Brands of the Year

Here's how our winners secured their places on this year's list.
Duelling Donuts Judges

This story appears in the October 2014 issue of strategy.

Viral content has become the Holy Grail – forever sought-after, yet highly elusive. And when a brand attempts to go viral with a campaign, it’s even harder to break through. You need to combat consumer skepticism, while executing a brilliantly clever idea. So how do you do it? Simple: be a Brand of the Year.

In other words, build a brand that consumers love and reflect your brand values in your marketing. Make it convincing by making it true.

All of this year’s winners – Tim Hortons, Herschel, WestJet, TD and Beyond the Rack – experienced viral success in some form.

The Brands of the Year were chosen, not just for their viral abilities, but for a buildup of brilliant branding. They were narrowed down from an extensive list thanks to industry feedback and much deliberation. Simply put, these brands were impossible to ignore this year.

Read up on each of the Brands of the Year:

Overall winner: Tim Hortons
Beyond the Rack

And check out our other buzz-worthy contenders:

P.K. Subban
Holt Renfrew and Frank & Oak
Absolut and Netflix

Image via Shutterstock