The MUTABOR Brand Report


Which Brand has the greatest Momentum?

MUTABOR and VIZEUM publish a study and rank the brands that are leading the way in Germany.

60 brands from the fields of transportation, connectivity, and apparel were evaluated on everything from communication and design through to brand essence and customer focus.

The study highlights developments, insights, lessons, and best practices for up-to-date brand management.

Tesla, Apple, and Nike are the 2014 brands with momentum. These three companies are the ultimate examples of what brands have to do to get ready for the digital developments of the future.
These are the key findings of the 2014 MUTABOR Brand Report, which saw Hamburg-based design agency MUTABOR team up with media and marketing agency Vizeum to investigate which brands will help shape the future of their industry and the German market as a whole.

The 100-page MUTABOR Brand Report presents insights, lessons, and best practices from three interdisciplinary fields. It highlights the most important developments facing modern brands and what brand leaders can learn from them if they are to manage their brands in an up-to-date manner.

Instead of focusing on traditional sectors, the MUTABOR Brand Report examines three fields that reflect key 21st century needs: transportation, connectivity, and apparel. The study looked at 20 brands each from the categories of transportation (car manufacturers, car sharing providers, railroad and bus companies), connectivity (consumer electronics), and apparel (fashion, accessories).
Johannes Plass, CEO and co-owner of MUTABOR: “Digitalization is changing all aspects of life and work and, as a result, the way in which we perceive, use, and experience brands, not to mention the way we strategically lead, develop, and manage them.” With the MUTABOR Brand Report, we wanted to capture this change, document it, and make it transparent.”

Using repeated brand profiling based on publicly available online information, Vizeum selected the brands that have the greatest influence on the conversation within the fields of transportation, connectivity, and apparel. A 16-strong judging panel of brand experts from corporations, agencies, and research institutes evaluated these brands in terms of brand identity, brand change, brand message, and brand code – in line with the MUTABOR Brand Diamond model. The result is a ranking of the top performers in the three categories.

The Winners


A triumph for Tesla. Tesla positions itself as a supplier of electric motoring, not merely in terms of vehicles but also in terms of infrastructure and software. The judges were particularly impressed by the company’s clear focus on the topic of electric motoring and its pioneering development and sales strategy. Second and third places were taken by BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively. All three companies provide a clear example of how transportation brands need to develop in the future.

In the Connectivity category, the winner is Apple. The Cupertino-based company made a stunning comeback in 2014, stirring up the whole sector. The Apple Watch, the company’s related move into the health care sector, and the launch of the Apple Pay mobile payment system all pay testament to Apple’s ability to lead the market.
In second place is audio company Beats Electronics. The jury were extremely impressed with the way the company used excellent product design and outstanding communication to make their products desirable and stylish in the eyes of the relevant target group. South Korean company Samsung took third place in the rankings. They demonstrated significant capacity for innovation and have managed to make the leap from a functional to an emotional brand.

This category is dominated by Nike. The sportswear company excels in all four brand dimensions and was able to take first place overall. This is because Nike revamped its communication at an early stage, embracing social media, pairing its products with technology, and charting the right course for the future. With “Just do it,” Nike has a brand promise that leaves plenty of scope for future innovation.
In second place is Chanel, a brand whose fascination extends to people from all walks of life. The brand has also managed to retain its essence while continuously reinventing itself. Third place goes to Burberry. The company has concentrated its efforts on customers and connects with them equally strongly at all digital touchpoints.

Heinrich Paravicini, CCO and co-owner of MUTABOR: “The results of the MUTABOR Brand Rankings demonstrate that we are facing a paradigm shift in terms of brand management. Apple, Nike, and Tesla – our 2014 Brands with Momentum – embody a whole new brand generation. One thing they all have in common is that they have long gone beyond the manufacture and sale of physical items. They recognized at an early stage that (digital) services connected to the original product offer significant potential in terms of making the offering even more relevant to customers.”

Johannes Plass: “Ideally, the brand serves as a platform on which to construct an entire ecosystem of products and services all linked by a shared promise. In future, the main job of brand leaders will be to define and bring to life the brand-specific service promise. This user experience is already vital in terms of the way customers perceive brands, which is why companies will need to connect their services far more closely to their brand – thus ensuring services truly live up to brand promises.”

The 2014 MUTABOR Brand Report is now available at a price of €499 (subscription price available until 12/15/2014) from Handelsblatt Kaufhaus der Wirtschaft.

Learn more about the MUTABOR Brand Report.


MUTABOR ist die Designagentur, die Wandel gestaltet.
Von den Kommunikationsdesignern Johannes Plass und Heinrich Paravicini 1993 als Grafik-Magazin an der Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel ins Leben gerufen und 1998 als Designagentur in Hamburg gegründet, steht die Marke MUTABOR seit über 20 Jahren für den Antrieb zur Veränderung („Mutabor“ ist Latein und bedeutet „I’m going to change“).
Als eines der führenden und kreativsten Unternehmen für die Entwicklung und das Design von Marken ist die Agentur Partner für Unternehmen mit Veränderungswillen und gestaltet maßgeschneiderte Markenlösungen mit nachhaltigem Wert.
MUTABOR arbeitet interdisziplinär mit einem Team aus über 90 Mitarbeitern in den Disziplinen Design, Architektur, Kommunikation, Motion- und Interaction-Design, Kommunikation und Strategie.
Für Kunden wie zum Beispiel adidas, BMW, Clariant und Deutsche Telekom verwirklichen die Markenexperten weltweit Projekte in den vier Geschäftsfeldern Brand Identity, Brand Spaces, Brand Strategy und Brand Prototyping.
Über 400 internationale Awards und Top-Platzierungen in Kreativ-Rankings dokumentieren seit Jahren den Anspruch an kreative und handwerkliche Perfektion.
2013 wurde MUTABOR mit dem höchsten internationalen Ehrentitel „Red Dot: Agency of the Year“ ausgezeichnet.

Über Vizeum

Vizeum ist eine Full-Service Media- und Marketingagentur des Dentsu Aegis Network und gehört zu den am schnellsten wachsenden globalen Agenturnetzwerken. Vizeum wurde 2005 für das digitale Zeitalter entworfen und entwickelt seitdem Strategien, Ideen und Kommunikationspläne, die den Anforderungen an Schnelligkeit und Skalierbarkeit sowie Konvergenz und Globalisierung der digitalen Welt gerecht werden. Mit „Motivation to Connect“ übersetzt die Agentur die Erkenntnisse des Neuromarketings konsistent von der Markenpositionierung bis in die Kommunikationsplanung.
Indem Vizeum versteht, warum Menschen Medien und Marken nutzen, können die Kommunikationsleistung signifikant gesteigert und Wert schöpfende Verbindungen zwischen Marken und Menschen etabliert werden.
An den Standorten Wiesbaden, Hamburg und Düsseldorf werden Kunden wie Ferrero, Warsteiner, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic oder Shiseido ganzheitlich von mehr als 150 Mitarbeitern betreut.

Press contact
Laura Maroldt
+49 40 80 80 23-181