Entrepreneurial spirit combines best of old and new
Hope and confidence poised to deliver change
I am delighted to introduce you to the inaugural WPP BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands ranking at a time of great change in France.
As the country adjusts to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s vision for the France and its future, this ground-breaking study ranks the country’s most successful brands, analyzes their strengths, and identifies the key forces that are driving growth in this market.
It is the first edition of an annual review that will track and anticipate the rapidly evolving environment for brands in France, and will chart the changing fortunes of the country’s most valuable brands.
We are incredibly excited to be bringing the BrandZ study to France. This is one of the largest economies in the European Union and the seventh-biggest in the world. It is also an economy proving adept at managing change.
France’s influence around the world has stemmed from exploration and diplomacy; from style and craftsmanship. That rich heritage is serving French brands well. In times of change and uncertainty, consumers gravitate towards long-established brands that are trusted for quality.
At the same time, the landscape in which business is done and on which brands are built is being transformed. This is to some extent happening the world over, but in France it comes at a time when, post-election, there is hope that the government can help unlock new development opportunities and help people build a strong future for themselves.
France’s economy grew at 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, beating forecasts of 0.3 percent. This is still slow growth by world standards, but does signal that recovery may be under way.
France’s educated and talented workforce, strong infrastructure and appetite for innovation are laying the foundations for future growth. This is, after all, the country that gave the world the word “entrepreneur”.
In fact, at the world’s biggest consumer electronics and information fair, CES 2017, more than 260 French companies were represented, and at the Eureka Park exhibition zone for startups, there were more French startups this year than from China, Israel or the UK.
So while France is perhaps best known for producing Chanel and Louis Vuitton, it is also the birthplace of tech-based innovators such as BlaBlaCar, Criteo, Devialet, and a growing number of rising stars.
As France’s cultural and business exports change, so too does the image of “Brand France” that they carry with them. In this report, we examine the strength of the relationship between Brand France and the brands of France, which has been a powerful exemplar for consumer and destination brands the world over. The changing face of French business, combining the strength of the past with the energy of the current crop of entrepreneurs, will help determine what France stands for in the mind of the modern global consumer.
We take an exclusive, in-depth look at data and analysis from the “Best Countries” research done by Y&R’s BAV Group, with Partners US News and the Wharton Business School, which shines a light on how country of origin affects French brands.
For WPP, France is one of our Top 10 markets in the world, and it’s a market of increasing strategic importance to us, especially given the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. We are therefore expanding our network in France, and have made several recent investments and acquisitions. These include taking a stake in Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes SAS, a media group focused on investments in the French and international media sectors. LNEI has investments in French titles such as Le Monde, Vice France and the French edition of The Huffington Post.
We have also acquired Conexance, a database marketing company and a leader in statistical modeling of consumer behavior that helps predict future purchases. Conexance is based in Lille and Paris, and will work closely with Wunderman, Kantar and GroupM. And, this summer, our operating company Grey took a majority stake in full-service digital agency Sensio. Investments of this kind are a clear demonstration of our long-term vision for this market.
Whether you’re a French brand or a global name, in this report I hope you’ll find inspiration and guidance to help you create and grow more meaningful, impactful brands both in France and beyond.
Take Aways provide succinct, action-oriented recommendations for brands based on our expert analysis of the market. We’ve also included summaries of France’s Top 50 most valuable brands. Brand experts from WPP companies across France share their market wisdom and sharp insights through extensive Thought Leadership and Best Practices essays.
And we present all this with stunning photography and a vibrant design that reflects the beauty and verve of the country itself.
At WPP, the global communications services leader, our companies have been engaged in France, providing advertising, marketing, insight, media, digital, shopper marketing and PR expertise. It’s part of our global presence in 112 countries. By linking all this talent, creativity, wisdom, and horizontality, we amplify global trends and insights that help our clients in useful and unique ways.
We invite you to access our unrivalled BrandZ™ resource library. Along with the new BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands report, the library includes these annual studies: BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, BrandZ™ Top 30 Most Valuable Spanish Brands and BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable UK Brands. To download these and other reports, please visit www.BrandZ.com. For the interactive BrandZ™ mobile apps go to www.BrandZ.com/mobile.
The backbone of all this intelligence remains the WPP proprietary BrandZ™, the world’s largest, consumer-focused source of brand equity knowledge and insight, and WPP’s proprietary BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology. First we analyse relevant corporate financial data and strip away everything that doesn’t pertain to the branded business. Then we take a critical step that makes BrandZ™ unique and definitive among brand valuation methodologies. We conduct ongoing, in-depth quantitative consumer research with more than 170,000 consumers annually, across more than 50 countries, to assess consumer attitudes about, and relationships with, over 100,000 brands.
Our database includes information from over two million consumers. It reveals the power of the brand in the mind of the consumer that creates predisposition to buy and, most importantly, validates a positive correlation with better sales performance.
At WPP, we’re passionate about using our creativity to create and build strong, differentiated brands that deliver lasting shareholder value. To learn more about how to apply our experience and expertise to benefit your brand, please contact any of the WPP companies that contributed expertise to this report. For summaries of each company and the contact details of key executives. Or feel free to contact me directly.
Sincerely, David Roth
CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia
Brand Selection Criteria
Our proprietary BrandZ™ brand valuation methodology makes the Top 50 Most Valuable French Brands the definitive study of brands in France. The uniquely consumer-facing BrandZ™ methodology combines extensive and on-going consumer research with rigorous financial analysis. (
We gathered brand perceptions from consumers across the French market, in both urban and rural areas. We selected brands that met these two qualifying criteria:
-The brand was originally created in France
- The brand is owned by a publicly traded enterprise, or its financials are published in the public domain
This approach produced a carefully conceived ranking of brands in 14 consumer-facing categories, including telecom providers, cars, luxury, energy providers, apparel and banks.
To learn more about the BrandZ™ valuation methodology, please contact:
Elspeth Cheung, Global BrandZ™ Valuation Director, Elspeth.Cheung@millardbrown.com.