These Are The Most Authentic Brands Of 2017



Global PR firm Cohn & Wolfe releases the findings of its annual research initiative to surface the “realest” brands.


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The results of Cohn & Wolfe’s 2017 Authentic Brands study are in! Here’s a breakdown of the key details, including who came out on top and which themes emerged that can inspire all brands to be more authentic in their marketing.

This year’s report was conducted over the span of two months (this past May to June) and studied upwards of 14,000 brands, over 200 of which are global, with input from 15,000 consumers across 15 markets: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and the U.S.

One of the more interesting themes that emerged from the research was the dominance of tech when it comes to consumers’ perceptions of authenticity. Specifically, 70 percent of the top 10 names alone, which we’ve provided below, were tech brands:

    1. Amazon
    2. Apple
    3. Microsoft
    4. Google
    5. PayPal
    6. Adidas
    7. Intel
    8. Lego
    9. BMW
    10. HP

In a press release, Lynn Fisher, executive vice president and global director of the Cohn & Wolfe’s branding and insights group said, “Technology has become a ubiquitous and integral part of how people manage their lives, so there are countless opportunities for these brands to make a positive connection. Our study shows that people view our top-ranked technology brands as genuinely wanting to deliver new ways to make people’s lives better and easier to manage.”

Another important takeaway? Authenticity can generate real business impact. This was supported by additional research undergone this year that found 91 percent of consumers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity via “purchase, investment, endorsement or similar action.” Of this 91 percent, 62 percent particularly will either “purchase or express increased purchase interest” in a brand they perceive to be authentic.

There are, however, generational differences when it comes to how authenticity is defined. For Gen Xers and Boomers, it’s all about forging personal relationships. On the other hand, millennials (ahem, the “me” generation) look for brands that provide them personal or customized attention catered to their interests and beliefs. Additionally, innovation and social consciousness are significant factors that win them over.

These differentiators were reinforced in the recent Enso World Value Index, which found that the brands faring the best among millennials included those pushing efforts to align with their motivations and values. Much like was the case with Cohn & Wolfe’s study, web and tech names were also among the top performer’s in the Enso study.

To see the full top 100 list, head over to

Cohn & Wolfe’s Lynn Fisher will be sharing insights from the report alongside RXBAR at SMW Chicago next month. RSVP for the session here.

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