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FutureBrand Index 2018: Tech brands developing technology for technology’s sake

As a younger generation of consumers make their mark, more and more brands are now looking to find their purpose – to align themselves with this younger demographic. Keeping this in mind, FutureBrand Index 2018 has released a global perception study that assesses how future proof the world’s 100 most prominent companies are based on 18 indicators across six key perception categories of “experience” and “purpose”.

Topping the chart this year was The Walt Disney Company which moved up three places.

However tech companies are having a harder time on the ranking.  Facebook, for example, dropped 37 places to 43, while Microsoft, IBM and Alphabet all dropped 10 or more spots. According to the study, tech brands are increasingly perceived to be developing technology for technology’s sake, and are struggling to demonstrate the tangible benefits their innovations bring to consumers’ lives.

Asian brands rising

Alcohol brand Kweichow Moutai, Ping An Insurance and Samsung were also found to be the top Asian brands when it comes to purpose.

Ranked number 2 globally, Kweichow Moutai is a new entrant to the ranking while Ping An Insurance jumped 10 spots to seventh place. On the other hand, Samsung dropped six spots to ninth place.

The study noted that Kweichow Moutai in particular is highly admired by consumers as it is bringing a “highly innovative experience approach” that goes beyond the actual product itself. Consumers are also willing to pay more for the brand.

Also among the list of Asian brands that made the top 100 listing are China Life, Sinopec, TSMC, Toyota, Tencent, Alibaba, Bank of China and China Merchants Bank. China Merchants Bank was also a new entry in the index, making its mark at 23rd place.

Brands to watch

American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. clinched third place, moving up seven spots while Apple, on the other hand, dropped three spots to fourth.  Abbvie, Nike, Naspers and Nvidia all made the top 10 ranking.

Nvidia, China Merchants Bank, Amazon and Tencent were among the top 10 companies listed to be moving ahead in the next three years.

On the other hand, companies such as Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Wells Fargo and Facebook were all listed to be falling behind.

The study said that these companies are defined by their ability to consistently align with the totality of their experiences they create with their wider corporate purpose.  The FutureBrand Index reorders “PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies by Market Cap” on perception strength rather than financial strength.

The brands were divided into industry sectors – consumer goods and services; media and entertainment; technology; healthcare; financial services; premium lifestyle and leisure; industrials, manufacturing and telcos; oil and gas. Among them, Pepsico, Comcast, Nvidia, Abbott Laboratories, AIA, Kweichow Moutai, Verizon and Sinopec were listed as the brands to watch.


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