Wine Intelligence CEO Lulie Halstead, speaking at the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands awards ceremony sponsored by Drinks International, on why it’s important to be an admired brand
Wine Intelligence was delighted when Christian Davis and his team at Drinks International asked us to help them with the data collection for the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands award.
For this ceremony, The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands team asked me to spend some time talking, or sharing, some of Wine Intelligence’s thoughts and insights about the topic of brands. Being the nerdy and geeky researcher that I am, I asked myself the question ‘what does admired mean?’ – so my first port of call was to research it.
What I found out was interesting: admired means respect, trust and affection. I rather like the word affection, as it suggests the idea that we can actually have affection. The combination of respect, trust and affection lead to a personal connection – and we all know that in the very complex world we live in today, building personal connections is incredibly important for brand owners.
As well as trying to understand what admiration, or admired, means, I also put on my ‘researcher’ hat to try and understand which other brands are admired by their peers in other sectors. I landed on Fortune’s Most Admired Brands list, which has over 3,000 industry professionals voting for their most admired brands. The number one most admired brand, according to the Fortune list, is currently Apple and number two is Amazon – I won’t go through them all – but interestingly at number 8 is Netflix. And the reason these are all so interesting is because they are all defining a changing world that we live in. 30, 20 and even 10 years ago those companies wouldn’t have been on the list (or in some cases even created).
Why are they admired? These brands are all about changing consumer behaviour:
- Apple is about how we accumulate, capture and share
- Amazon is about how we interact, shop and engage
- Netflix is about how we watch and consume media
The other impact of our changing world is this lovely term, which you might have come across: cognitive off-loading. What that means, basically, is that as humans, our memory function is changing. We don’t need to remember as many things anymore because our phones do it for us. If you’re 50, like me, I’m sure you may still be able to remember a phone number from your past – ie your parent’s landline – because we had to remember these or else we couldn’t call them. Now, we don’t have to remember phone numbers, we don’t have to remember brand names, we don’t even have to remember what brands look like. We don’t even need to know what 12 x 7 is or the capital of Belarus anymore – now we can simply look it up.
Interestingly, throughout the past 10 years, Wine Intelligence has seen the effect of cognitive off-loading on brands in each of the 30 markets we’ve worked in. Our quantitative research shows that consumers’ memory for wine brands is shrinking, making it even more important to be admired than ever before [see more] Therefore, we need to be really good at admiration to stand out and be remembered.
So that’s why the brands that we’re celebrating at the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands ceremony should be even more celebrated – it’s becoming more difficult to become an admired brand in any category, but it is particularly difficult to be an admired brand in the wine category.
Finally, a few last points for brand owners to contemplate within their business:
- Can your consumers remember you? At the end of the day, awareness is the most important driver for brands.
- If you don’t know somebody or something – how can you have a relationship with them?
- Does your target audience trust and respect you and what your stand for?
- And then my personal favorite: do your consumers feel affection for you?
The Drinks International Most Admired Wine Brands awarded Penfolds as the number one Most Admired Wine Brand with Torres coming in second, Villa Maria in third place and Concha y Toro in fourth. More information can be found here
Author: Lulie Halstead