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Landor Associates releases Breakaway Brands study in FORTUNE magazine

1 November, 2007

Landor Associates, one of the world’s leading strategic branding and design firms, and Stern Stewart’s BrandEconomics unit, today released the results of its third Breakaway Brands Study in FORTUNE magazine’s November 12 issue, now available on newsstands and online at The annual Breakaway Brands Study provides a unique look at brands that have exhibited sustained, quantifiable growth over a three-year period, delivering brand-driven value to the bottom line between 2003-2006.

The study analyzes approximately 2,500 brands across industries from Young & Rubicam Brands’ BrandAsset® Valuator database. Each company’s percentage gains in brand strength and resulting growth in financial value are calculated and ranked, then individually analyzed for brand strategy and marketing execution.

The Breakaway Brands Study was developed in 2004 as a result of Landor’s commitment to helping clients manage ongoing brand-led business transformation. Using Landor’s data, FORTUNE magazine has added editorial perspective and published the study since 2005. (Download the PDF for details of this year’s Top Ten Breakaway Brands).

"The Landor Breakaway Brands Study is unique in that it identifies brands that have created significant and sustained growth in brand strength over time, whether they’re mega-corporations or young brands making waves," said Hayes Roth, Chief Marketing Officer, Landor Associates. "By combining quantified consumer perceptions, objective financial data and informed marketing insight, we’re able to provide a tangible and instructive resource from which all businesses, large or small, can benefit."

After identifying those brands that stand apart as the strongest, Landor works closely with Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Business to compile extensive qualitative research on relevant brand actions and category developments that impacted upon their success. This exercise uncovers the strategies and initiatives these brands employed to sustain their growth over the three year survey period.

In the course of its analysis this year, Landor observed several significant trends that illustrate how the 2007 Breakaway Brands have learned to take customer dialogue to ever more sophisticated levels. These include:

Engaging through experience — Samsung, Barnes & Noble and TJ Maxx have each leveraged deep customer insight to deliver uniquely relevant and engaging in-store and online experiences to consumers old and new.

The power of partnerships — BlackBerry built strong relationships with virtually all of the national telephone companies to attract independent subscribers, while Gatorade’s Propel and Apple’s iPod also saw growth through partnering strategies.

Moving brand to the center of the business — Even mighty industrial and technology giants like GE and Microsoft have demonstrated they can accomplish significant cultural change through brand-driven initiatives, while yogurt maker Stonyfield Farms has retained and even enhanced its core brand persona despite coming under the wing of a global food giant.

It’s no secret chief marketing officers and brand managers alike are under relentless pressure to provide results. Fortunately, the Breakaway Brands Study demonstrates yet again how the basics of connecting to one’s customers, and delivering upon a relevant brand promise through a brand-driven culture, is all about adding measurable value to the bottom line.

About the Breakaway Brands Study

The results of Landor’s Breakaway Brands Study were achieved through the integration of Young & Rubicam Brands’ BrandAsset® Valuator, the world’s longest-running and most comprehensive survey of consumer brand perceptions, with Stern Stewart’s Economic Value Added (EVA), an internationally recognized and respected metric of financial performance that measures the profit of an enterprise. Combined, the two models provide the only objective measure of brand value by combining BrandAsset Valuator’s quantitative assessment of brand health and EVA metrics on financial performance, providing a brand valuation approach grounded equally in both the consumer and economic perspectives on brands.

Landor and BrandEconomics studied approximately 2,500 brands in the BrandAsset Valuator’s U.S. database from 2003-2006 to identify those brands that exhibited the greatest increases in Brand Strength, a combination of Differentiation and Relevance categories. These brands command greater premiums and have broader sales footprints as a result of their brand improvements. This directly affects current operations values, allowing companies to expand across categories and geographies and enabling significant future growth value. For each of these brands, Landor and FORTUNE evaluated key actions the brand owners took to improve the brand’s performance, while BrandEconomics calculated the financial impact these efforts had on the company’s value.

About Landor Associates

Landor Associates is one of the world’s leading strategic brand and design consultancies. Founded by Walter Landor in 1941, Landor pioneered many of the research, design and consulting methods that are now standard in the branding industry. Partnering with clients, Landor drives business transformation and performance by creating brands that are more innovative, progressive and dynamic than their competitors.

Landor’s holistic approach to branding is a balance of rigorous, business-driven thinking and exceptional creativity. Its work spans the full breadth of branding services, including brand research and valuation, brand positioning and architecture, naming and writing, corporate identity and consumer packaging design, branded experience, brand equity management, brand engagement and digital branding.

With 24 offices in 17 countries, Landor’s current and past clients include some of the world’s most powerful brands, including BP, Cathay Pacific, Citi, Danone, Delta, Diageo, Emaar Properties, FedEx, Frito-Lay, the City of Hong Kong, HSBC, LG Group, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo.

Landor is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest global communications services companies.

For more information, please visit

Acrobat Document Landor_PressRelease_BreakawayBrands_Nov07_guid30c2.pdf

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