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The power of ideas

The power of ideas

Innovative brands achieve more than a few headlines. Investment in being innovative – and in being seen to be doing so – has a very real effect on the way consumers feel about a brand, and that, in turn, drives brand value.

There is also a powerful link between innovation and brand love, and love makes a real difference to the bottom line. A look at the strongest global brands tracked over a decade reveals that the most loved brands more than doubled their brand value in that time, while the least loved grew by less than a quarter. Love is what helps maintain brand strength in the gaps between innovations.

Investment in innovation makes a clear difference to the dollar value of a brand. In the past year alone, the most innovative brands common to the 2018 and 2019 Top 50 rankings have risen in value by 13 percent, while the lease innovative have, on average, lost value and are down 2 percent.


The range of sectors represented by these brands is a powerful reminder that while it’s often technological innovation that fuels headlines, category is no barrier to creativity and a spirit of can-do willingness to explore fresh ideas – key steps in being perceived as innovative by consumers.

Mind the gap

While the brands in the French Top 50, and those above in particular, are more innovative than most French brands, there remains an innovation gap between French brands and much of the rest of the world.

In fact, the French Top 50 are only 3 percent more innovative than the average of almost 2,000 French brands covered in the BrandZ research. This indicates that even the country’s most forward-thinking and successful brands have considerable work to do if they are to remain globally competitive.

When French consumers are asked about the brands – from anywhere – that they consider to be most innovative, only three of the Top 10 are French. To consumers, British tech brand Dyson is the most innovative brand they know, although home-grown retail star Decathlon is a close second. Netflix, Samsung and IKEA round out the Top 5.

What’s curious is that most of the most innovative French brands – according to French consumers – are NOT in our BrandZ Top 50, generally because they are too small in scale to be included.

These include the banking brands Hello bank!, Fortuneo, Boursorama Banque, Monabanq and BforBank, which are all shaking up their sector by shifting consumer expectations. Also scoring big on innovation but outside our Top 50 are the beer brand Desperados and burger chain Big Fernand, which matches McDonald’s in France for innovation.

This indicates that there are pockets of innovation in France, and that consumers are responding to them. The giant brands that feature in our Top 50 should also be paying attention.