Meaningful Brands Outperform Stock Market by 120%

Havas Media

New York, June 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Havas Media's Meaningful Brands initiative is the first global analytical framework to connect human well-being with brands at a business level. It demonstrates, in hard financial terms, how the relationship between people and brands can benefit from measuring, communicating and delivering increased well-being - both on a personal level and for the community. The results released this week from Havas Media's latest study statistically demonstrate that Meaningful Brands outperform the stock market by 120%. Despite this, the findings reveal that this disconnect between brands and people continues with the majority of people still not caring if 92% of brands ceased to exist. While harrowing, the implication for marketers is that there is a huge opportunity to connect with consumers on a deeper level by shifting focus to include a greater emphasis on human well-being.

Key findings:

1. The Meaningful Brands Index outperforms the stock markets by 120% - an outperformance on par with the top hedge funds

2. The majority of people in the US wouldn't care if 92% of brands disappeared tomorrow

3. Only 9% of brands in the US are seen to notably contribute to improving quality of life

4. In the US, 64% of consumers feel that large companies should be actively involved in solving social/environmental problems

5. Family, value/savings, stability/safety and health are the top increasing priorities, while luxury/social status and entertainment are the top declining priorities in the US

Meaningful Brands is unique in both scale - 700 brands, over 134,000 consumers, 23 countries - and scope. It measures the impact of a brand's benefits alongside its impact on 13 different areas of well-being (health, happiness, financial, relationships, community, et al) for a full view of its effect on our quality of life.

Top-ranking brands

The Meaningful Brand Index (MBi) forms the core of the Meaningful Brands framework. In 2013, it shows significant shifts globally in both sectors and brands since its last report in 2011. The global rankings place Google in first place followed by Samsung, Microsoft, Nestle and Sony as the top five meaningful brands of 2013 followed by IKEA, Dove, Nike, Walmart, DANONE, Philips and P&G. This year, half of the top ten brands are technological.

In the US, Amazon and Target are ranked #1 and #2, respectively, reflecting consumers' increasing demand for value. The remaining brands in the top 10 are (in order): Johnson & Johnson, Campbell's, Google, Kraft, Glad, Microsoft, Reynolds and Oral B.

Said Sara de Dios, Global Director of Meaningful Brands, "Technology brands are becoming new personal icons, empowering us to expand our potential. Not only do they make our lives easier, help us become smarter, fitter or enhance our capabilities, they, more importantly, have become aspirational icons. They help people express themselves and connect with others, making people feel better, happier and more satisfied with their lives. Technology brands are becoming more meaningful in our lives because they are the key enablers that help us achieve our full potential."

Brands gaining momentum in this report include: Nike, ranked globally as number 7; Mercedes Benz and Adidas, both ranked globally as number 11; and Dove, which comes in globally at number 6. Brands that continue to flourish according to the Meaningful Brand Index include Walmart, Microsoft, P&G and Samsung, globally, and Hyundai, Kia, Mars and Panasonic in the US (among others). The findings show that companies with higher MBi scores such as these build stronger brands, gaining stronger brand equity, greater preference, loyalty and emotional attachment.

Personal vs. collective well-being

Since 2011, enhancing our individual quality of life and personal well-being has become increasingly important in western economies. In emerging markets, people place relatively more importance on a brand's impact on their community and environment. At the same time, a common growth driver is positive movement in the collective metrics - benefits to the community and environment - in the US. Nearly half (44%) of brands measured in the 2013 and 2011 studies showed a positive lift in their meaningfulness score, with positive movement on community-based metrics being a key driver of this growth.

When looking at the data from the overall top-performing brands, the majority take a holistic approach, balancing and contributing to both our personal well-being as individuals and to the collective well-being of our societies.

Sector trends

Technological brands are becoming increasingly meaningful, not only for making our lives easier but, more importantly, because they help us connect and socialize with others. Panasonic, Apple, Sony, Google, Samsung and Microsoft ranked high in this area. "Functional" (retailer) brands like Target, Amazon and Walmart are becoming more meaningful for democratizing people's access to well-being, enhancing better daily lifestyles and delivering more human value. Perhaps not surprisingly, auto brands, including Hyundai and Kia, are becoming increasingly meaningful for promoting energy efficiency.

Said Umair Haque Author, Thinkers50 member and Director at the Havas Media Group, "Across the globe already, slowing economies are losing steam. This is not a simple crisis but a transformation in the nature of global growth. A new model for prosperity is emerging centered around the idea of human potential and well-being. Human well-being is what matters if economies are to prosper. Meaningful Brands is pioneering because it helps us to understand whether, where, when and how corporations are impacting on people's lives. In this hyper-connected and transparent world, people are more willing and able than ever to punish brands that fail to positively impact their lives. Conversely, those institutions that do build meaningful brands don't just succeed in the short-term; they consistently outperform their rivals and the stock markets in the long-term. The case for Meaningful Brands isn't just about altruism, responsibility or reputation, but the creation of real financial value by delivering what matters economically."

Said Amy du Pon, Global Head of Data Insights, "Meaningful Brands is both our wake-up call and a practical, but inspirational, guide. In order to fix the largely broken relationships and survive in 21st century terms, we need to evolve from our increasingly commoditized world. Relying on incremental marketing dollars alone is not sustainable. The opportunity today is for us to reinvigorate our brands, the role they play and the human value they realize. Learning from the leading brands coming from emerging markets and moving on from the prior practices in developed markets will help achieve tomorrow's success. The results from this year's analysis allow us to redefine current expectations, who achieves them and how to meet. And upon activating the areas of opportunity, we can naturally track and see your business performance meaningful rise."

CONTACT: Tara Vetro Havas Media 646-587-5090

Source: Havas Media