According to the annual Breakaway Brands study by Landor, the brands demonstrating the most momentum in 2014 were not tech giants like Apple, Facebook, or Google. Instead, more tangible brands made a big impact with the greatest gains in relevance and differentiation, coupled with strong business performance.

“We are seeing a resurgence of consumer appreciation for more tangible experiences,” Mich Bergensen, Global Director, Financial Services for Landor, wrote in his review. “While Internet brands are still leaders in their categories, a more down-to-earth crop of brands has built the greatest brand momentum in the past few years.”

Measured by sustained growth in brand strength over a three-year period using BrandAsset® Valuator (BAV) data, the top 10 breakaway brands for 2014 in order are: Samsung, Chex, Puffs, Oakley, MAC, Keurig, Kirkland Signature, Lea and Perrins, Bounty, and Under Armour.

According to the review, these brands stood out in 4 main categagories:

  • Enriching the everyday: Many of the brands on the list shifted focus to small moments, and the simplicity of everyday and how certain products can elevate the daily experience. Keurig, Kirkland Signature, Bounty, and Puffs all strongly positioned themselves this way, with warm and inviting messages that aligned these brands with down-to-earth sincerity.
  • Offering more to Explore: A few brands on the list made an effort to extend product lines, enticing a wider customer base and providing more options for existing customers. Specifically, Chex harnessed the power of Gluten-Free with the introduction of a seven-product extension focused on this movement, and Lea and Perrins Worchester sauce managed to stay true to its story while expanding to include new offerings like its Marinade-in-a-Bag line.
  • Enhancing personal performance: Playing on consumers’ desires to push their physical limits and stay in tune with fitness, a couple brands on the list were able to differentiate themselves in the personal performance category. Oakley refocused its efforts back to athletic gear and saw a surge in sales, while Under Armour introduced the new tagline “I will” and focused on the female consumer.
  • Focusing on Experience – Both Samsung and MAC have focused on elevating the customer experience by increasing branded distribution centers. Offering unique in-store experience and maximizing every touch point, these two brands were able to connect with their consumers in unforgettable ways.

According to Landor, the Breakaway Brands have taken “considered risks” to increase their brand strength, and the Internet brands that fell off can leverage the tangible trend through the “Internet of Things” in the coming year. 

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