Female CMOs Lead In Brands Delivering Customer Experience

Seven of the top 20 brands in the fourth annual Brand Relevance Index (BRI) released Wednesday have female CMOs or heads of marketing.

Netflix at No. 4, Google at No. 6, Samsung at No. 7, LEGO at No. 11, YouTube at No. 12, Pixar at No. 15, and Intel at No. 18 have women leading their respective company’s marketing efforts.

Prophet surveyed 47,845 consumers across the U.S., UK, Germany and China about 800 brands. It partnered with Research Now SSI, a provider of first-party consumer and professional data based on proprietary market research panels.

U.S. retail brands focusing on the customer experience far outrank those that still focus on location, selection and value.

Apple ranks No. 1 for the fourth year in a row in the top 50 relevant brands in the United States. Amazon came in at No. 2, hitting Prophet’s Index with high marks for customer obsession, pervasive innovation and distinctive inspiration. Pinterest followed at No. 3, Netflix at No. 4, Android at No. 5, Google at No. 6, Samsung at No. 7, and KitchenAid at No. 8.

Other notables in the tech sector were YouTube at No. 12, Bose at No. 17, Intel at No. 18, Sony at No. 21, Fitbit at No. 27, and Microsoft at No. 33.

Starbucks continues to drop. In fact, the brand fell 93 spots in this report, landing at No. 153. Increased competition and “flying too close to some of the big social issues,” such as the plastic straw ban, contributed to the decline.

Costco, moved up from No. 32 to No. 39 this year, and Sam’s Club jumped 8 spots to No. 131. Both chains have made investments in a renewed commitment to the customer experience by pushing into online channels. Ikea, Nordstrom and Best Buy, retailers that have all recently posted solid sales gains, fell the most in this year’s Index.

While Ikea received high marks for a place that makes consumers feel inspired, it failed on pragmatic measures, largely due to the overwhelming nature of its stores and the complexities of its furniture assembly. It also earned the lowest score in “is available when and where I need it,” the same measure where Amazon is No.1. Nordstrom, which scored high in its ability to inspire, fell on almost every practical measure, including availability and “I can’t imagine my life without it.”

Other interesting stats from this report points to that fact “American Made” is once again relevant in the U.S. auto market. For the first time, Ford at No. 45 and Chevrolet at No. 47 entered the top 50, joining Toyota at No. 29 and Honda at No. 31.

Chevy built relevance with Millennials through a commitment to bring new technology and connectivity to their cars while fixing reliability issues.

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