Sector by Sector Focus

What does the future hold?

A summary of each sector underpinning the Top 100 that gives us a picture of the brands that are primed for success, and those that may need reinvention.

Future Brand Index 2020 Consumer

Consumer Goods and Services

As the world adjusts to a ‘new normal’, Consumer Goods and Services (which includes Media & Entertainment) have reacted quickly and effectively to new customer needs and priorities. Among the top ten climbers year-on-year are Roche, L'Oréal and Walmart. Meanwhile, McDonald's and The Home Depot are also surging ahead as is Netflix.

We see there is a clear split between those successfully responding to a world dealing with the coronavirus and all that means and those whose reactions have been sluggish or non-existent.

Future Brand Index 2020 Tech


In our 2018 Index, we revealed that almost every technology company had fallen in the rankings despite the fact that nearly half of them were viewed as so-called ‘companies of the future’. We concluded that while these firms clearly had a crucial part to play in shaping the 21st century, few were clear on what this role would be. Furthermore, few companies were perceived to be moving ahead in three years’ time.

Fast forward to 2020 and it seems that the point and purpose of the changes and new experiences brought about and implemented by technology have sharpened into focus. With more technology companies in the 2020 global top ten than any other sector.

Future Brand Index 2020 Healthcare


While there are just two healthcare companies in this year’s top 20, this statistic masks the real story. Tech-inspired innovation is paying dividends for healthcare companies, literally and figuratively. Whereas before drug research tended to hog the limelight in the health sector, now it’s new medical technologies.

Technology is improving our healthcare like never before, and the companies embracing tech to treat patients are perceived as being at the vanguard of a revolution.

Future Brand Index 2020 Financial

Financial Services

It’s not been a good year for financial services in the FutureBrand Index. Analysis of companies that have fallen by ten or more places in 2020 reveals that financials feature significantly and they are almost entirely Chinese.

It’s more than a decade since the financial crash. And now the impact of the coronavirus is being keenly felt on economies around the world with no end in sight. Brands which had recovered their standing are now facing new, unknowable challenges, not least how they treat customers facing personal financial upheaval. How these companies work with people struggling to make ends meet will determine how they fare in future years of the Index.

Future Brand Index 2020 Industrials

Industrials/Telcos/Oil & Gas

In the broad sector of the mighty Industrials/Telcos/Oil & Gas, the most intriguing story lies in telecommunications. A salutary tale of the fragility in perception of leading organisations, seemingly bulletproof brands all experienced a fall in rankings. Industrial companies have fared little better although PayPal is a new shining light.

As for Oil & Gas, we live in a world deeply concerned about climate change and, with that, a focus on fossil fuels. Usually, oil & gas companies are perceived less well than other sectors in the Index. But, in 2018, every firm moved up in the rankings and some excelled. Are we to conclude that, as a number of companies continue to score well on perception, oil & gas brands are successfully persuading people of their necessity, innovation, and sustainability?

Future Brand Index 2020 Methodology

Our methodology

How did we create the list of companies?

The list of companies surveyed is derived from the March 2020 PwC Global Top 100 Companies by Market Capitalisation report.

How did we determine our sample?

We survey around 3,000 people from 17 countries globally (USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UAE, India, China, Thailand, Japan and Australia).

Respondents are not only drawn from an ‘informed public’, in that they know about the companies in question, but are also in professional jobs, including top leaders and managers. This is critical when we are asking about corporate organisations that sometimes have relatively low general public awareness.