Top "cross-cultural" brands named

16 December 2013

NEW YORK: Subway, McDonald's and Chase are among the leading "cross-cultural" brands in the US, according to a study.

With the US Census predicting that 80% of population growth over the next five years will come from what have traditionally been known as minority groups, the analysis identified which brands are nurturing connections with non-Hispanic White, Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American consumers.

The Brand Cross-Cultural Index (BCCI) – a joint study from WPP Group's Millward Brown, the market research group, and communications agency Ogilvy & Mather – also incorporated “Brand Power”, a predictive model of brands' volume share based purely on perception, not activation.

Powered by Millward Brown's BrandZ brand equity database, the analysis assessed 58 brands across three industries – quick service restaurants, retail banking and beer.

It found that Subway, the sandwich chain, had the most meaningful connection with consumers across most segments, placing it first in the BCCI rankings on 139 points.

McDonald's, also in the quick service sector, logged 130 points, and performed especially well with multicultural consumers. Panera Bread, another player in the QSR category, posted 125 points.

Chase led the banking charts, and claimed third place overall, on 123 points.

Brands identified as having room for growth with the Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American segments included Arby's, the restaurant chain, Samuel Adams beer and PNC Bank.

Taking the example of Arby's, the report said it could grow its revenue by as much as $334m if it was able to create a heightened connection with ethnic consumers.

Elsewhere, even though a brand like Corona beer had a particularly strong “Brand Power” rating among Hispanic consumers, it was ranked second in the overall BCCI ratings in its industry because of a discernible appeal to other ethnic groups, too.

David Burgos, Millward Brown's vice president of cultural strategy, said: "Marketers eager to grow brands in this diverse and evolving marketplace are in need of tools to support their decision-making process, and the BCCI will help them pinpoint growth opportunities."

Ogilvy & Mather produced a cross-cultural report in October 2012, which challenged accepted ways of marketing to minority audiences and sought to explain how brands could develop a new approach towards building brand value and relevance.

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff