Corporate brands that combine a clear sense of purpose with the ability to deliver a complete brand experience are best placed to thrive in the future, according to the 2018 FutureBrand Index – the major perception study of the world’s biggest companies.
The Index, published on October 9, re-orders PwC’s Global Top 100 – the largest companies in the world by market capitalisation. It uses responses from 3,000 senior business figures from across the globe to measure each firm’s ‘futureproof factor’ – how strongly they’re positioned for future success.
The six attributes are split between the categories of purpose and experience. They include fostering trust, building a strong emotional connection, driving innovation and being indispensable to people’s lives.
Together, the measures produce a ranking, where at the top stand the brands that are judged to have the right qualities in balance to make people want to work for, buy from and invest in them.
US dominant – but China moving up
With 54 of the PWC Top 100 and 13 of the 25 future brands – including the number one future brand, The Walt Disney Company – US firms dominate both the list of today’s successful global companies and the list of those companies best positioned to succeed in the future.
But although there are far more US firms in both the PWC Top 100 and the FutureBrands list than from any other country, both also feature more Chinese firms than ever before, with six of the most futureproofed companies in the FutureBrand Index and 12 in the PWC Top 100. And the company that came second in this year’s list of the most futureproofed brands is Chinese spirits giant Kweichow Moutai.
The 2018 FutureBrand Index is the fourth version of the biennial global perception study produced by FutureBrand, the global brand and innovation company.
The rankings were determined following interviews with an informed global public of around 3,000 respondents who were between 21 and 75 years old, were a mix of men and women, and were all senior business figures or civil servants, skilled professionals or small business owners.
Nick Sykes, President International, FutureBrand, says: “The FutureBrand Index is unique because it reveals the future potential of the world’s most prominent companies. It is not based on assumptions or our opinions but rather it’s a robust view of how these companies are perceived and, as ever, it’s yielded some fascinating results. The Index shows that the brands performing the best, irrespective of which sector they’re in or how well-established they may be, are those that consistently align the totality of the experiences they create with their wider corporate purpose. Comparing this year’s results to previous versions of the Index shows there’s no room for complacency. If brands lose their focus on the balance of attributes they need for future success, they quickly fall down the rankings.”
Of the 25 future brands, 13 are from the US, six are from China (including one from Hong Kong), and one from each of Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Five future brands are from the technology sector, five are from consumer services, five are from consumer goods, five are from financial services, three are from healthcare, and the oil & gas and industrial sectors have one each.