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Brand Recognition Isn’t Enough: Introducing the MISSION Brand Bonding Index

Advertising & Integrated Production
London, UK
The MISSION Group brings together every aspect of brand metric in one index

The MISSION Group, the international network of 16 Agencies, has uncovered compelling data showing that leading brands are falling down on key indicators needed to support growth in a post-Covid landscape. According to its new  proprietary tool, the MISSION Brand Bonding Index (MBBI) which measures 39,000 data points, many brands are relying on recognition to compensate for their weaknesses in other areas.  

MISSION has launched the MBBI to give companies immediate bespoke insight into their  real brand power and actionable intelligence on comparison with competitors. The bi-annual index currently covers 120 brands, from global corporates to UK brands such as Topps Tiles and Loaf.  

Brands can track their strengths and weaknesses with comprehensive analytics, to measure impact and accurately target areas of challenge and opportunity. The index measures a  broad range of categories, including awareness, dependency, ESG, preference and  purpose, utilising the most comprehensive data set of any brand index available and a bespoke algorithm.  

Key findings include:  

  • Nike and Sony suffer due to poor ESG, purpose and preference scores – brand recognition isn’t enough  
  • Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) are not quite on top – high levels of brand recall and day-to-day usage did not guarantee these mega-brands the top spots  
  • Octopus Energy is a sector-defying highflyer driven by purpose and customer  experience  
  • Young, ambitious online homeware retailers such as and Wayfair lag behind the established Ikea, even on social media scores  
  • Tesco is a stronger brand overall than upmarket Waitrose, driven by price  

Commenting, James Clifton, group chief executive of The MISSION Group plc, commented: “At MISSION, we help brands create and nurture bonds with consumers, through their CX, customer service, identity, communications and, of course, through their Purpose. These bonds - feelings of closeness, preference or identification with a brand - are the levers driving the results reported above.  

“It's these individual behaviours, large and small, that translate a brand’s potency into measurable, real-world results. So it’s worth brand managers spending time really thinking  about them deeply: how to craft them, encourage them, develop them and leverage them to make their brand even stronger.” 

The index shows that giants like Nike and Sony underperform against the top 10% of brands on purpose, preference and ESG, despite a formidable online presence across the web and social with many millions of page hits, followers and mentions.  

Nike scores 73% and is ranked 24th overall. While the company scored well on social media and SEO, it is weak on customer experience, dependability and preference. Sony scores 69% and is ranked 31st overall. Sony's strengths are quality/value, attitudinal variables and social media. Its weaknesses are purpose, dependability and preference.  

Although Amazon, Netflix and Google top the rankings, Apple and Facebook rank poorly (15th and 41st respectively) relative to their commercial performance and wide user base. This gives an average rank for FAANG of 12th. When asked if a brand is 'trusted to do the right thing' Marks & Spencer significantly outperform all FAANG brands.  

Octopus Energy scores 64% and is ranked 46th overall but it is number one in the Utilities sector. Octopus Energy's strengths are purpose and customer experience. By contrast, Centrica scores 32% and is ranked 119th overall. It is 10th in the Utilities sector.  

While it might be expected that online led, upstart brands in homeware would score highly on digital metrics such as social media and SEO, physical retailer Ikea is well ahead, scoring 75% for social media and 79% for SEO.  

Mass market Tesco scores 87%, well above the more exclusive, premium brand of Waitrose which scores 78%. While their scores on purpose and ESG are similar, Waitrose falls behind on practical measures including usage satisfaction and customer experience, as well as  value for money.  


The MBBI covers a broad range of sectors including: DIY, Fashion, Grocery, Home, Online,  Online Retail, Retail, Technology and Utilities. The index includes 39,600 data points, as well as 12 source categories, working with BrandWatch and YouGov. The MBBI is available here.   

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