GLOBAL – Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon and Nestlé are the top brands for 2021 thanks to their ability to connect people in new ways and inspire them to think differently, says a new study from marketing communications agency Wunderman Thompson.


The Inspire Score: Top 100 is a ranking of the most inspiring brands in the world today. Now in its second year, the index is Wunderman Thompson’s proprietary diagnostic tool that measures a brand’s inspiration status and uncovers the attributes that fuel business growth.

This year, Google jumped to the top of the ranking, followed by Apple and then Samsung. E-commerce giant Amazon is fourth on the list, while the fifth slot is occupied by Nestlé.

Tech brands that have been popular during Covid-19 such as YouTube, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, WhatsApp and Instagram are among some of the highest ranking.

Likewise, fast-food brands such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza are among the top 50, demonstrating people’s desire for fast food during periods of lockdown. Networking site LinkedIn entered the ranking for the first time in 37th place.

The annual list tracks and analyses those brands that are best at inspiring their customers, revealing how inspiration affects a brand’s ability to drive growth in market share and command a price premium. The 2021 ranking is derived from WPP’s proprietary BAV dataset, with the 2020/21 data compiled from over 20,000 studies of 12,000 brands in 855 categories across 24 industries and 17 markets. 

Mel Edwards, global chief executive officer at Wunderman Thompson, said: “Our research proves a strong correlation between inspiration and brand growth, which is why our annual list is a powerful tool for large and small brands alike.

“It demonstrates the power of inspiration by helping brands understand people’s evolving preferences for the product, services and experiences they can design to spark their imagination and motivate change.”