July 6, 2023

What does it mean to be a Meaningful Brand™ in 2023?

by Andrea Philips in News

For the last 15 years, Havas has been dedicated to understanding and building Meaningful Brands™️, a commitment which it renews every year by examining new behaviors, shifting cultural dynamics and priorities for businesses and brands through its Meaningful Brands™️ report.

At Red Havas, we get extra excited when Havas unveils the latest edition of this landmark study, as it recently did. This year’s report is called “Welcome the ‘Me-conomy'” and it reveals that people are looking for brands that provide everyday joy, support mental wellbeing and make their lives easier.

In this “Me-conomy,” people still expect decisive action on vital issues like the environment and social justice, but as daily lives get more challenging, unstable and expensive, people are looking to brands for direct individual help.    

Uncovering this paradigm involved surveying over 91,000 people and 1,300 brands with a new, enhanced methodology that is more robust and unearths insights that can be utilized across our businesses. 

About Meaningful Brands™

Havas has measured Meaningful Brands™ annually since 2009. Now, nearly 15 years into this landmark proprietary study, Meaningful Brands™ continues to be a vital sense check about people’s aspirations, guardrails and expectations of brands.

The methodology examines a brand‘s impact and equity based on consumers’ perceptions and expectations across three key pillars — its personal, functional and collective benefits (listed across 40+ dimensions and attributes). The most Meaningful Brands™ are the ones performing well on all three metrics. In recent years, we’ve seen people increasingly focused on brands’ expanding societal and environmental roles, and a desire to build community.

In time, as we saw with 2021’s “Age of Cynicism” report, we’ve seen the backlash to them doing so with too much aggrandizement and self-interest. We’re now emerging into a more mature purpose economy where acts of good for society and planet, that were previously radical, are now expected.

The role of Meaningful Brands™ is to explore these shifts. It’s to examine what brands are having outside resonance in people’s lives, but crucially identify what sets these winning brands apart from the rest. By doing so, Havas continues to evolve the playbook of how brands can be meaningful in people’s lives.

Meaningful Brands™ at their best win people’s loyalty; they occupy a bigger space in culture; and they also set themselves up for long-term growth. They combine purpose with customer centricity to not just grow, but “grow well,” giving back to the people and the planet. In many ways, the expectations of brands have never been higher. But we at Red Havas think that is a good thing.

It’s also an era where people are also separating what they expect from businesses, and how they want brands to behave. They still expect businesses to play a larger societal role in supporting people and the planet. But, especially as life gets more challenging and uncertain, they are now looking to brands to play a more personal role, supporting their functional and emotional needs that impact their own lives.

The 2023 report outlines 8 ways for Meaningful Brands™️ to grow in 2023:

1. Make mental and physical wellness universal  

2. Enable people to do and to feel more 

3. Respect and celebrate difference 

4. Let the joy shine through  

5. Make it all super seamless for ME 

6. Unlock accessibility: Affordability is the new inclusion 

7. Become a platform: Enable people to make purpose personal  

8. Do good without the drama 

Want to know more?

Download the new Meaningful Brands™ report today!