The UK’s most valuable brands have proved their resilience by bouncing back faster than the competition; learning from them provides a playbook for progress in a post-Brexit, late-pandemic context, according to Kantar.
Its UK cut of the global study has revealed light and shade: while British brands have grown by more than a fifth (22%) this is quite a lot less than the 42% growth in value posted by the global rankings, where just one UK brand, Vodafone, appears.
What matters, however, is that it puts evidence behind the marketing rule that strong brands help companies achieve outsized growth – the top 75 brands, for instance, are outgrowing the FTSE 100 as a whole. More importantly when the pandemic hit businesses, the top 75 have recovered far faster, and are now 6% up on the 2019 total value.
The rankings appear at a complicated time for a country coming out of its coronavirus movement restrictions only to find itself beset by global supply chain delays, labour shortages, and the complex effects of Brexit which will continue to manifest in ways expected and unexpected.
“With the advent of Brexit, many British businesses are looking to establish themselves in markets beyond Europe,” says Dom Boyd, veteran planner and Senior Director, Offer and Qualitative, Kantar Insights UK.
“But if they want to compete on a world stage then they need a world class offer. This year’s findings show that British brands continue to trail behind global competitors who have enjoyed a 42% rise in brand value. There’s headroom for British firms to grow but they’ve got to be bolder.”
The question, then, is what does it mean to be bold?
At a launch event held virtually, Martin Guerrieria, Global Head of Research BrandZ at Kantar, explained that the core predictor of long-term success is meaningful difference – a term that the research firm likes to mention a lot. To these he adds salience.
- “Being meaningful is all about being relevant, meeting functional needs for consumers, but also building an advantageous emotional connection versus the competition.
- “Difference is about being literally different and standing out from the crowd in a positive way, but also being seen as a leader and a trendsetter in your particular category versus your competitors.
- “Salience is the simplest of the three. It’s about amplifying meaningful difference, coming easily to mind when consumers are making a purchase decision.”
These brands not only perform better, but their brand value grows faster – with the top third of brands growing by around 200 percentage points versus the bottom third of brands. And these strengths were particularly evident during the pandemic: “brands that have grown since the pandemic began, actually were much more meaningful, different and salient to their consumers to begin with,” explains Guerrieria.
“It also helps answer the question around should a brand pause marketing investment when times get tough? Absolutely not.”
Sourced from: Kantar, WARC