Innovation and love
The two ways to win consumers’ hearts
The lack of Meaningful Difference among UK brands is cause for concern, but there are ways to remedy it.
To demonstrate true dynamism and relevance, brands 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 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.
UK Brands with high vQ scores have improved their brand value at three times the rate of those with lower scores in 2019.
Five ways to vitality and value
1 Brand health starts with having a purpose; something a brand does that makes people’s live better. JustEat and the National Lottery are the leaders on purpose in the Top 75 this year.
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. Dulux, JustEat and Dyson are the top performers on this measure.
3 They must also be creative, with powerful, memorable advertising and communications. Comparethemarket, JustEat and Dulux set the pace in this area.
4 They provide a great brand experience that meets consumers’ needs, and are available when and where consumers need it. Dulux, JustEat and Royal Mail lead the field among the UK Top 75.
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. JustEat, Dulux and the BBC are the most loved brands in the 2019 ranking.
Time to shape up
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”.
UK brands perform poorly in all five areas versus the leading brands in other markets. Perceptions of innovation, brand experience and love are particularly low. The chart below shows how the UK’s leading brands rank alongside 11 other BrandZ markets. The scores represented in columns compare to an average score for all brands of 100.
Recipe for better health
When the top UK 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 love.
What’s also clear is that the UK brands outperforming the rest right now on brand value growth are those with a focus on innovation and love.
Top 75 brands with a high innovation score have grown 9 percent faster since 2017 than brands in the with average or low scores. Brands with high scores for love have grown 7 percent faster in that time than those lacking in love.
But UK brands are not particularly innovative or loved compared to the leading brands in other markets.
Making it happen
By innovation, we don’t mean tearing up a winning recipe, fragrance formulation or approach to design. Innovation for its own sake – or so a brand can issue a press release – is not true innovation at all, and could actually be damaging to a brand.
Meaningful, powerful innovation is about staying relevant to existing audiences and appealing to new ones over the long term. It’s about leading a category and offering something fresh and creative – being brave in undertaking something new, and then being bold enough to shout about it, so that the innovation is recognised by consumers.
Love is perhaps a strange term to apply to a brand. While we know that in reality few consumers truly “love” brands in the true sense of the word, fostering an emotional advantage can make all the difference when influencing brand choice. Love is closely linked to innovation, in that it’s often what leads consumers to keep opting for a brand in the gaps between innovations.
CASE IN POINT
Dyson is one of the most innovative brands in the UK Top 75, and its innovations are a key contributor to the brand’s high score for Meaningful Difference. The brand has moved on from bringing a fresh approach to vacuum cleaning technology and has in turn shaken up lighting and beauty (with its Supersonic hair dryer) and is now preparing to transform the business of electric cars. The business now generates profits of over $1 billion.