Hallmarks of the Top Growing Brands

Paola Norambuena

When it comes to shared characteristics, it’s certainly no coincidence that the Top Growing Brands this year master Growth in a Changing World. Like most of the Best Global Brands, the top performers understand the value of their brands and cultivate them with great care. But they also exhibit some key characteristics:

Age and industry are irrelevant

While technology is helping create new brands at lightning speed, growth is not reserved for the up-and-coming. The youngest Top Growing Brand, with the highest growth for the second year running, is Facebook at 13 years, growing 48% to break into the Top 10 for the first time. But across all sixteen brands with double-digit percent growth, ages range—the most established at 180 years young. It proves that understanding and embracing the “Grow, Change, Grow” cycle can create sustained brand and business growth. And while technology and financial services are the most represented sectors, the brands growing in double digit percentages also come from retail, sporting goods, restaurants, logistics, apparel, luxury, and automotive.

Customer and people obsession

Regardless of whether it’s stated blatantly by each, Top Growing Brands understand intrinsically that brands start and end with people. When it comes to innovation and development, it’s all deeply customer-centric, using data and measurement effectively to ensure strong engagement and impact growth. Everything they do is deliberately built around customers’ needs and desires, and delivered through unique experiences. They also invest in their people internally—many of the Top Growing Brands have been recognized for their culture, workplaces, initiatives and causes, and dedication to their employees. These brands understand the power of people, and that great brands are built from within.

Clarity and purposeful focus

Having a clear strategic mission and a meaningful purpose is a vital characteristic. Most Top Growing Brands showed particular focus in this area, clearly articulating their ambitions, infusing these into behaviors and experiences, and reinforcing them at every opportunity to all stakeholders–customers, employees, and shareholders alike—holding each up to its delivery. These brands understand the power of an often simply stated proposition: It is the basis for any serious roadmap to growth, guiding every initiative and innovation. Whether they are tagline-like expressions that can be repeated with ease, or declarations and manifestos that demand action, there is no question of the brand’s highest order aim.  


For in-depth insights into each of these brands see their profiles.

Chief Strategy Officer, Interbrand Austraila
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