For the 14th year running, the strongest brands of the year were honoured at the Best Brands awards held in Munich’s Bayerischer Hof this evening. More than 600 invited guests from the world of business, trade, and media celebrated BMW’s award of “Best German Corporate Brand International”, Coca-Cola’s win as “Best Product Brand”, and Duplo’s “Best Growth Brand” prize. In the special category “Best Future Mobility Brand”, Tesla was honoured with the number one spot at the festive gala.
Munich, February 22, 2017 — Best Brands, the award ceremony that has become the event of the year within the industry, has been held for the 14th year in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. As in previous years, the best German brands were determined in four categories based on a representative consumer study by GfK and the Best Brands awards then presented at a festive gala. BMW, Coca-Cola, and Duplo were honoured this year. For the special category award “Best Future Mobility Brand”, Tesla representatives stepped up to the winner’s podium.
The chief editor of DIE ZEIT, Giovanni di Lorenzo, opened the gala in the ballroom of the Bayerischer Hof with an engaging keynote speech on Brand Europe. For the first time host Klaas Heufer-Umlauf led the audience through the program. The internationally celebrated superstar Anastacia took care of the musical entertainment at the 14th Best Brands Gala.
Best Brands has become increasingly successful over the years as the result of the professional cooperation of all the partners – these are GfK, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, WirtschaftsWoche, Markenverband (The German Brands Association), Serviceplan, Ströer SE, and DIE ZEIT.
Florian Haller, CEO of the Serviceplan Group, emphasized: “Every year, we not only offer surprise winners at the Best Brands awards, we also take care to present surprise guests at the gala, together with our long-term Best Brand partners. That’s why every year I look forward to this great event, which has developed through the years into the most important brand event nationally and internationally ̶ it’s now in China, Italy, and Belgium!”
Thomas Wagner, Chairman of the Management Board at ProSiebenSat.1’s marketing arm, SevenOne Media, commented: “Best Brands has in recent years become established as the German brand ranking. This event enables ProSiebenSat.1, together with its partners, to acknowledge the outstanding brands of the year. It was also noticeable this year how TV and moving images in general play a relevant role within the media mix of big brands – also with our winners. As a company that is all about moving images, we are of course especially happy with this!”
Michael Müller, GfK Regional Chief Commercial Officer Germany [&] Switzerland, described the significance of the program like this: “Also this year, consumers have chosen brands that have touched a nerve with networked consumers through sustainable, creative solutions and emotional campaigns. This is shown especially clearly in this year’s special category, “Best Future Mobility Brand”, where we developed a special measurement model to track public opinion. The winning brands have managed to activate consumer emotions in the networking and mobility focus area and to make their lives easier with these thoughtful concepts.”
Frank Dopheide, Managing Director of the Handelsblatt Publishing Group, said: “At a time when our world is crashing from one crisis of trust to the next, brands are the anchor. They are stable resting points in people’s lives, for a good reason: they produce a good feeling. Never have they been as precious as they are today. Best Brands brings the increasing value of successful brands right before our eyes. And we see that rough times separate the real wheat from the advertising chaff.”
Franz-Peter Falke, President of The German Brands Association stated: “The unique thing about Best Brands is the selection of winners, which has never been undertaken by a jury. Every year, Best Brands determines the strength of a brand from the votes of the real consumer establishment. Only the strong bond between consumers and brands is rewarded – this is the exact core of the timeless charm and credibility of the annual awards for the best German brands.”
A final word from Dr. Rainer Esser, Managing Director of DIE ZEIT publishing group: “Strong brands promise not only the best quality, they also stand for happy moments, for pride, passion, and fun. The best of the best are fittingly celebrated by the Best Brand Awards. And the hard work that is involved in the success of a brand receives the appreciation that it deserves.”
The Best Brands awards 2017 were awarded in the categories “Best Product Brand,” “Best Growth Brand,” and “Best Corporate Brand International,“ as well as in this year's special category, “Best Future Mobility Brand.” Since 2014, the “Best Corporate Brand” has been regularly analyzed at international level, so in 2017, for the third time, the “Best German Corporate Brand International” was recognized.
In the category “Best German Corporate Brand International”, BMW stands head and shoulders above the rest this year and is therefore number one for the third time since 2012. In this category, the reputation of German companies is not only measured in Germany, but also in other important export countries within the most significant economic areas: the USA (for North America), China (for Asia), Brazil (for Latin America), and France (for Europe). Behind this automobile manufacturer follow Porsche, Coca-Cola, and Adidas.
Hildegard Wortmann, Manager Brand BMW commented: “I am very happy about the award of ‘Best German Corporate Brand International’, especially because customers throughout the world, from America and Asia to Europe, see BMW right in front. At the same time, the award is a confirmation and motivation for our team. ‘Joy’ will naturally remain the core of our communication, because that is what has made us unique for more than 100 years. We will, at the same time, continue to surprise our customers with a lot of creativity, but also with even more content that is relevant to them. After all, BMW should as a brand also remain desirable in future.”
The “Best Product Brand” of 2017 is Coca-Cola, which has landed the top spot for the first time. The brand strength of each evaluated brand was measured according to sales and customer attitude aspects: “Share of Market” not only covers market share, but also customer bonding or brand loyalty and the price premium, while “Share of Soul” stands for product brand recognition and the cross-selling potential, as well as brand relationship and brand experience.
Bianca Bourbon, General Manager Coca-Cola GmbH reacted: “All of us at Coca-Cola are very glad to receive the ‘Best Product Brand’ award because we continually challenge ourselves to be responsive to the requirements of our consumers and business clients. The fact that the prize is based on their votes therefore makes it a great confirmation of our work. And it motivates us to keep implementing developments with our innovative products, packaging, and campaigns and to keep setting trends.”
Duplo received the honour of “Best Growth Brand”. The award marks the greatest value change in market share, in combination with the change in market attractiveness of the brand compared with the previous period. The study design is based on the one used for “Best Product Brand.” Runners-up to first-time winner Duplo were Perwoll and Miele. Stephan Nießner, General Manager Ferrero Deutschland, is happy: “Receiving the ‘Best Growth Brand’ award at Best Brands on behalf of Duplo is a big honour – especially in times where growth cannot be taken for granted in a nearly saturated confectionery market. This success shows us that our campaigns appeal to consumers and that our assortment and product innovations match the taste of the buyers.”
In this year’s special category, “Best Future Mobility Brand”, Tesla fought off BMW and Öffi. This time the focus was mobility, a key issue for the future. To do justice to the complexity of the topic, relevant mobility categories were determined using baseline GfK studies and a preliminary study with consumers. The brand list named 34 providers of the most diverse mobility solutions today and for tomorrow – from automobile and IT companies and public transport operators to online and sharing models. In the methodologically robust measurement model, three core dimensions were identified: “Future Orientation”, “Convenience”, and “Usage Experience”. Besides creating basic public awareness, visionary mobility brands realise these three mobility aspects most successfully in the eyes of the consumers.
As a unique type of marketing award, Best Brands honors the strength of a brand based on two criteria: the actual business success – the “Share of Market” – and the attractiveness of the brand from the perspective of the consumer, the “Share of Soul.“ These are evaluated on extensive representative studies by GfK. The empirical basis consists of more than 14,000 consumers participating in the various Best Brand studies, together with 30,000 households on the GfK Consumer Panel and 27,000 shops on the GfK Retail & Technology Panel. It is these consumers who choose the winner annually from more than 350 potential Best Brand candidates from around 40 industries. Since 2004, the award is presented in the categories “Best Product Brand,” “Best Growth Brand,” “Best Corporate Brand,” as well as a special category every year – in 2017, this was “Best Future Mobility Brand”. Since 2014, the study designers also regularly focus, with “Best Brands International”, on a guest country, which is included in the research.
In 2014, Best Brands rankings expanded outside the borders of the Federal Republic of Germany for the first time, honouring stand-out brands in China. In 2015, Best Brands Italia awards were added, followed by Best Brands Belgium in March 2016.