A recently published report listing the world’s biggest brands has revealed huge changes in the perception and behaviour of global companies this year. The FutureBrand Index is a global perception study that rearranges PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies by Market Cap on perception strength rather than financial strength.
The Index demonstrates that well-perceived companies are those that are best able to consistently align the totality of the experiences they create with their wider corporate purpose.
“Financial prowess does not necessarily translate to brand success,” the Index notes.
According to this year’s Index, the oil and gas sector has gained in perception strength. The report notes that while the world is deeply concerned about climate change and, with that, a focus on fossil fuels, usually, oil and gas companies are perceived less well than other sectors in the Index.
“But, in 2018, every firm moved up in the rankings and some excelled. Are we to conclude that, as a number of brands continue to score well on perception, oil and gas brands are successfully persuading people of their necessity, innovation, and sustainability?,” the report notes.
Royal Dutch Shell took the number one slot when it comes to companies that have risen most significantly since 2018. The company improved its ranking by a staggering 59 places, listed at number 29.
The company has shown very strong growth in its vision for the future and in terms of engaging experience, and all attribute scores have risen sharply since 2018. Global brand awareness is extremely high and, as a number of respondents noted, its products are in demand.
Perhaps its rise can be partly attributed to its announcements on ethical practices, including plans to become a net zero carbon company by 2050 or sooner by selling more green energy.
Reliance Industries, ranked number 2 is a new entrant to the top 100 and has excelled on every attribute.
One of the most profitable companies in India, Reliance is, according to respondents, “very well respected” and “seen as behaving ethically” as well as being associated with “growth”, “innovative products” and “great customer service”. In particular, people have a strong emotional connection with the organisation.
Part of its success could be attributed to Mukesh Ambani’s recasting of the firm as a one-stop-shop for Indians. The chairman built on the existing petrochemicals business, transforming it into a digital behemoth designed to meet every customer need.
Today, this company is engaged in a number of sectors including energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.
While Saudi Aramco sits comfortably at number 1 on PWC’s Top 100 company list by market capitalisation, in the FutureBrand Index it sits at number 91.
This suggests that there is plenty of work to do if it wants to maintain that position in the future, especially as Saudi Arabia continues to roll out its 2030 vision.
“Saudi Aramco’s biggest priorities are to shift perceptions around its mission and purpose and, in particular, how that relates to respect and care for human life and innovation. Encouragingly, its story around community development, people and individuality are on par with the oil and gas sector average, so these could represent a good place to start that journey.”