Is Yours a Most-Desired Brand?

(source: AdAge, May 3rd, 2011)

Adam French wrote this great blog post in Ad Age “Is yours a most desired brand?”.

Adam and his colleagues at Clear looked at what brands were the most desired. They spoke to 17,000 people across the world (United States, the U.K., Germany, Singapore and China)

They hypothesised that a desirable brand should make us think, feel and act differently, they then asked people to respond to statements that referred to each of those elements — for example, “A brand I respect” and “A brand I feel attracted to.”

Here are the top 10 most desired brands (globally)

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. BMW
  4. Disney
  5. WWF
  6. Sony
  7. Mercedes
  8. Rolex
  9. Nintendo
  10. Microsoft

For me what was most interesting in the article (you can read the full article here), was where Adam delves in and examine what makes a brand desireable. Here is what they found:

  • Personality: The foundations of good brand-building still apply: be simple and focused. Developing a brand positioning that is simple, yet powerful, and communicating this in a way that is consistent, creates desire.
  • Brand-building innovation: Brands that scored highly on the desirability scale have innovation that is informed by and builds on the brand’s equities. Look at Nintendo and Wii: When the other console manufacturers were moving to powerful hardware and online gaming, Nintendo stayed true to its heritage and focused on family and in-home multiplayer games.
  • Mission: Across the top brands are a significant number that have a clear mission, from Seventh Generation inspiring a more conscious and sustainable world, to Disney creating imaginative experiences for kids and their families. We see this in the brand personalities that most frequently underpin the most desirable brands: open-minded, considerate, optimistic and confident. Demonstrating clearly what you are doing for the consumer, their community and/or wider concerns is key to desirability.
  • Adapting to new behaviors: the US (and lots of other places) have gone through some fundamental cultural changes that have reshaped what people look for from brands.

They include:

  • Accessible pleasures: Many of the most-desired brands offer pleasure to consumers that can be experienced every day and be shared with others (M&M’s).
  • Community-focused: Whether helping people together through online gaming (PlayStation) or taking care of the planet (Method), brands that “do more” are desirable.
  • Simple: At a time when financial services are generally the least-desirable brands, ING rises above, offering uncomplicated banking (USAA ranks at 40 and ING was 130; the next banks were Bank of America at position 175 and Wachovia at 192. Others were even further down the list.)

Understanding how consumers see you in terms of desire means understanding which levers to pull in order to make yourself more desirable. And, frankly, it pays.

You can read the full article here

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