, Barilla and Lavazza.
5 ways to better brand health
When a brand is strong on all five of these attributes (scoring significantly above average), they have healthy “vital signs” and we say they’re healthy brands overall.
We combine scores on each of the five elements into a single “Vitality Quotient”, or vQ score. The average vQ score of all brands is 100. Healthy brands have a vQ score of 110 or higher.
If a brand is lacking in any one of the five contributors to vQ (scoring 99 or less against an average of 100), they are at risk of damaging their brand health and underperforming in the market. We describe these brands as being “frail”.
The correlation between brand health and rising brand value has been proven around the world over many years.
Among the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, tracked over a 13-year period, we see that the healthy brands have grown in value by 254 percent.
The frail ones – and remember these are still some of the strongest brands in the world – have only increased by 50 percent over more than a decade.
It’s clear this link applies here in Italy, too. Healthy Italian brands have grown at double the rate of the others over the past 12 months.
Spotlight on PURPOSE
MSC Cruises has a passion for the sea and for hospitality excellence. The desire to provide passenger satisfaction and share that love of the sea infuses the brand’s operations and its commitment to cutting-edge technology. Newly launched ships blend indoor and outdoor spaces for greater passenger interaction with the sea, and a focus on environmental initiatives is behind a new class of MSC cruise ships fueled by low-impact, LNG-powered engines.
Spotlight on INNOVATION
This is an innovative brand within an innovative category. Costa Cruises focuses on providing a highly desirable on-board dining and entertainment experience, and does so in a light-hearted way that connects well with its brand promise: “Benvenuti alla Felicità al quadrato” (Welcome to Happiness, squared). The brand delivers a message consistent with this brand identity across all touchpoints, from the sales material in travel agencies to crew interaction with guests.
Spotlight on COMMUNICATION
The familiar blue boxes of Barilla pasta are a store-cupboard staple in so many Italian homes, providing daily brand communication in themselves. Yet Barilla invests significantly and consistently in familiar messages – its tagline “Dove c’è Barilla, c’è casa” (Where there is Barilla, there’s home) is known by nationwide – and in communicating innovation through different new products and taylored on emerging food trends . Recent advertising, furthermore, focuses on Barilla’s insistence on quality in the supply chain, and its transparency chimes well with current consumer demands for authenticity. The brand is working with tennis champion Roger Federer, giving a new, modern take on a classic product.
Spotlight on EXPERIENCE
A great brand experience with an energy supplier starts with reliable provision of power – and goes on with easy and efficient communication billing , access to information when there’s a question to be asked. Enel has focused on simplifying consumers’ lives by digitizing much of the relationship, making it quick and easy for them to handle their accounts and ask questions. Enel has also launched “Elen”, a chatbot that can handle many queries without the need to wait for human assistance on Messenger and @EnelEnergy Bot the new simple and fast way to autonomously take for example meter readings, check bill and contract
Spotlight on LOVE
This is a product that hasn’t changed for decades, precisely because people love it just as it is. But the love Italians feel for Nutella goes beyond enjoying the taste. Nutella balances reassuring familiarity a sense of playfulness and innovation. Personalized packaging has helped consumers feel the brand is truly theirs, and a hackathon with Milan Polytechnic to discover ways of using empty Nutella jars led to around 1,000 highly creative ideas. Nutella lovers from 114 countries have shared their own “Nutella Stories” online.