Increasingly Important

The marketing-world has just come up with a new way to select promising stocks.

Landor, a strategy-company in San Francisco, views an ‘Agile Brand’ as an indicator of strength and financial success.

Agile brand?

According to Landor’s first ‘Global Agile Brand Study’, there are six qualities, that sets apart the 10 most agile brands from others: adaptive, global, multichannel, open, principled, responsible.

Let’s have a look at the ranking of the 10 most agile brands:

1. Samsung: According to Landor, Samsung lives its mission to make the world a better place through technological innovation. That innovation shows through in its computers, smartphones, and TVs, as well as through its applications.
2. Android: Android’s tagline, “Be together. Not the same.” guides the designs of everything from its operating system to its component for wearable tech, Landor says—all with the aim of helping end customers use Android products in ways that suit their personal preferences.
3. Wikipedia: The world’s largest crowd sourced encyclopedia is available in more than 291 languages and has more than 440 million users a month.
4. Google: Far more than the leading online search engine, Google weaves innovation into tech-focused products such as Google Glass and self-driving cars, Landor notes.
5. Dyson: From high-powered hand dryers to high-end vacuum cleaners, Dyson is a global powerhouse whose products are known for their quality and design. The company has 1,000 engineers worldwide dedicated to innovation.
6. Apple: The global tech company has stayed true to its core mission of simplicity through innovation in everything from the Apple Watch to the iPhone to the MacBook. Plus, it’s set the standard for customer experience in such diverse areas as music, retail, and telecommunications.
7. YouTube: The online video platform has become far more than just a place for users to share videos; it enables everyday people to become social media personalities who are a new type of celebrity—in some cases popular enough to attract brand sponsors.
8. Microsoft: There are companies that have boasted a market-leading position like Microsoft that are gone today because they got complacent. Not Microsoft, according to Landor. The tech giant adapts to consumer demands, course-corrects when products miss the mark, and continues to innovate to stay relevant.
9. Ikea: In a list of tech-centric leaders, furniture and home décor behemoth Ikea stands out by staying true to its promise of helping customers create “happy everyday lifestyles.” One way it does this is by being a global brand that’s locally relevant, offering different products and services based on the needs of the region it’s serving.
10. Disney: Creativity and imagination have been Disney’s mainstays, and, according to Landor, those qualities enable the brand to stay agile and innovate. Everything from enchanting movies and thrilling theme parks, Disney remains true to its brand promise of delivering magical family experiences—doing so today with technologies such as the wearable MagicBand and the MyMa.

Now, I am not a marketing- or brand expert, but this agile-brands-approach is worth to consider, when selecting stocks.
It seems, that these factors could become increasingly important for customers, especially among ‘millennials’ and thereby for the financial success of a company.

The fact, that for instance Facebook is not among the top ten, while Alphabet has no less than 3 top positions (you tube, Android and Google) is interesting.

A closer look into the study reveals, that Facebook lacks trust, as this quote of a participant demonstrates.

‘I don’t think Facebook is being truthful about how it uses my information—and this concerns me.”

The preference of Alphabeth over Facebook underscores the view I have based on strategy or future revenue- and earning potential (see chapter 9).

3 companies in the global top ten of agile brands are private (Dyson, Ikea, Wikipedia) and not much of an investor’s concern.

Among the publicly traded corporations – Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Disney – as an investor I would prefer Disney and Apple over Samsung and Microsoft.
Why? I bet on Apple’s innovation and Disney’ pricing power. One example: The admission fee to visit ‘Disneyworld’ in Orlando jumped from 80 USD five years ago to 105 USD, attendance is nonetheless constantly rising. And the theme park business at Disney most likely will provide new record numbers in 2016 as well with the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort in spring.

Conclusion: Disney and the ‘Triple A’ (Alphabet, Apple, Amazon) could be a four-leaved clover at the markets in 2016.

Speaking about ‘Triple A’. Rating agencies will most probably never make it to a top-ten brand list. But they move billions with their decisions. How? Find out in the next chapter:

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