My dream team of brands

I was honoured to participate in a panel discussion this week at the launch of the WPP BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018. One the questions asked was "If you were creating a dream team of brands, what team of brands would you select and why?"

It's a really great question, as in considering the team, I started to think about the attributes of what makes a brand truly great. And for me that's a mix of a compelling story showing the "why" not just the "what" of what you do, together with the desire to deliver an amazing experience built on knowing there's a better way to do things.

So here was my answer:

  • TESLA for the MISSION. Not quite yet impacting the average consumer's life, but nonetheless a company with big, bold ambitions. Tesla’s mission statement was “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.” However, in mid-2016, under Elon Musk’s leadership, the company changed the corporate mission to “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Who doesn't want to be inspired when dealing with a brand. It shows desire, big thinking and ultimately appeals to our emotional side.
  • SPOTIFY for DISRUPTION. My formative years were spent buying records, cassettes and CDs priced at £10-£15 for approx 9 songs. I could likely 60 albums or 540 songs a year at a cost of around £600. Along comes spotify and disrupts this hugely inefficient supply for the consumer and delivers 40 million tracks for approx £120 per year. That's disruption. And all delivered across any device at any time.
  • SONOS for DESIGN. Boy do I love Sonos. Again, they brought disruption to the music industry and indeed I bought into some of the earlier iterations of their products back in 2006. Lets just say, the technology was a little shaky back then, but what's always been core to Sonos is an amazing focus on design & simplicity. They make wonderful consumer devices that deliver complex functionality in a sleek, easy to use form that just makes the act of listening to music at home a frictionless experience.
  • AMAZON for CONVENIENCE. OK, they seem to be coming under fire these days for getting too big, but the bar they've set for choice, ease & delivery is truly mind-blowing. They've totally changed my expectation of every other online retailer. If you can't get it to me within 48 hours then I'm not interested. Convenience is now the #1 criteria I place on product selection. That's a huge shift.
  • STRAVA for COMMUNITY. If every brand could have the passion of cyclists and runners then we'd all be on to a winner. Strava harnesses this community in a powerful way, again leveraging design to make their app supremely easy to use. Share PBs, plan rides/runs, tap into local activities. It's an amazing network of like-minded individuals.

So there's my choices, but what would be your dream team of brands and why?