Brands that are strong communicators and innovators, perceived to be meaningfully different and that generate a clear sense of momentum in times of ‘uncertainty’ are growing their value faster than other UK brands, Kantar’s latest BrandZ ranking of the UK’s 75 most valuable brands reveals.
While many of the biggest brands are struggling to grow their value, there are a handful from a variety of categories experiencing strong growth, showing that it is possible to drive brand value in any sector with the right strategy.
Deliveroo is 2019’s fastest riser, having grown its value by 54% over the last 12 months to $1.4bn, putting it 50th in the list. It is followed by Costa Coffee with growth of 48% putting it at number 47 with a value of $1.5bn; BrewDog, which has seen its value increase 40% to $1.2bn (putting it in 57th position); and Ocado and Innocent on 35% growth.
While this group of brands are not especially salient, according to BrandZ, they over-index on ‘meaningful difference’ compared with the other 65 in the ranking.
For example, the fastest risers score 116 on their communications and 113 on innovation, while the remaining brands score 107 and 103. On difference, the fastest risers score 123 compared with 106, and on dynamism they score 111 compared with 102.
Deliveroo’s entire business is focused on innovation.
Ines Ures, Deliveroo
“To increase your perceptions of innovation and to increase that emotional connection, ultimately you’ve got to have that channel open to consumers and actually speak to them,” Martin Guerriera, global research director at BrandZ, tells Marketing Week.
“It sounds obvious, but the strength of the communication of these 10 brands is much better than the strength of communication of the other 65 brands. You need to be brave in these austere times and actually invest in communicating with consumers, otherwise you will gradually lose relevance, and we are seeing that in numerous categories.
“Without communicating, it’s very hard to establish that point of difference and maintain that momentum.”
The likes of BrewDog and Deliveroo have upped their investment in big brand campaigns significantly this year, showing they recognise the need to spend above-the-line to differentiate from their competitors.
Both brands’ ability to innovate at speed has also no doubt played a big part in fuelling their growth and elevating their presence on the global stage.
“Deliveroo’s entire business is focused on innovation, whether industry-firsts like Deliveroo Editions and our subscription service Deliveroo Plus, or being the first company operating in the gig economy to offer all riders free insurance,” says CMO Ines Ures, speaking to Marketing Week.
“Innovation fuels our growth, but we couple this with an analytical and educated approach to how we can best serve our riders, restaurants and of course customers. The global food delivery industry is still in its infancy but we’ve set ourselves up to big goals. At Deliveroo we’re on a mission to become the definitive food company.”
Costa, meanwhile, is seen to be in a disruptive position since it was bought by Coca-Cola last year, while Dyson is very strong in consumer perceptions of difference and innovation, which Guerriera says is “definitely influencing consumers’ decisions”.
At a time when many retailers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change, online-only businesses such as Ocado and Very show that being able to meet consumer needs through convenience and a seamless shopping experience is a key driver of growth in the UK.
In fact, without these two brands the UK retail market would actually be down in value by 1%, and not up the 3% recorded.
While it would be unfair to compare Ocado and Very directly to legacy retailers with a bricks-and-mortar presence and very different financial circumstances, it still adds to the mounting evidence that brands can no longer rely on fame and saliency alone.
As Guerriera says: “Move with the times or die. You’ve got to retain relevance.”