T3, an independent creative agency, has revealed the results of their Useful Brand study, designed to identify what consumers currently find most useful about brands. As hard as it it to believe, Apple only ranked 32 in the top 50 list.
Ben Gaddis, chief innovation officer at T3, says the Useful Brand study sought to determine how brands can work to close this gap and who is currently doing it best. A panel of 5,500 consumers was interviewed for this first Useful Brand study. The study culminated in what T3 refers to as the Useful Brand Score, which is like a FICO score for brand usefulness. The Useful Brand Score is specifically designed to develop a more comprehensive business solution for brands—as opposed to a singular element such as just marketing, service or operations.
T3 found 14 different, specific expectations that brands must address in order to be considered truly useful to consumers. These include: association, value, trust, friendliness, confidence, safety, quality, efficiency, ease, consistency, availability, empowerment, innovation, and customization. These 14 elements are weighed to make up a brand's Useful Brand Score.
Usefulness differs by industry and offering, also by the age of the consumer and other demographics. Millennials' rankings of the most useful brands were much different from their older counterparts. For example, millennials rate Google as the #1 most useful brand whereas Boomers and Gen Xers are loyal to Amazon. LEGO, PayPal, and Netflix are also in the millennial top 5.
So who’s ahead of Apple? Amazon, Band-Aid, Google, Kleenex, Visa, UPS, FedEx, Home Depot, Microsoft, Quaker Oats, Windows, Clorox, PayPal, Hanes, Whirlpool, Glad, Campbell’s Soup, Lowe’s, Oral-B, Crest, Sony, Kenmore Appliances, GE, Cheerios, Bose, HP, Jell-O, Maytag, and Tide.
Okay, I can see how Band-Aid and Hanes might top Apple (I often need a Band-Aid and I never go commando). But Microsoft, Sony, HP, and Jell-O?