It’s that time of the year again where everyone makes lists and hitparades. We don’t do too many of them, yet the Futurelab 100, always brings interesting insights into the ways Interbrand’s most powerful brands are relevant online (or not?).

As could be expected, Google ranks on top and digital brands are more relevant online than in the Interbrand world. But even discounting this predictable anomaly, other discrepancies are interesting. Interbrand superstars Coca Cola, GE and McDonald’s or even Toyota are nowhere near the top of the digital hitparade. They have even been overtaken by clearly “non-digital” brands like Ford or Shell. Meanwhile Louis Vuitton is clearly working on its online relevance (+ 20 spots vs. ’08) and Mercedes Benz drops like a brick (-23 spots). Honda’s not far behind (– 20). And finally Intel (-20) and Nokia (-12) seem to be having a hard time in staying in the digital game as well.

 What does this all mean? After a few years of doing the Futurelab 100 there two messages come through:

·        The first is that having a lot of “brand equity” may have value in the physical world, but it doesn’t guarantee that you matter on line. In fact, with a correlation of ca. 23% between the Interbrand 100 and Futurelab 100 results, any connection looks more like a coincidence. Different rules apply online and to succeed companies need to pay attention to every aspect of their online presence. Those company that invest this attention, reap the rewards. Those that don’t, slide to digital irrelevance.

·        The second is that success in one year doesn’t guarantee success in the next. Even though we use the same approach every year, there are always brands which dramatically rise and fall in the Futurelab 100. The short of this is that online relevance, love and attention is something that needs to be earned every single day and year. There is no time to rest on your laurels.

So, while we can debate the exact methodology and the meaning of the hitparade until the end of the days (12/12/2012 ?), the message is clear. If you want your brand to matter online, you need to focus on it. Every single day.

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