Best Practices: Building a Successful and Trusted Brand

We recently published the 2010 ranking of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands done by Millward Brown Optimor.

Today, we take a look at the Best Practices needed to get your Brand to the Top 100. As we informed, no Latin brands are in the Top 30 as the first one is Banco Santander, ranked 31. Movistar (Telefonica) is the second Latin brand in the 60thposition. Let’s see which are the must and must not actions in order that marketers can build a great brand.

In each of the 17 categories* surveyed for the BrandZ Top 100 report, brands struggled with cautious spending in developed markets while enjoying a more enthusiastic reception in emerging markets. Last year was not an interlude. Spending caution signalled a sustained shift in consumer attitude.

In addition, these changes occurred as consumers became well-informed brand advocates and critics, fortified with knowledge about price, product, and supply gained from searching the Internet and sharing information on Facebook and other social networking sites. This democracy of commerce superseded the sovereignty of companies. Brand leadership required sharing some power in order to retain any power.

A shift in values

Brand leadership also depended on honest ongoing communication and collaboration between consumers and brands to understand and process the key changes and trends shaping the post-recession world, which included:


This issue touched every product category. Oil & gas brands explored for reserves while seeking long-term solutions for protecting the environment and maintaining public and political support. Carmakers promoted hybrid and electric options. Retailers pressured suppliers to reduce packaging to minimize waste and increase efficiency.

Social Responsibility

Social responsibility became a critical factor, a “bolted-on,” if not “baked-in” aspect of brand. Brand leaders aligned with popular causes to satisfy the post-recession consumer’s need for both a purpose beyond spending and permission to spend.


Brand leaders in fast food and bottled water (what we put in our bodies) and personal care (what we put on our bodies) responded to the increased consumer concern with health. Fast food brands upgraded their menus. Bottled water brands stressed the importance of hydration, and personal care brands removed potentially harmful ingredients from products. In other categories, like coffee, brands also looked for health benefits.


Banking and car brands felt an especial erosion of consumer trust. No category was immune, however. Leading brands sustained a strong bond with customers because they were both trusted and recommended, according to “Beyond Trust: Engaging Consumers in the Post-Recession World,” a new BrandZ report produced last year. (See box right.)


Being able to personalize the brand experience is of increasing importance to consumers and is becoming a point of difference for some of the most successful brands. The trend is most apparent in technology. Google enables people to create a homepage based on individual preferences. The myriad apps available for Apple’s iPhone add unique qualities to a mass product. With Ford’s Sync system, developed in collaboration with Microsoft, drivers use voice activation to access their music and other information while on the road.

Reinforcing trust is vital

That’s the conclusion of a new report called “Beyond Trust: Engaging the Consumer in the Post-Recession world.” Based on BrandZ data, and produced by Millward Brown and The Futures Company, the report found that consumers, changed by their experience during the financial crisis, take a more sober and responsible view about their material wellbeing. While people still aspire to better lives, they’re re-evaluating what’s really important.

Trust becomes even more essential for a brand when consumers are more selective, even sceptical, in their purchasing. Trust is the consumer’s belief, cultivated over time, in the efficacy and reliability of the brand. There’s a vital second component— recommendation. Recommendation is the consumer’s belief, grounded in recent experience, that the brand continues to perform consistently and fulfil its promise.

Brands’ success today requires Trust plus Recommendation. It resulted in a new metric, the TrustR score, for helping brands realize their full power. In 24 countries studied, the brands with the highest TrustR score enjoyed these advantages:

• A customer bond 10 times greater than the average.

• Likelihood of being purchased nearly seven times greater than the average.

• Likelihood of short-term, market-share growth.

Most important, the BrandZ data revealed a high correlation between TrustR and brand value. Trust and Recommendation together drive incremental brand value.


*The ranking values brands from 17 different categories: apparel, beer, bottled water, cars, coffee, fast food, financial services, gaming, insurance, luxury goods, mobile operators, oil & gas companies, personal care, retail, soft drinks, spirits and technology. Through coverage of developed and emerging markets, it provides detailed insight into the sources and drivers of brand value, both today and in the future. A new category added this year, oil & gas companies, has replaced motor fuel.