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Strong brands thrive as confidence grows

Yet consumers are still looking for love

Thank you for joining us as we celebrate the brands that have made it into the second annual WPP BrandZ™Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands ranking.

These are not just incredibly strong brands in Germany, but many are global leaders in their categories, synonymous with levels of excellence that clearly justify what is often premium pricing.

They have grown by being pioneers and innovators – in many cases showing the rest of the world what it means to build innovation not just into a department but into a brand’s DNA. At BrandZ™, we see the clear links between innovative brands and strong, growing brands, and the brands in the German Top 50 provide yet more evidence of the power of innovation.

In this report, we go beyond the ranking itself to understand the varied strengths of the best performers. Our expert analysis covers the many factors that together fuel brand strength and strong financial returns – two key business indicators that BrandZ™ research globally over more than a decade has proved are inextricably linked.

But our analysis of this year’s ranking also reveals an uncomfortable truth: that while consumers worldwide know they can count on certain things from German brands – function, reliability, customer service – there’s something missing, particularly among the biggest brands.

It’s the spark of excitement that comes from feeling real love for a brand. Feeling that a brand is fun to be with; that it shares your sense of humor; that it offers warmth and has emotional, memorable stories to tell.

German brands make sense for consumers, without doubt. People know very clearly why they should buy them, but they are less likely to feel the same deep, emotional connection with the most valuable brands that strong brands from other markets are able to generate.

Head and heart decisions don’t have to be at odds with one another. Think of brands like IKEA and Pampers. They make a lot of practical sense, but they also feel right to many people. They make you smile. In Germany, the most loved brands include Google, Amazon, Samsung and HiPP.

This report doesn’t offer a love potion to remedy the apparent lack of love, but we do explore a couple of the ways in which brands can create the conditions in which love can thrive.

One of the most important aspects of nurturing love is having a clear brand purpose – something a brand stands for aside from making money. This is becoming increasingly important to consumers who have begun to take quality as a given; they want something more that resonates with what they want to say about themselves.

It’s also about providing emotion and warmth at every point where the consumer meets the brand – great stores, packaging, customer service and advertising.

In this report, we look at emerging consumer trends that are shaping new media consumption habits and shopper behaviour, and present insight from across the WPP Group into subjects as varied as winning with Generation Z, reinventing customer care, managing the continued challenges of change, and being a brand in an era of artificial intelligence.

And we shine a light on global citizens’ perceptions of what “Made in Germany” means to them. We present exclusive analysis of the latest data from the “Best Countries” global study, undertaken by VML Y&R’s BAV Group, with partners US News and the Wharton Business School. This captures the views of ordinary consumers and business leaders on what “Brand Germany” represents, and how German brands can use this to their advantage.

WPP has 8,000 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 catalogue is expanding all the time. If you enjoy this Germany 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, Spain, Italy, Australia and South Africa,. All 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.


David Roth

CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia

And Chairman, BAV Group


Twitter: davidrothlondon

Blog: www.davidroth.com