Prophet is in the business of helping organizations grow better brands and businesses. Our clients have often asked for our perspective on the value of the existing brand rankings. And while there are several other brand lists and rankings out there today, none speak directly to consumers to find out which brands are the most indispensable to their lives – the ones consumers simply cannot imagine living without. We created the Brand Relevance Index to help business and brand leaders measure the relevance of their brands, and provide them ways to improve it.

When looking at the highest performers from our Index, we observed five ways that they are building relentlessly relevant brands. Those themes are: Discover, Execute, Engage, Differentiate, Delight.

Discovering breakthrough customer insights and using them to unlock tremendous growth

The top brands have the commitment to stay ahead of customer needs and market trends — and they have the discipline to execute on the insights they develop. These insights form the foundation for ideas that become game-changing innovations. For example: LEGO uncovered the insight that girls and boys have different play styles, and creating the LEGO® Friends line for girls to grow the next generation of “Builders.”

Executing flawlessly to deliver on functional needs, earning trust and building durable bonds over time

The top brands know that the price of entry with customers is to nail the functional benefits and have the best “stuff.” They also know that loyalty comes from more emotional bonds, so they go well beyond the product to inspire consumers to feel better, do more, and make a difference. For example: Old Spice develops the scents and fragrances that an entire generation of new customers want, and establishing a camaraderie with them by being just the right amount of cool in advertising and packaging.

Engaging us in creative ways, integrating our interactions to create a remarkable customer experience

The top brands constantly engage their customers in new and creative ways that build upon and enhance the experience of the brand. These innovations surprise and delight, while elevating the overall experience and making customers even more loyal. For example: Nike Analyzes shoppers’ unique running styles in store, develops an assessment, and recommends the perfect shoe.

Acting as a “category of one” for both everyday occasions and the moments that matter most

The top brands have become completely synonymous with the everyday and special moments in our lives by delighting us, healing us, surprising us, and entertaining us. These brands have made themselves so indispensable that consumers often can’t imagine living without them. For Example: Amazon has become the go-to resource for everyday household goods—small or large—for families across the country, shifting the way we shop as a nation.

Unapologetically and consistently delivering joy and delight

The top brands embrace a fundamental human truth — people seek happiness. These brands simply bring joy to peoples” lives. For Example: Pixar crafts joyful tales built on Fundamental Human Truths that make us experience the entire range of emotion, make us laugh, and connect us to one another even more deeply as people.