Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Nestlé Named Most ‘Inspiring’ Brands

Image: Ahmed Shabana via Unsplash

Wunderman Thompson has released its second annual ‘The Inspire Score: Top 100 2021’, a ranking of the Top 100 Most Inspiring Brands in the World. Tthe ‘Inspire Score’ measures a brand’s “inspiration status and uncovers the brand attributes that fuel business growth through their ability to inspire people.”

Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Nestlé led the list, for their “ability to connect people in new ways, inspire people to think differently and elevate people’s lives to be better,” according to Wunderman Thompson

Google rose to the top of the ranking as it continued to be “relentlessly focused on simplifying the customer experience and changing what is possible when it comes to using the world’s information to help us better navigate in both the physical and digital worlds,” read an announcement from Wunderman Thompson.


They were followed by Apple and Samsung with Amazon at number four.

The ‘Inspire Score: Top 100’ was first launched in 2020 as part of Wunderman Thompson’s global brand study, Inspiring Growth, which explores why brands need to be inspirational, how inspiration drives growth and what brands can do to inspire their customers.

“Our research proves a strong correlation between inspiration and brand growth, which is why our annual list of the Top 100 Most Inspiring Brands is a powerful tool for large and small brands alike,” said Mel Edwards, Global Chief Executive Officer at Wunderman Thompson.

“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.”


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.

Key Insights

  • From soft drinks to luxury goods, big brands across all categories are well represented within the list, with high-tech brands that constantly bring consumers’ new abilities taking the top spots.
  • Brands that have been especially useful during COVID-19 such as YouTube, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, WhatsApp, and Instagram are among some of the highest-ranking, reflecting our need to feel connected and entertained during the pandemic. 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 around the world.
  • With the growing trend of ‘The Great Resignation’ following the shift in priorities and working arrangements that came with COVID-19, it’s no surprise to see LinkedIn in the top half of the list, entering the ranking for the first time in 37th.

“Based on research into inspiration in the field of motivational psychology, we found that the most inspirational brands scored highly on three factors: Elevating (having a positive impact on society, improving people’s lives); Magnetic (make consumers feel like they’re making a popular, exciting choice); and Motivation (offer people a way to help accomplish their goals),” said Neil Dawson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Wunderman Thompson.

“Together these inspiration factors driven growth. The top brands for 2021 – Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung – inspire people to think differently; proving brands have the power to ignite change and make the world a more inspiring place.”

‘Inspiration’ Factors

According to the report, the research shows that Inspiration is a process. One where the brand puts forward a new, positive possibility for people that they feel compelled
to take advantage of. Based on research into inspiration in the field of motivational psychology, we determined that inspirational brands score highly on three factors:


We feel good when we think and act in
an altruistic way. Elevating brands demonstrate a positive impact on society and a caring approach to their own customers. This in turn creates a sense that choosing them would help us be the sort of person we aspire to be. It’s measured in our dataset by looking at scores for ‘cares for its customers’, ‘socially responsible’ and ‘helpful’.


This talks to the social power of a brand in making us feel like we are making a popular, exciting choice. We derive the Magnetic score by using the scores for ‘leader’, ‘best brand’, ‘would recommend to a friend’, and ‘gaining in popularity.


Motivating says that the brand offers something different that will help you accomplish your goals. The metrics that make up Motivating are ‘good value’, ‘high performance’, ‘simple’, and ‘distinctive’.

Download the full ranking here.

Featured image by Ahmed Shabana via Unsplash

The Staff

The Staff

Gettin' it done, when the done needs gettin'.

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