Pressure growing on leading brands
How to engineer growth in challenging times
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate the brands that have achieved a place in the third annual WPP BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands ranking.
This ranking is our first in Germany to chart a small year-on-year decline in total brand value – mainly the result of economic uncertainty affecting export markets, and fluctuations in the exchange rate.
These challenges are coupled with growing domestic concerns. Employment is at record highs and the national economy is in good shape, yet there is nervousness among businesses and consumers that they remain vulnerable to shifts in confidence and spending outside Germany.
Some sectors are faring better than others.
The automotive industry that is so important to the German economy – as well as such a large contributor of value to the BrandZ German Top 50 ranking - is also dealing with fundamental questions about the future of mobility and carmakers’ role in people’s lives.
In this report, we share some learnings from our global research into automotive brands, as well as some action points for carmakers looking to make the most of expanding areas of opportunity.
The retail sector, which has been adjusting to wide-ranging changes in the way consumers consider, browse, compare and buy, has fared much better. In fact, several of the fastest-rising brands in this year’s ranking are retailers. We’ll look at what these winning brands are doing right.
This year’s overall results underline an important point about the value of investing in a strong and valuable brand. When the pressure is on – as it is now, particularly in service-focused sectors – the strongest brands take less of a hit to their value than their competitors. And they tend to recover more quickly.
Growth , purpose, innovation
In this report, we analyze changing consumer sentiment towards brands in a broad range of categories, and look at how smart brands are identifying spaces in which they can grow.
There are several big, cross-category themes that emerge.
First is the importance of brand purpose. This is something marketing departments all over the world are currently buzzing with – and something that the best and most valuable brands in Germany have been working on for years, if not decades.
There’s insight from across the WPP companies into how to get brand purpose right – moving beyond PR and CSR to make a deep, meaningful and authentic connection with consumers based on genuinely held shared values.
Other subjects addressed by our team include the value of great storytelling in a world awash with stories, and how to turn a brand into a service.
Another big area of focus in this year’s report is innovation. Again, this is a traditional area of strength for German brands, but it’s also one in which the bar for excellence is constantly being raised.
Innovation is an incredibly powerful factor driving strength in brand value, so we take a look at who’s doing it well. Innovation is 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. We show that by being disruptive, creative and by leading their sector, brands can influence consumers’ perceptions of innovation and, ultimately, unlock value growth.
WPP has talented people working in Germany, providing advertising, marketing, research and PR expertise. Our companies work together to provide clients with cutting-edge insights that help position brands for market-beating growth.
The global WPP network now extends to 112 markets, and our BrandZ publications catalogue is expanding all the time.
If you enjoy this German report, I invite you to browse our long-running Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands annual study, as well as our rankings and reports into the leading brands in the following markets: China, India, Indonesia, France, the UK, Australia, Spain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa. We also do a deep dive into the business of shopping, in the Top 75 Global Retail Brands ranking and report. All of these reports are available from www.BrandZ.com and through our interactive mobile apps, at www.BrandZ.com/mobile.
To talk to someone about how WPP’s expertise could help your brand, feel free to contact any of the WPP companies who have contributed to this report. I’d also be delighted to hear from you directly.
CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia Chairman, BrandZ and BAV Group