The consistent constituents
Shown below are the companies, in alphabetical order, that have consistently been ranked within the Apollo 500 in June, July and August 2015. The relative balance in their positions within the Apollo 500 lists is shown using a index created from the average of their position within the US and European rankings. The index was created so that we could compare the balance of communications between the US and European markets rather than each company’s absolute ranking position. For instance Toshiba (average position 39 Europe and 69 US) and Check Point Software (119 Europe and 210 US) have the same index score – the imbalance is broadly the same even if the absolute positions in the ranking are very different.
In the chart below a negative index value indicates a bias to the US market (left of the central axis) and a positive index value a bias to the European market. Anything above 0.5 (positive or negative) represents a significant bias to one market over the other.
Like the top 50, we see significant bias to one market over the other for a number of companies. Once again, that doesn’t in itself mean those companies are necessarily doing anything wrong, it is merely a potential indicator of imbalance. For the vast majority of companies, there will always be some imbalance in their brand positioning in the US versus European markets but examining the imbalance could be a useful tool to pose a range of questions:
- Is the imbalance an indication of a missed opportunity in one market or another?
- Are competitor companies focusing their resources differently and why?
- Is the imbalance an indication of under performance in a local communications team?
The imbalance may be entirely expected or intentional but there are likely to be many companies in the list for which the imbalance is an indication of missed opportunity. The only people who can answer the questions with any accuracy are likely to be the relevant in-house communications teams, and only then if they have the systems in place to accurately monitor investment in communications outreach and the returns.