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8 / INTERBRAND 5 AUTHENTICITY This component is about how soundly a brand is based on an internal capability. Authenticity asks if a brand has a defined heritage and a well-grounded value set, as well as if it can deliver against customers’ expectations. Customers’ desire for authenticity has always been essential, and the recession has only magnified this need. Customers, more reluctant to spend, want to trust the brands they purchase from – and a large part of how brands elicit this trust is through authenticity and a strong heritage. A good example of how this is taking shape is in the luxury sector. This year, the luxury brands that have prospered have been those that have remained true to their core values: brands like Hermès and Ferrari, which limit their production to focus on craftsmanship and deliver on customer expectations. Tiffany & Co., on the other hand, which focused on shifting its value from pure luxury toward “accessible luxury for all” hasn’t performed as well in authenticity over the past few years. Luxury customers interested in making smart investment purchases are instead gravitating towards those brands (Chanel, Hermès, Gucci) that have stayed true to their roots. – Gonzalo Brujó, Managing Director, Interbrand Madrid 6 RELEVANCE This component estimates how well a brand fits with customer needs, desires and decision criteria across all appropriate demographics and geographies. The world is moving fast and brands must keep up in order to stay relevant. Whereas brands once focused on web experiences and online shopping to stay up-to-date, now they are adopting mobile practices to meet customers’ needs and desires. Gap is one brand that has integrated mobile into its brand experience. It has developed a mobile shopping platform called Gap StyleMixer that includes video interviews, social feeds from twitter, and products that can be purchased directly from a device. Additionally, it was one of the first to partner with the app Loopt to enable consumers to win rewards for checking into various locations. Its direct mail catalogs also provide QR (quick response) bar codes that can be scanned with cell phones to get content associated with the product and allow for quick mobile shopping. Overall, the effect is a seamless brand experience – from in-store to web to mobile. And retail is not the only sector using mobile to stay relevant. In the financial services sector, brands like Barclays and Citi have developed mobile banking capabilities to differentiate and keep up with growing demand. – Nicola Stanisch, Managing Director, Interbrand Moscow 9 PRESENCE This measures the degree to which a brand feels omnipresent and how positively consumers, customers and opinion formers discuss it in both traditional and social media. The rise of social media means that brands have new opportunities to elevate their presence. Today’s customers provide feedback online and brands are now expected to respond authentically and quickly to that feedback, or else put the brand at risk. A brand that does this exceptionally well and scores high in presence is Starbucks. While it may have lagged in other areas in the past few years, it continues to get social media right. It integrates many different elements – YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, a blog and mobile – combining them together to create a rich and positive online presence. Central to this is the digital dialogue the brand creates with its customers. This is achieved through a representative in every department, who reacts to the input and output happening online. Additionally, its blog invites the customer to offer feedback and suggestions, which it often integrates into its brand experience. Overall, Starbucks’s effort has improved its brand perception and allowed it to create a deeper connection to customers. – Julian Barrans, Managing Director, Interbrand Singapore

Best Global Brands 2010

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