The pursuit of ‘difference’ unlocks a multitude of benefits

Now more than ever we understand that diversity is something to be celebrated: life is all the richer thanks to differences in looks, ethnicity, background, and ability. Yet when it comes to brands, Difference is a more nuanced, even controversial subject at times; its very existence is debated and questioned. Based on a huge dataset gathered across more than 20 years, Kantar BrandZ offers compelling evidence that Difference not only exists, but can make a telling contribution in consumer decision-making.

In 2021 Kantar offered Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford the opportunity to work independently using the Kantar BrandZ dataset. This work revealed that brand perceptions contribute to achieving ‘abnormal business returns.’ Those brands able to achieve perceptions of ‘Difference,’ as defined by a combination of uniqueness and leadership, were best placed to outpace their peers. Indeed, Difference was the number one brand contributor to superior financial returns. What’s more, the Oxford/Kantar BrandZ model predicted market outcomes better than financial models that didn’t feature brand performance data.

This article was published exclusively on on July 13, 2022.