This week, communications giant WPP and research agency Kantar Millward Brown released their 2018 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rankings.

Here we look at what the 2018 results tell us, and what financial services firms can learn from the global leaders.

What is the ‘Most Valuable Global Brand’ research?

The annual index ‘reflects the brands that are integrated into today’s consumer lifestyles’.

It combines interviews with over three million consumers with analysis of the financial and business performance of each company to calculate a top 100 most valuable brands.

Now in its thirteenth year, the rankings show some interesting trends and shifts.

Some of 2018’s key findings

  • The total brand value of the BrandZ Top 100 grew by a record 21% from 2017-2018. Almost $750 billion was added to the ranking, with the firms in the list now valued at $4.4 trillion.
  • China is leading growth, accounting for the three fastest rising brands. China’s brands are growing at double the pace of those in the US.
  • The growth in value has been led by tech firms – eight of the top 10 firms are technology or tech-related businesses.
  • The top five slots are taken by Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tencent, a Chinese internet firm.
  • 2018 is the first year when all categories in the top 100 reported growth.
  • It is also the first year that non-US brands grew faster than US ones, with 14 Chinese firms appearing in the list. In 2006, only one Chinese business (China Mobile) made the cut. India and Indonesia are also singled out as areas showing strong growth.

How do financial services firms perform?

The first financial services firm – Visa – appears at number seven. MasterCard is next at 15, with ICBC (the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) at 22. GE, which includes financial services among its vast panoply of businesses, is at 28, with PayPal at 30.

The other financial services firms on the list include American Express (35), Chinese insurance firm Ping An (43), China Construction Bank (49), HSBC (50), Royal Bank of Canada (52) and Citi (58).

You can see the full list here.

Overall, this ranking shows financial services and related firms in far higher positions than many of the other similar lists we have seen. Interbrand’s most recent Global Brand Rankings, for instance, released last autumn, showed fewer financial services firms in its top 100.

 How can you emulate the best brands?

  1. Explore intelligence-led marketing

The commentary accompanying the top 100 claims that intelligence-led approaches – like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) have ‘allowed many brands to build a more in-depth understanding of their customers and deliver convenience, personalised content and exceptional brand experiences’.

This customer-led marketing is something we’ve identified before as a feature of leading brands. With customers often driving the best innovations, you need to stay close to your clients and contacts to identify and deliver what they’re looking for.

  1. Investigate partnerships 

Partnering with other firms can offer valuable symbiosis – where each business benefits from the other’s expertise, customer base or investments in technology.

The report says that Leading brands continued to raise the bar on expectations for customer experience at every touch point – both online and offline – from trial to pick-up or delivery by seeking strategic, long-term partnerships’.

  1. Have a strong brand presence

Increasingly – particularly in the GDPR-compliant world – you need to deliver something truly valuable to clients and prospects, not just in terms of your products but also your approach, advice and communications.

Whether this is producing engaging content marketing or sharing it via a compliant social media strategy, remaining visible and relevant is essential.

  1. Stay compliant

If you’re a regulated business, nothing damages your reputation faster than a regulatory breach. You need to make sure your approaches to sales, marketing, operations and delivery meet the requirements of the FCA or any other regulator you answer to.

The good news is that it is possible to communicate and innovate without compromising your regulatory obligations.

With financial firms making more of an appearance in this list than in many previous ones, maybe now is the time to explore how the leaders have achieved their success – and whether your business can emulate them.

Source: Perivan Technology

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