Identifying the champion brands

February 2013

APCO Worldwide, a global communication strategy firm, has measured the “brand strength of nearly 600 of the world’s largest public and private companies. The Champion Brand Index measures those brands that APCO judges to have most successfully aligned “their business strategy, vision and values with the shared interests of their stakeholders”, according to Margery Kraus, founder and chief executive officer of APCO Worldwide. Promising a “corporate brand-building model for the 21st century’, APCO surveyed more than 70,000 people in 156 countries. Their survey’s model centres around “the four A’s”: “Alignment: meeting stakeholders’ most important expectations; Authenticity: acting in a way that is consistent with what a company says; Attachment: the extent to which stakeholders connect emotionally with a company; Advocacy: advocating on behalf of stakeholders’ interests, applying unique expertise and assets to add value to society.” According to Bryan Dumont, president of APCO Insight, “Companies that perform well against all of the 4 As move from being good corporate brands to becoming Champion Brands, and Champion Brands are winning in this new environment.” One of the discoveries heralded by the survey is ‘stakebrokers’, a group of unusually proactive influencers who “engage with companies from the perspective of, and with the interests of, all of the different traditional stakeholder groups simultaneously: consumers, community members, environmentalists, policy influencers, employees and investors.” By having a fully-rounded view of the practices, policies and  behaviours of companies, these ‘stakebrokers’, says APCO, are “ a company’s surest path to becoming a Champion Brand.” The top 50 of these Champion Brands are listed below: from a European perspective, four German-headquartered firms – BMW, Bayer, Volkswagen and Siemens – feature in the global list, as well as Michelin from France.
 
Taken from APCO Worldwide, Champion Brand Index 2013

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