While the list used to be led by Media companies, today, the most progressive Technology companies are setting the pace of change. Besides, the millennial generation are also drivers of this shift, elevating these enlightened companies to the top of the list.
In today's highly social, interconnected and transparent world, people look at everything from the company's stated mission to what the company actually does -- it's well beyond a quality product or service, a striking logo and obligatory advertising campaign. The world of branding has changed; so has effective marketing communications.
Meaning and Substance Drive Profit
The PwC study shows that over the past 15 years, leader brands have grown in value at nearly five times the rate of the average S&P 500 company. The top attributes of these leader brands include real trustworthiness, authenticity, transparency, a focus on privacy, being visionary, and dedication to employee well-being.
To fuel brand equity, PwC believes that savvy marketers must embrace the new rules of leadership in order to develop a roadmap to future success. The key considerations for progressive companies are:
- People admire companies with a distinct culture, one that can be bettered from within, with a management system that allows for the distribution of authority.
- Also, diversifying diversity to include both “inherent” diversity (i.e. a mix of age, gender and other demographics) and “acquired” diversity (i.e. varying life experiences) will allow for the creative combustion of opinions and ideas and bring about true innovation and disruption.
- From insight to foresight, companies shouldn't just benchmark themselves against industry competitors; they should measure themselves against human imagination.
- Leader brands are the ones that commit heresy, consistently questioning conventional wisdom, and actively looking for rules to break and obstacles to leap.
Sixty-six percent of U.S. survey respondents say the importance of acting like a true leader brand is more important today than it was in the past, and they believe leader brands will matter even more 10 years from now.
The technology sector is the most highly regarded category when it comes to brand leadership. Tech companies make up four of the top five spots on the U.S. top 100 leader brands list. Seventy-two percent of respondents say they think technology companies are showing strong brand leadership.
Technology is also the category in which respondents say brand leadership is most critical. Seventy-six percent say brand leadership is an important consideration when making technology purchases.
"While many of the products and services created by technology companies today have become ubiquitous and essential in our daily lives, tech companies dominate the brandscape because they do not rest on their laurels and constantly push boundaries," said Pierre-Alain Sur, technology industry leader at PwC.
The past two decades have been an exciting time to be a leader in the tech sector -- and these companies are poised to pave the way forward -- with innovations that support the new Digital Enterprise Ecosystem, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, which are driving disruption across all industries.