A paper seeking to unearth the underlying factors driving the growth of the world's leading brands was the item in Market Leader which achieved the highest level of popularity this year.

Great brands and the role of ideals discussed a study by Millward Brown, the research firm, which found that brands representing an "ideal" achieved better financial results and had more committed employees than those which did not. (For more details about the most popular material featured on Warc in 2012, click here.)

Pampers, Dove and Emirates were among the brands analysed in this paper, and growth strategies more broadly remained the theme with the second most popular article from Market Leader.

In Forget brand preference, go for brand relevance, two alternative strategies were discussed: ensuring a brand is preferred over its competitors or developing categories and sub-categories relevant to specific groups of customers.

Coming in third place, Business to business: What's different about B2B marketing? explained how FMCG manufacturers can get to grips with marketing to other businesses.

Innovation was the focus of Retail renegades: Blazing the retail trail. This article provided examples of ground-breaking retail strategies in the bricks and mortar retail space that are achieving stand-out in this competitive environment. 

Mobile apps: Possibilities and pitfalls for location-based marketing, making up the top five articles of the year, discussed new opportunities within location-based marketing and provided some words of caution for brands attempting to leverage this channel.

Data sourced from Warc