The Changing World of Inspirations

07 Nov,2022



By Indrani Sen


Indrani Sen Wunderman Thompson’s recently published ‘Inspire Score: Top 100 2022’ (now in its third year) reflects how people’s ideals and aspirations have been changing with the digital and technical innovations as well as the conditions of the uncertain times that we have been living over the last two years. The Inspire Scores are no longer influenced by the brands’ inherent core values, their relationship with the consumers and their ability to adopt to the changing environment but are influenced by the changing focus in the consumers’ lives, consumers’ wish list for achievements.


According to the report, Inspire is a “proprietary global platform that explores what makes brands inspiring and what inspires consumers, making Wunderman Thompson the world’s leading researcher into inspiration.” Wunderman Thompson has designed the ‘Inspire Score’ based on robust methodologies in order to find out how elevating, magnetic and motivating the different brands are to determine their inspire scores which in turn guide the brands about how they can connect better with the consumers to become more inspirational in their eyes and achieve tangible growth in terms of market share. Within a category, the brands with high inspire scores can charge a higher premium for their products and services enabling them to increase their profitability. Cross category comparisons of inspire scores help in understanding the changing mindset of the consumers.


For the second year running, Google is the most inspiring brand in the world followed by Apple, Samsung and Amazon, who have also managed to hold their positions within the top four. Apart from Nike (37), brands like Adidas (51), Unilever (56), IBM (76), etc. do not even feature in the Top 50 inspiring brands. In the automobile industry, Toyota (16) and Ford (17) lead the pack, followed by Tesla (26), Volkswagen (30), Hyundai (34), BMW (35), Mercedes Benz (38), Audi (43), Honda (45), Nissan (46), Volvo (64) and Mazda (99). The presence of a dozen automobile brands in the Top 100 shows the category continues to be highly relevant to the consumers, though the brands have become comparatively less inspiring than brands in digital, social media and ecommerce categories.


Social media brands have seen strong gains in 2022 over 2021 reflecting their growing importance in people’s lives through social interactions.  Facebook has moved up from 16 in 2021 to 12 in 2022 and the inspiring power of both Instagram and WhatsApp has grown despite various problems. Twitter (83) has gone down the Inspire Score ladder in 2022 due to the controversies surrounding the brand and what the industry has started describing as the “Elon effect”. The Chinese brand TikTok (100) has managed to enter the Top 100 for the first time in 2022.


Streaming brands remain inspiring with YouTube moving up two notches within the Top 10 brands and Netflix’s score has risen from 28 in 2021 to 13 in 2022. Spotify has also moved up couple of notches from 52 in 2021 to 49 in 2022 and Disney+ has entered the Top 100.


It was surprising to find Microsoft has slipped in the inspire score though it has managed to stay within the Top 20 brands. Intel which ranked 87 in 2021, has dropped out from Top 100. The Chinese brand Huawei, a leading global provider of information and communications technology, has gone down the inspire score ladder drastically from 26 in 2021 to 72 in 2022. Does this show a trend where the consumers are taking digital technology for granted and are finding the applications of the technology more inspiring?


In the personal care and beauty categories, Colgate and Dove have gained hugely and have entered the Top 10 in 2022, while Nivea has manged to retain its position within the Top 10 and L’OREAL has slipped one notch from 10 in 2021 to 11 in 2022.


Impulse brands have done well in the post lockdown year, with inspire scores of soft drinks, beer and spirits rising. However, coffee shops and fast-food chains have lost the inspiration momentum which they had during the Covid years.  Except Nestle which continues to feature in the Top 10, other CPG food brands have also become less inspirational.


To sum up,  Wunderman Thompson’s efforts to generate ‘Inspire Score’ year on year would surely help in accelerating globally the growth of marketing investment in the various forms of digital media for reaching target consumers.


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