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Michaela Jefferson 

'Inspiration gap' offers major growth opportunities for brands, says new study

'Inspiration gap' offers major growth opportunities for brands, says new study

Wunderman Thompson has named Amazon, Samsung and Apple the world's most "inspiring" brands, as part of new research which claims to prove a strong correlation between inspiration and brand growth.

According to the Inspiring Growth study, 72% of customers want brands to be "inspirational", but only 53% experience "brand inspiration". This presents a significant "inspiration gap" that offers major growth opportunities for brands, Wunderman Thompson said.

The study defines an "inspiring experience" as one which "begins with an outside event that resonates with a person's values and makes them believe it is possible to reach their goals", adding: "Inspiration feels good and evokes an emotional or behavioural change."

Inspiration predicts 63% of a brand’s ability to drive demand, 52% of brands’ ability to command higher prices, and 48% of brands’ ability to convert customers at the point of purchase, according to the research.

However, a brand’s category has a strong effect on inspiration, with technology brands performing extremely well and financials under-represented.

A significant difference was also noted across regions. Consumers in Brazil are the most inspired by brands, while consumers in the United Kingdom are the least.

“The launch of the study comes at a hugely significant time," said Wunderman Thompson's global CEO, Mel Edwards.

"Brands face immense challenges to grow amongst the economic downturn effects of the pandemic. However, against a backdrop of uncertainty, our Inspiring Growth study unearths the power of inspiration as a strategy for growth, presenting a significant opportunity for brands that perhaps was once overlooked.”

The three-phased study included academic research, a proprietary BrandZ data set studying over 33,000 brands in 183 categories across 45 markets over the past six years, and a survey of 4,000 respondents.

As part of the study, Wunderman Thompson developed a "proprietary diagnostic tool", the Inspire Score, which ranks the top 100 inspiring brands globally.

Amazon topped the leaderboard this year, "motivating millions of people across the world to think differently as they discover and experience new products and services", the agency said. Samsung and Apple followed in second and third place.

Richard Dunn, EMEA chief strategy officer and co-creator of Inspiring Growth at Wunderman Thompson, said: “The Inspire Score has proven to be an excellent predictor of growth and while small brands have a lot to gain from growing theirs, big brands have a lot to lose from letting theirs fall.

"In today’s volatile climate, the study proves that brands can ignite change, making people see new possibilities and compelling them to act on new ideas and perspectives, creating experiences that resonate with a person’s values and motivating people to reach their personal goals. As a result, consumers adopt new behaviours that make them feel good about themselves.”

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