FutureBrand published their FutureBrand Index 2016. The ranking is based on the hypothesis that there is a considerable difference between the perception and financial performance of companies. In order to prove this hypothesis there is a survey among 3,000 members of the so-called ‘informed public’ (i.e. people in professional jobs, including top leaders and managers – in 17 countries around the world). They were asked to rate the global top 100 companies by market capitalization (based on PwC Global Top 100 Companies by market capitalization) on 18 attributes.
In the 2016 edition there are nine new entrants like the Google holding company Alphabet, Starbucks and Deutsche Telekom. Nine company brands are not included in the ranking, among others Volkswagen, Astra Zeneca and Banco Santander. This is due to a drop out or entrance in the PwC Global Top 100 Companies list. Apple makes it to the pole position of the ranking followed by Microsoft and Samsung. In the 2015 edition Google was in the first rank. It would have defended the pole position if there had not been the foundation of the holding company Alphabet which is on #21, an impressive rank for a newly founded company.
FutureBrand identifies some other key findings in its ranking. Firstly, according to FutureBrand, the so-called ‘future brands’ have a measurable competitive advantage compared to other brands. These brands are characterised by an outstanding balance between a strong perception of their purpose and the experience they deliver. Therefore they are more likely to succeed in the future. Brands like Apple, Microsoft or Facebook have been identified as ‘future brands’ for a longer time whereas e.g. Amazon, Nike or Alphabet only have been ‘future brands’ since the 2016 edition. Secondly, FutureBrand states that banking brands like Berkshire Hathaway or the China Construction Bank are gaining ground after the losses during the financial crisis whereas the perception of tech brands decreases. Thirdly, there is a perception increase of 8% in Chinese brands with 10 companies from China in the ranking.
We have assessed the 2015 edition of the FutureBrand Index in a detailed Rated Ranking. In our opinion it is a useful ranking because of the robust survey it is based on. It is also a great service that all companies listed can be compared versus peers in all dimensions surveyed in an interactive radar map. But it also has some flaws. For example, it is questionable whether the 18 dimensions used to define the best “future brands” are appropriate. Overlaps in the connotations of the above mentioned dimensions “respect”, “trust” and “authenticity” raise some doubts. Unfortunately, FutureBrand does not reveal the questions behind their 18 dimensions. The ranking is not representative as there is only one – albeit important stakeholder group – surveyed. There is no new assessment in 2016 as the methodology remains unchanged. Ratings of many major brand and reputation rankings can be found here. Please click here for the FutureBrand ranking site.