The age of meaningful brands

Sara de Dios López

Havas Media

Today's successful brands are deemed by consumers to be ‘meaningful’ and there is a direct correlation between a brand's sustainability reputation and its perceived meaningfulness

Most people would not care if two thirds of today's major global brands were to disappear in the future. For brands, this is a stark finding. It came from Havas Media's recently released Brand Sustainable Futures report, which researched over 30,000 consumers’ perceptions and expectations regarding sustainability for over ISO brands in ten sectors across nine markets.

Something is certainly going wrong, and it is not just the economic crisis. It is much deeper and longer lasting. Over recent decades, we have witnessed the accelerated decline and disappearance of big corporations that have failed to compete and reinvent themselves. At the same time, a new generation of radical innovators, including Google, Apple, Walmart, Mercadona, Nike and Unilever, are now making a real difference and creating a vast amount of value for all stakeholders. The majority of firms, however, seem to hover in an uncertain position between these two extremes when it comes to securing their future competitiveness.Will these brands survive in the near future? How will they be able to create durable value if empowered consumers do not really care about them?