Exclusive: Interbrand Announces Its Breakthrough Brands Of 2017

JEFF BEER

The rules of business seem to be changing constantly, and no one model of success is dominant, so it’s particularly fascinating when a company breaks through the noise. But what are those qualities that allow for one startup to fly while so many others like it fail? That’s what the global brand consultancy Interbrand set out to determine with its Breakthrough Brands report–now in its second year–which names 40 companies that it says represent the next generation of brands across a variety of new, emerging, and evolving categories of business.

The companies on this year’s list were selected as a whole, through a criteria ranging across five factors:

  • Clarity
  • Relevance
  • Differentiation
  • Presence
  • Audience engagement.

Last year’s list featured a number of now, close to household names like Casper, Venmo and Blue Apron. And this year’s crop includes some solid stars, like Slack, Alphabet’s Verily, Samasource, and Square. But there are also a number of companies on the list that, while they may have broken through, are not necessarily sure bets. TaskRabbit, for instance, is contemplating a sale, while Cylance recently announced layoffs.

A list like this sparks as many questions as it answers. Why is Square there and, say, not Snap? Given Apple’s push into health tech, why is it not included here but Verily, which shares a parent company with Google, is?

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