Only 20% of brands make a significant effect on people’s well-being, Havas Media’s Meaningful Brands study finds

Brands deliver tons of products and services across the globe, but do they really contribute to making people’s lives brighter? In June, Havas Media released its annual Meaningful Brands index (MBi) outlining a positive impact of brands on people’s lives. The study comes as a unique framework to “analyze and track the connections brands have with our quality of life and well-being,” as the global media expert explains it.

For the MBi, Havas Media has analyzed the performance of 700 brands, over 134,000 consumers, in 23 countries. The goal was to measure the positive activity and the benefits delivered by the brand in 12 key areas of our life: health, happiness, financial, relationships and community to name a few.

The study offers the global MBi and a factsheet, as well as separate indices for the 7 selected countries: the UK, the USA, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The top 5 “meaningful” global brands are Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nestle and Sony. Nike, Mercedes Benz, Adidas and Dove are following them, while Walmart, Microsoft, P&G and Samsung continue the leadership in their particular industries.

While the top-performers vary in each market, tech brands dominate on the global scale. The Meaningful Tech Brands Index for the UK, the only specific study of the technical sector, ranks Google as the most meaningful, followed by YouTube, Facebook, and Skype. The study outlines two types of score—positive and negative—for each performer. For example, “Google’s scores are outstanding on improving our well-being with its positive impact on our organisational skills, our intellect, our finances and our social and emotional well-being, although these high scores drop (to number 61 in the UK) when we look at its impact on our community, the economy, environment, governance and ethics.

The report shares some consumer insight on the “meaningfulness” of global brands. As researchers found, the majority of consumers wouldn’t care if 73% of brands vanished, and just 20% brands in the world are considered to have a meaningful positive impact on people’s lives. The study also reveals that in Western Europe and the US only 29%/28% of consumers believe that brands work hard to improve people’s quality of life, and just 21% of respondents in these markets feel that brands communicate honestly with them. Globally, 32% of surveyed people think that brands are truthful (compared to 50% in Asia).

The full report along with detailed infographics and rankings by country can be viewed here.