Havas’ Meaningful Brands Survey of Brand Value = Intangible Asset Value

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder, kpstrat

With confidence, readers of ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ recognize there are parallels in the August 15th post ‘Intangible Assets Embedded in Brands and Branding’ and this post (August 17th) ‘Havas Survey of Brand Value = Intangible Asset Value’.

  • Please note, I have no personal – professional connection with – to Havas Media Group, nor their annual survey aside from reading the finding of their 2021 survey through my lens as a business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigator.

Preferably, the intended parallels translate as intended asuseful relevance to-for readers, insofar as drawing more attention to the

  1. contributory roles of intangible assets, i.e., forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual, structural, relationship, and operating culture capital to ‘the various processes associated with – integral to branding and brands, i.e.,
  2. developing, introducing, managing, and sustaining attractive-competitive-lucrative brands for particular – products and/or services.

Interestingly – unfortunately, Havas Media Groups’ 2021 Meaningful Brands Survey of ‘Brand Value’ https://www.meaningful-brands.com describes consumers as entering an ‘age of cynicism’…

  • relative to consumer expectations of companies and of company leadership, ala the holders – sellers of branded products and/or services.

This business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigation specialist concurs with Havas ‘age of cynicism’ characterization by encouraging company leadership – brand developers to consider the probability – eventuality that numerous ‘time honored branding conventions – practices are less relevant, perhaps nearing irrelevance, e.g.,

  • associated with branding, e.g., (brand) introduction, attractivity, competitiveness, deliverable value, and sustainability, etc., will be not only more challenging, but should oblige all to devote more specific attention to,
  • recognizing – characterizing – introducing each brand’s foundational – underlying intangible asset inputs, and
  • acknowledge – routinely differentiate – assess intangibles’ contributory roles and value to (achieving – sustaining) essential missions and objectives.

Commencing in 2009, Havas Media Group has conducted bi-annual surveys (studies) of brand value. Havas’ 2021 survey was conducted in mid-2020 to measure ‘brand meaning’ in (as they describe it) functional, personal, and collective terms. 

Keynote findings – projections of Havas Media Groups’ 2021 ‘Meaningful Brands Survey of Brand Value’ are…

  1. a large percentage of brands could disappear overnight, and most people wouldn’t care, or would easily find a replacement.
  2. a growing lack of trust in brands –– with large percentage (of 2021 survey respondents) conveying little faith that they (the brands) will deliver on their promises. 
  3. consumers are seeking transparency and tangibility (but Havas’ suggests (many) brands are coming up short).
  4. one third of consumers think companies are transparent about their commitments and promises.
  5. cynicism (among consumers) is high, with less than half of brands seen as trustworthy, indicating a large percentage of brands could disappear and would be readily replaced.
  6. there is deepening cynicism (among consumers) along with a ‘growing expectation gap’ in consumer relationships with brands and businesses.
  7. despite this cynicism, consumers are seeking brands that will make a meaningful difference, (with most saying brands should act now for the good of society and the planet).
  8. brand meaningfulness has consistently declined (according to Havas’, since its bi-annual global survey began in 2009).
  9. significant – long-term trend towards consumers seeking authenticity – meaningful, and sustainable action for the good of society and the planet but feeling sorely let down by empty promises.
  10. brand trust is at an all-time low (as measured in the Meaningful Brands study).
  11. approximately half of brands are seen as trustworthy, 
  12. brand) trust metrics around the world are in decline ala 39% of brands are trusted in North America and 24% of brands are trusted in East Asia.
  13. consumer preference to buy from companies with a reputation for purpose, as well as profit.
  14. with more than half (of consumers) indicating they will go even further,
  15. saying they are willing to pay more for a brand that takes a stand, ala authentically take a stand on is something.
  16. indications that consumer priorities shifted during the pandemic – with public health, the economy. and politics at the front of consumers’ minds, and the environment close behind.
  17. globally, the Havas survey finds that consumers increasingly expect brands to strengthen ‘their collective pillar’.
  18. but (acknowledge) doing so comes with risk, e.g., making promises that brands – companies don’t tangibly deliver,
  19. can lead to a ‘trust deficit’ and/or accusations of a new form of ‘csr washing’ (ala ‘greenwashing).
  20. Greenwashing is a term to describe marketing communications activities which some companies may engage to pursue – be perceived as being ecologically sustainable, when they’re not,
  21. which adversely effects their reputation, and is challenging to recoup – recover (according to CBS News)
  22. and, for the first time, Havas’ Media Group reports, their survey ‘maps’ its proprietary metrics to align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (intended) to help brands deliver transparency – tangibility for the future.

As always, reader comments are encouraged and respected. Michael D. Moberly.

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