FutureBrand Index 2015
The “FutureBrand Index”, provided by the brand consultancy FutureBrand, is based on the assumption that there is a difference between perception and financial performance of companies. To confirm this assumption, 3,004 members of the “informed public” – i.e. people in professional jobs, including top leaders and managers – in 17 countries around the world (among them the US, Germany, UK, France, Japan, China and South Africa) were asked to rate the global top 100 companies by market capitalization on 18 attributes, e.g. “Trust”, “Respect”, “Authenticity”, “Personality” and “Innovation”. To avoid a bias for the well-known consumer brands over the less known B2B brands, only respondents were surveyed that are aware of the companies in question.
Unsurprisingly, FutureBrand’s results confirm that financial value and past performance are no guarantees for being perceived as highly reputable brands. Furthermore, the consultancy firm claims that they “also demonstrate that organizations with the strongest perceptions by our measures have a quantifiable competitive advantage and are more ‘future proof’ than their peers”.
Although Apple – according to PWC Global Top 100 Comopanies by market capitalisation – is the most valuable company in the world by financial measures, Google makes it to the top of the FutureBrand Index for the second year in a row. This year, Apple did move up a few spots to take the number two slot, coming in the strongest in the trust category. Biopharmaceutical giant Abbvie, whose products include drugs for cancer and age-related disorders, leaped into the top five from last year’s 20th spot.
In general, compared to previous years, tech companies are still strong, with Microsoft and Samsung also making it into the top ten. But healthcare companies have moved up the charts: Three health-related companies in the top 10, including Abbvie, Gilead, and Celgene. According to an accompanying article of “Fast Company”, this is “in line with the emerging theme of companies that help humans fulfill their potential being more heavily rewarded in the 21st century. An aging population in the U.S., Japan, and several other major developed economies may also play a role”.
Summarizing, “FutureBrand Index” is a useful ranking with some methodological 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. Due to the fact that the survey was answered by one – albeit important – stakeholder group, the informed public, it cannot be said that the results are representative for the entire societies and all key stakeholder groups in the countries surveyed.
On the other hand, the ranking should be applauded for its relative large sample (3’000 respondents) in 17 important markets. It is also a great service that all companies listed can be compared versus peers in all dimensions surveyed in an interactive radar map. And comparisons and developments over time are also possible. The Top 100 list is accessible here.
– 11 points –
– 13 points –
– 9 points –
– 9 points –
– 42 (out of 60) –