Our clients have often asked for our perspective on the value of the existing brand rankings. And while there are several other brand lists and rankings out there today, none speak directly to consumers to find out which brands are the most indispensable to their lives – the ones consumers simply cannot imagine living without.

We created the Prophet Brand Relevance Index™ to help business and brand leaders measure the relevance of their brands, and provide them ways to improve it.

How were the included companies selected?

Companies from all industries that contribute materially to household spend in each respective market were included in the study. This data was sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ February 2016 Report on Consumer Expenditures (US), Office for National Statistics’ 2015 Report (Germany), and McKinsey’s Macroeconomic China Model Update for 2015 (China). Within each industry, the companies that were included achieved outsized business performance (MRY revenues and trailing 3-year revenue growth) within their respective industries. In some instances, smaller companies that have been driving change in these industries were also included given their significant traction with consumers. Given the methodology for brand selection, not all brands in every category could be included.

What was the primary research objective?

To understand the principles that great brands execute against — in customers’ minds — in order to establish themselves as relentlessly relevant.

How many brands were rated?

750 unique brands, including 150 global brands and 600 regional brands, were rated across the four regional studies. Brands not included were those in the tobacco and firearms categories and companies engaged solely or primarily in business-to-business (B2B) categories.

What does it mean for a brand to be relevant?

At Prophet, we believe that relentlessly relevant brands do four things well – first, they’re customer obsessed. Everything they invest in, create and bring to market is designed to meet important needs in people’s lives. Second, they’re pervasively innovative. They don’t rest on their laurels, even as industry leaders – they push the status quo, engage with customers in new and creative ways, and find new ways to address unmet needs. Third, they’re ruthlessly pragmatic. They make sure their products are available where and when customers need them, deliver consistent experiences, and just make life that much easier for people. And, finally, they’re distinctively inspired. They’ve made emotional connections, earned trust, and often exist to fulfill a larger purpose.

Does the study build upon Dave Aaker’s IP and points of view on relevance?

Yes, of all the characteristics of a brand, the one that is most necessary for its success is relevance. Dave Aaker’s core point that brands have to create new subcategories and dominate them to the extent that no other alternatives are even considered is central to the idea of relevance. And it’s central to our definition of a relevant brand.