Aldi, Lidl M&S and Amazon most ‘meaningful’ to consumers, says Havas study into 1,000 brands

Amazon has topped a list of the most ‘meaningful’ brands in the UK with 64 per cent of people saying they would care if the retailer disappeared. M&S and John Lewis – viewed as ‘ethical’ heritage brands – followed Amazon, with discount retailer Aldi and Sainsbury’s rounding off the top five.

The study was conducted by Havas and a survey of 300,000 people over 34 countries covering 1,000 brands across 12 industries.

The Meaningful Brands metric is related to how consumers’ quality of life and wellbeing connects with brands at both a human and business level. Specifically, it looked at the role brands play in communities, how they impact self-esteem, healthy lifestyles, connectivity with friends and family, making lives easier, fitness and happiness as well as marketplace factors such as quality and price of goods.

“This year, we’ve tackled one of the big issues for our industry,” said Dominique Delport, global managing director of Havas Media Group. “If meaningfulness is so crucial, how do you measure and create it in a way that CEOs can buy into, and marketers can evaluate? Our 2015 project pulls in data that spans across stock market, share of wallet and marketing KPIs enabling CEOs and CMOs to work together and crack the code to meaningfulness.”

The ‘Share of Wallet’ metric was used to measure the percentage spent with a brand versus the total annual expenditure within its category. For brands that rank highly on the list, spend is on average 46 per cent higher and can be up to as much as seven times larger.

Furthermore, the performance of Marketing KPIs set by top Meaningful Brands can grow at twice the rate of those set by those scoring lower. For example, for every 10 per cent increase in meaningfulness, a brand can increase its purchase and repurchase intent by six per cent and price premiums by 10.4 per cent.

Meaningful Brands were also found to outperform the stock market by nearly seven fold, with top scorers delivering an annual return of 11.76 per cent.

Paul Frampton, chief executive and head of clients strategy at Havas Media, suggested that it's not enough for brands to focus on building brand equity alone.

“People want to connect their lives to brands that make it possible for us to live well and consume better, and that takes commitment to relationship building,” he said.

“Today’s brand valuations are more likely to be built on customer loyalty than brand equity and we see that the ‘citizen consumer’ believes this to be true too.

“Meaningful brands are not only likely to gain purchase preference, loyalty and share of expenditure they’re also more trusted, even in brand agnostic markets like the UK and Germany. Business models can’t be built on efficiency, scale or quality alone any longer. Meaningful Brands have momentum for the future.

“But today only 7 per cent of brands in Europe are seen to make a positive contribution to people’s quality of life – the opportunity is there for many more to seize.”​

Globally, technology brands accounted for nearly one third of the top 50 global Meaningful Brands with Samsung, Google and Sony all scoring highly. Apple meanwhile came in at number 45 on the list.

Starbucks was among one of the worst performers as only 14 per cent of people indicated that they would care if Starbucks disappeared with its tax policy criticism alone resulting in a six per cent fall.

Meaningful Brands list

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