PARIS: Most consumers around the world would not care if over 70% of all brands disappeared, according to a Meaningful Brands survey that measured consumers' perceptions about whether brands contribute to quality of life.
Havas Media, the media-buying division of the French marketing group Havas, conducted a survey of 134,000 consumers in 23 countries for their opinion about 700 brands and found that only 20% of brands are seen as having a positive impact on a sense of wellbeing.
The company said its Meaningful Brand Index (MBi) was a unique system for measuring the impact of brands on personal wellbeing factors, such as health, financial security and social relationships, as well as perceptions about whether brands help to improve wider society and the environment.
It found a direct link between a brand's MBi score and the level of consumer attachment. Umair Haque, a Havas Media director, told the Financial Times: "A new model for human prosperity is emerging, centred around the idea of human potential and wellbeing."
In potentially worrying findings for marketers, the survey found considerable disconnect around the world, with consumers in Europe and the US saying they would not care if 92% of brands disappeared while only 20% of global consumers believed brands communicate honestly about their social and environmental initiatives.
Consumers in China and Chile were the most active at making environmental, social and ethical considerations when purchasing brands.
Furthermore, brands that scored highly on the wellbeing index did not necessarily overlap with brands that dominate traditional indices based on brand value, revenue or market capitalisation. For example, Apple was ranked 22 on the MBi despite leading WPP's BrandZ list of the world's most valuable brands.
IKEA, Google, Nestle, Danone, Leroy Merlin, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Unilever and Bimbo were the top ten brands, according to the MBi, and Havas suggested that the inclusion of companies like Google and Samsung reflected how technology has empowered consumers.
Havas also found improved ratings for brands such as Pfizer, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen, while financial and energy companies performed poorly.
Data sourced from Financial Times, Havas Media; additional content by Warc staff