How to energise Australian brands
We have established that Meaningful Difference gives brands a clear advantage over their competitors, contributing to strong brand value and greater ability to resist adverse pressures on a category.
The key question then is: how do brands improve their Meaningful Difference? Well, they need to work on their health and, just as there are many contributors to human wellbeing, there are multiple factors that play a part in developing the health of a brand.
BrandZ analysis has identified five key attributes shared by healthy, valuable and Meaningfully Different brands.
A brand’s scores on each of the five measures are combined to make its “Vitality Quotient” or vQ – a single figure that serves as a summary of its health.
Brands with high vQ scores improved their brand value by an average of 8% more than those with lower scores
There are six Australian brands that appear in the Top 10 for all five aspects of health. They are:
Five ways to vitality and value
1 Brand health starts with having a purpose; something a brand does that makes people’s live better.
Other outstanding brands in the Top 40 for purpose include:
Australian brands outside the Top 40 that are strong performers for purpose include Billabong, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Sanitarium.
2 Brands must be innovative ideally in a way that underlines that purpose, which means they’re seen as leading the way in their sector and shaking things up.
Leading Top 40 Brands for innovation include :
Beyond the Top 40, other brands that consumers perceive to be innovative include Dan Murphy’s, Tim Tam, Billabong and Chadstone.
3 They must also be creative, with powerful, memorable advertising and communications.
Leading Top 40 Brands for communications include :
Australian brands outside the Top 40 that stand out as great communicators include Dan Murphy’s and Billabong.
4 They provide a great brand experience that meets consumers’ needs, and are available when and where consumers need them.
Leading Top 40 Brands for experience includes :
Dan Murphy’s, Vegemite and Tim Tam are brands that don’t make the Top 40, but are considered by consumers to offer an outstanding experience.
5 Over time, consumers develop a strong sense of love towards the brand. Innovation often leads to love, and love can help sustain a brand during the gaps between innovations.
Leading Top 40 Brands for love include:
Vegemite, Dan Murphy’s, Tim Tam and Billabong are some of Australia’s most-loved brands outside the Top 40 ranking.
Time to shape up
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.
If a brand is lacking in any one area, they are at risk of damaging their brand health and underperforming in the market. If they fail on all five measures (a score of 99 or less compared to an average score for all brands of 100), they are classed as being “frail”.
The Australian brands that feature in the 2019 Top 40 ranking are among the healthiest brands in the country. Among the most valuable Australian brands more broadly, though, these are the super-fit exceptions among a generally sluggish bunch. And even these relatively healthy brands look weak compared to leading brands in other countries. We compare the Top 30 from each country, as some country rankings stop at 30.
When the top Australian brands’ scores for each of the five elements of vQ are compared to the scores of leading brands in other markets, it becomes clear that there are two key aspects of health that need attention: innovation and experience.
This chart below above how Australia’s Top 40 brands rank alongside 11 other BrandZ markets. The scores represented in columns compared to an average score for all brands of 100.
Becoming an innovative brand – and, just as importantly, being seen as innovative – is a complex challenge faced by brands across all categories.
Providing an outstanding brand experience is perhaps an easier idea for brands to get to grips with, though is not necessarily an easy result to deliver.
Experience relates to every touchpoint at which a consumer encounters a brand. That could be in a store, using a product in the home, seeing its advertising, listening to hold music while waiting on the phone for help, and speaking to people who work for the brand. This should be enjoyable, consistent and in line with consumers expect from the brand for maximum impact.