WPP brand agency Added Value has revealed the results of its second annual Cultural Traction survey which purports to measure cultural relevance as an early indicator of brand success. In the study, Apple led the way as the brand most vibrant in American culture, followed closely by tech brands Google, Amazon, Samsung, Sony and Microsoft.
To produce the latest results, Added Value studied 50 brands across nine broad sectors including apparel, automotive, beer and technology to provide a quantitative understanding of a brand’s relevance in what it calls a market’s cultural zeitgeist.
The ‘vibrancy’ of each brand is measured across four dimensions, each of which represents a statistical clustering of culturally-significant attributes that describe how Visionary, Inspiring, Bold and Exciting (VIBE) a brand is perceived to be by consumers. The degree to which this ‘VIBE’ score changes year-on-year provides a quantitative view of a brand’s Cultural Traction in a market.
“Cultural Traction provides an indicator of a brand’s future growth potential by measuring whether a brand is gaining or losing traction in a market,” says Maggie Taylor (pictured), CEO of Added Value NA. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, brands that are continually executed in a culturally-relevant and vibrant way have the best chance of carving out a dominant position in the minds of today’s consumers.
“Although the study is still in its infancy, and the data set limited to 50 brands, many of whom aren’t publicly traded, we have begun to see a correlation between a brand’s VIBE and its year on year growth in revenue. This supports our belief that a positive shift of a brand’s VIBE score year-on-year is an early indicator of future success for that brand.”
Added Value says the results of this year’s study have been driven by three key shifts in culture: a shift in a brand’s ability to enable people to share and connect around the topics that excite them; a shift in the way brands invite people to participate in the creation and delivery of the brand experience and a shift in the total value brands create and the purpose they serve for people and the world as a whole.
The top 50 are: 1. Apple; 2. Google; 3. Amazon; 4. Sony; 5. Microsoft; 6. Facebook; 7. Samsung; 8. Harley-Davidson; 9. IKEA; 10. Subway; 11. Victoria’s Secret; 12. Coca-Cola; 13. Nike; 14. Yahoo; 15. Pepsi; 16. eBay; 17. Ford; 18. Target; 19. Starbucks; 20. Levi’s; 21. Toyota; 22. Gatorade; 23. TOMS shoes; 24. Chevrolet; 25. Groupon; 26. Verizon; 27. Walmart; 28. AT&T; 29. Hyundai; 30. McDonald’s ; 31. Honda; 32. Crate & Barrel; 33. Chipotle; 34. H&M; 35. Nissan; 36. KFC; 37. Adidas; 38. Corona; 39. Dos Equis; 40. Gap; 41. Twitter; 42. T-Mobile; 43. Bank of America; 44. Chase; 45. Budweiser; 46. Burger King; 47. Sprint; 48. Heineken; 49. Guinness; 50. Wells Fargo.