Tuesday, 16 November 2010


I’ve been spending time recently thinking about the brands of the future and what they’ll look like. This has been helped by a recent survey.

The Times of October 15th published the Populus/YouGov list of the most influential brands. I’ve compared 2007 and today to see what’s changed in the “top ten”.

John LewisTesco
AmazonJohn Lewis
Co-op GroupGoldman Sachs
Co-op BankMcKinsey

In 2007 we were in the Vienna days of those good times before the economic war, so the reputational demise of Goldman Sachs and McKinsey since then isn’t so surprising. Virgin, M&S and Tesco are perhaps punished for their failure to keep up with the way people see the times and Microsoft and Tesco, I suspect, for being so big and bullying. But apart from John Lewis and the Co-op the “go-go” brands are young, all post war creations. Ten years ago half of them would have been establishment brands like Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Ford.

The big news is from the “we stand for an attitude to life and employees – employees always coming first” – John Lewis and the Co-op. Look at the Innocent website and you’ll see that they live in this same world of celebrating its employee/partners and its ethics (yes – good for them – they actually use that word).

The somewhat unworldly Co-op evoking as it has done a patronisingly sniffy “room-for-improvement” response from many marketers proves the power of staying true to principles and putting substance before style.

So welcome to real and sustainable brand values if you want to be taken seriously and maybe great product values too.

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