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Where Do CEO's Want To Be Ranked Higher?

As every CEO or CMO knows too well today, new media are transforming everything about how your business and your customers relate, e.g., sentiments, reach, perceptions, trends, etc. Technology, commerce, politics, market-share and relevance are all creating a new era of relationships with clients, brands, customers, stakeholders and employees.

Here's how three different global companies rank and index brands based on their success. We have all seen and read the glossy Annual Brand Reports published by Millward Brown/WPP "BrandZ" and Interbrand/BusinessWeek's Best Global Brands.

The "The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands" study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, identifies and ranks the world's most valuable 100 brands by their dollar value, (an analysis based on financial data combined with consumer measures of brand equity) and Interbrand's Best Global Brands (in conjunction with BusinessWeek.)

Interbrand's method for ranking global brands looks at the ongoing investment and management of the brand as a business asset. This means their method takes into account all of the many ways in which a brand touches and benefits its organization -- from attracting and retaining talent to delivering on customer expectation.

Dachis Group analyzes signals from over one hundred million social sources globally and analyzes the performance of the largest global companies and thousands of those companies' brands. The new ranking system is call - The Social Business Index.

The Social Business Index helps companies do a "deep dive" on all things social media. The Social Business Index ranks, in real time, the most socially-active companies on the planet including: Facebook, Google and even CPG companies like: P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberley-Clark and The Clorox Company (it can even be analysed by industry, by business size, by ecosystem, by days and much more. (Dachis had previously offered the data only to companies in the index, but now it's open for all the world to peruse and use as a research tool.)

So, lets see how the three Global Ranking/Index Charts stand up to each other:

Branding Value Rankings vs. Ranking Social Business Index

Pre Social/Web 1.0 Branding & Value RankingsPost Social/Web 2.0 Rank
WPP/BrandZ Top Most
Valuable Global Brands 2011
Interbrand's Best 10
Global Brands 2010
Dachis Social Business
Index Top 10 2011
1 Apple 1 Coca-Cola 1 Facebook
2 Google 2 IBM 2 Google
3 IMB 3 Microsoft 3 News Corp.
4 McDonald's 4 Google 4 Coinstar, Inc.
5 Microsoft 5 GE 5 Walmart
6 Coca-Cola 6 McDonald's 6 Time Warner
7 AT&T 7 Intel 7 Adidas AG
8 Marlboro 8 Nokia 8 Whole Foods
9 China Mobile 9 Disney 9 P&G
10 GE 10 HP 10 Nike

Note: All information current as of Sept. 15, 2011.
Interbrand has not presented 2011 results.

Summary

As you will observe, there are major differences in the three different Polls/Indexes. And, if you were to review the Top 100 Lists for all three groups, you would see some dramatic differences between the "Traditional/Pre Social, 1.0 Web Global Rankings" and the Social Business Index just released (Post 2.0 Web).

A few major thoughts come to mind after doing the research on the different Global Ranking/Index systems:

1. Social Media has created a new generation of influencers, is resetting the hierarchy of authority and improving how we interact and engage with people and customers today. How companies engage today with their customers, employees and stakeholders will ultimately reflect where they will be positioned in the future. Those companies that have more, deeper customer relationships - will win.

2. Social Media has become the great equalizer for businesses and passionate people who want to share ideas, skills and experience. The days when the largest TV brands could win market-share by simply spending more than their competitors are gone. It will be interesting to see the shifts in all three Ranking/Indexes next year. It appears the Polls conducted by WPP/Millward Brown and Interbrand have more "old school" marketers still in the mix.

3. People today want businesses, and their relationships with businesses that are: transparent, authentic, engaging and human. Listening to customers and building communities is critical for all businesses going forward. I hope Sears, Anheuser-Busch, Wendy's/Arby's, Sony and Toyota are listening (not in the top 100 Social Business Index brands). Again, not sure how Interbrands and Millward Brown's result will factor into this equation next year?

4. With the platforms and tools available today to facilitate conversations, listen, socialize media and stories, redistribute and personalize - global brands must build touchpoints in all experiences and engage any where, any time a customer wants to know more about Human Resources (HR), Sales and product development, Finance, Legal, Executive Management, IT or with your Community Manager.

After reading the above findings, American CEO's need to take note and empower their teams in the Social Media future if their brands are to "Thrive and Survive" in the new environment.

2 comments about "Where Do CEO's Want To Be Ranked Higher? ".
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  1. Graham Staplehurst from Millward Brown, September 21, 2011 at 11:25 a.m.

    Geoff, thanks for the thought-provoking article, and for quoting our work on the BrandZ global ranking. It has been interesting to see the new Social Business Index results but also rather surprising and I’m not sure that the results are really comparable with the WPP-BrandZ and Interbrand rankings.

    The Social Business Index (SBI) ranks companies, while the other rankings are of brands – specifically of the financial value of brands to the companies that own them. P&G won’t appear in those rankings, but Pampers, Gillette and other brands will.

    SBI has some surprising inclusions for a global ranking. Coinstar Inc is listed at #4 but I would be surprised if many of the 2-3 billion global online population have ever heard of it. Is it really more active in social media than global brands like Coca Cola, Starbucks and Disney? Social Bakers says they all have more than 25 million fans on Facebook (Coinstar isn’t even ranked). I’m also unclear how SBI covers activity in non-English language. Does it take into account positive sentiment within the activity – things that might drive business and attract customers?

    I honestly don’t think that CEOs will pay much attention to this ranking until it becomes more transparent and the link to the bottom line is established. In the end, the CEO is mostly concerned with what the analysts are saying about company profits, rather than the volume of noise in the online universe.

    The WPP-BrandZ study combines company financial data – future profitability – with consumer attitude data. You’re absolutely right that social media and 360 engagement are growing in terms of the influence on consumer attitudes – and hence on decision-making and sales. It seems to me that, if it’s working well, the SBI is identifying how much business are taking advantage of the opportunity to communicate with customers. WPP BrandZ study shows the net outcome of that relationship, and the impact its having on the bottom line. And in addition to the brand’s online social media presence, we take into account all the offline interactions (face to face conversations, in-store, customer experience and so on).

    Social media has not brought – and won’t bring – a “revolution” in brand-consumer relationships. It’s just an evolutionary step along the journey that started the first time a merchant set up a stall in our earliest civilizations.

  2. Dannielle Blumenthal, September 25, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.

    Respectfully I completely disagree with the statement that "social media has not brought - and won't bring - a 'revolution' in brand-consumer relationships." Social media has completely transformed every aspect of our world, brands included. CEOs who still don't get it are taking quite a risk.

    As far as brand valuation and company valuation go, I applaud any effort to include metrics related to online influence. Re: brand metrics specifically, I have delved into brand valuation efforts in an effort to examine this further (see http://www.slideshare.net/DannielleBlumenthal) but in the end I still think a lot of it is subjective.

    In the end all data released transparently is good data to me. If Dachis has released theirs, then let's see what can be done with it. I personally am most convinced by comparative data showing a change in use either between points in time, or before/after a change in variable (e.g. the introduction of social media to marketing efforts.)

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