Google dethrones Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand
Google has surpassed Apple to be crowned the most valuable brand in Millward
Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 ranking for 2016, valued at $229bn following 32% growth yea ron year.
Apple is now the second most valuable brand at $228bn despite an 8% drop in brand value compared to 2015. The fall is in stark contrast to last year when the iPhone maker’s value grew a staggering 67%, adding nearly $100bn to its worth. There is now a value difference of just 0.3% between the two companies, the closest margin since the study began.
It’s no surprise that Google and Apple continue to fight it out for the top spot given technology is the most valuable category in the ranking, with a combined worth of $1,1trn, nearly three times more than when the ranking began in 2006.
While there are some big winners it’s important to note that the past 12 months have been challenging for many of the brands listed, as the global economy slows.
The combined brand value of the BrandZ top 100 grew 3% this year, compared to 14% in 2015. Combined value now stands at $3.4trn, up from $3.3trn last year.
What marketers need to know about the ANA media transparency report
Media agencies in the US have been boosting their profits by keeping rebates and kickbacks from media buying, according to a new report which found the practice is now “pervasive” among agencies.
The study, carried out by K2 Intelligence for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US, found evidence of a “fundamental disconnect” in the marketing industry regarding the basic nature of the advertiser-agency relationship”.
It says that senior executives at agencies are aware and regularly mandate controversial practices that are often not disclosed to clients. These include cash rebates, rebates as inventory credits and ‘service agreements’ for non-media services such as consulting or research.
Out of the 150 sources interviewed for the report, 117 were involved in the media-buying space with 34 reporting that undisclosed rebates existed. Yet despite this, the ANA has refused to name and shame guilty parties, insisting that “following the money trail” was “not part of its mandate”.
Speaking on a press call, K2 Intelligence’s executive managing director Richard Plansky said the blame cannot solely be placed on the heads of agencies. He said marketers must also step up to the plate.
He added: “There is a responsibility for marketers to do more, not just agencies. Marketers need to be tighter on their agency contracts, have better training to increase their knowledge of the digital media supply chain and take more responsibility.”
Halfords overhauls marketing strategy in search for emotional connection
Halfords has totally overhauled its marketing to put the focus on data, insights and building an emotional, rather than just a rational, relationship with customers in a bid to boost loyalty and drive up sales.
Work on the new strategy began more than 18 months ago when Halfords embarked on its most extensive piece of customer insight work to date. It interviewed thousands of people, both online and offline, to get an understanding of what they thought of the brand and its place on the high street.
The aim was to find a way to reposition the brand so that it meant something to consumers. Marketing director Karen Bellairs admits Halfords had previously only really spent its marketing budget on price and promotion, meaning most customers had little affection for the brand or understanding of what it offered.
“Customers all know Halfords, it has been on the high street for 100 years and there are shops within 20 minutes of every UK household. But they didn’t know exactly what we offered,” she told Marketing Week.
“This all started from a real ambition to make the brand mean something and have an emotional connection with customers. We want to help them understand why Halfords plays a role in their lives, we want a relationship with them.”
Consumer trust in brands on social media falls
Consumers are losing faith in information that brands publish online and on social media as they become increasingly savvy about the myriad of tactics used by marketer to reach them.
According to research conducted by Censuswide for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a quarter of consumers (25%) claimed to have seen a fake online review, up from 17% when the survey was last conducted in 2014. Some 21% also say they have seen a brand incentivise customers to share positive comments on social media without making it clear to other users (up from 14% in 2014), while 16% said they had seen brands pay someone for promotion without declaring the payment.
The research comes on the back of some high-profile examples of dishonest use of social media, including both Procter & Gamble and Mondelez having content banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for not making it clear a vlogger had been paid to promote products.
“This has led to consumers querying if what they are seeing is genuine. There is growing awareness of certain practices out there, brands should be wary,” says CIM CEO Chris Daly.
|Channel||% of people who had little/no
trust in 2014
|% of people who have little/no
trust in 2016
The lack of trust is also filtering through to the social platforms brands use. Some 30% of consumers say they now have little or no trust in brand information they see on Facebook, up from 20% in 2014. That increase is matched at Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Camden Town Brewery launches first major campaign
Camden Town Brewery is launching its first above the line campaign since AB InBev acquired the business in December last year. While the takeover news was met with widespread criticism within the craft community, the brand’s managing director Mark Turner insists the brand has remained independent.
Camden Town Brewery started out as a small craft lager brand in 2010. In December last year, however, the brand was bought by alcohol behemoth AB InBev, which also owns brands such as Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois.
At the time, the news was met with a backlash from the craft community. James Watt, founder of craft beer group Brewdog, criticised the brand for selling out and said Brewdog would no longer stock any Camden Town beers in its bars because it does not sell drinks made by AB InBev.
Camden Town Brewery, however, insists that is has managed to keep its creative independence. Managing director Mark Turner says: “That initial negative reaction has died down. People thought we’d be absorbed by AB InBev, but clearly consumers have seen we’re still the same. While some people you can’t convince, a lot of people, particularly from a customer point of view, like the fact you have a clear future.
“It’s simple – we couldn’t have grown without the investment in a new brewery and it had to come from somewhere. Most people are pretty pragmatic and believe that as long as we keep our values you can’t penalise us for being successful.”
Mark Turner, managing director, Camden Town Brewery
The brand is now launching its first above the line (ATL) campaign in a bid to bring the beer to the masses. The London-based activity will see the brand focus on out-of-home and sampling. Turner explains: “When I joined the brand four months ago, I did a consumer survey. While 89% of consumers would recommend the brand to a friend, awareness stands at 18%. It was very clear that people loved our product but that they needed to try it.”