Millward Brown

Millward Brown
Industry Market Research
Founded Warwick, England
Headquarters New York City
Key people
Travyn Rhall (CEO of Millward Brown)
Products Market Research
Revenue Increase$1 billion (2013)
Parent Kantar Group
Subsidiaries BPRI
Dynamic Logic
Firefly Millward Brown
Millward Brown Vermeer
Millward Brown Precis

Millward Brown[1] is a British multinational market research firm focused on advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and brand equity research.

The company is headquartered in New York City. It is a wholly owned operating company by WPP plc and is part of Kantar Group, the world’s second largest market research organization after Nielsen Company.[2]

It has 87 offices in 58 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

Company history


Gordon Brown and Maurice Millward founded Millward Brown in 1973 in Britain, having both worked as researchers at General Foods. The business was set up above a row of estate agents in Royal Leamington Spa, a town in the Midlands (England). The aim of the business was to provide clients with information that allowed them to make correct marketing and management decisions.[3]

Mergers and Acquisitions

From 1980, Millward Brown rolled out continuous tracking studies in many countries but managed them from the UK. Until 1986 Millward Brown only had offices in the UK until it acquired U.S. research agency, Ad Factors. Bob Meyers, executive vice president of Ad Factors became CEO of the new company renamed Ad Factors/Millward Brown.[4]

Millward Brown became a global company in 1987 with moves into Europe led by Tony Copeland. In 1989, Millward Brown was bought by global communications services company WPP plc,[5] headed up by CEO Martin Sorrell. Maurice Millward retired in 1992 and Gordon Brown retired in 1994.

Millward Brown has acquired many companies namely - Analytics Quotient of India in 2016,[6][7] EffectiveBrands Holding B.V. of Netherlands in 2014,[8] InsightExpress Inc. of USA in 2014,[9][10] BrandAnalytics Consultoria Ltda of Brazil in 2013,[11] and IntelliQuest Information Group Inc of USA in 1999.[12][13]

Partnership and Expansion

In 2013 Yahoo! Asia Pacific and Millward Brown partnered to evaluate the brand impact of digital advertising.

In 2015 Millward Brown partnered with Snapchat to provide the first analysis of advertising effectiveness on the Snapchat platform.


Dynamic Tracking

In 1976, Maurice Millward and Gordon Brown set up their first continuous tracking study, now named Dynamic Tracking, for Cadbury Schweppes with the objective to explore the issue of ad wear-out over time.[14] Dynamic Tracking provides a complete 360° view of brand health and a continuous flow of knowledge about what is working for a brand and what could be working better. The approach now used for continuous tracking is almost universally based on that introduced by Millward Brown.[15]

In 1985, Gordon Brown published "Tracking Studies and sales effect. A UK Perspective." [16] In 1986, Gordon Brown introduced the Awareness Index in his paper, "Modelling Advertising Awareness."[17] The Awareness Index (AI)[18] is now a widely used metric for aiding the assessment of advertising.[19] In 1987, Gordon published another paper "The Link Between Sales Effects and advertising content."[20] Another paper followed in 1991, "How Advertising Affects the Sales of Packaged Goods Brands," known internally as "The Black Book."[21]

Gordon Brown and Nigel Hollis developed the Link pre-test in 1988. Link uses a comprehensive set of evaluative and diagnostic questions to predict the impact of an ad, in terms of both the attention it will generate and the sales that will result. It identifies areas that could be further developed or fine-tuned. With over 70,000 ads tested, the Millward Brown Link database provides a wealth of data for category and country comparisons. In 2008, Millward Brown conducted its 50,000th Link ad pre-test.[22]

Link360 launched in 2007 which enabled multimedia campaigns to be pre-tested.[23] Millward Brown launched online ad assessment facility, Digital Link, in 2006.[24] In 2015, Millward Brown launched LinkNow for TV, a digital copy-testing solution for television advertising that gives results in less than six hours, available through ZappiStore.[25] This was followed by LinkNow for Digital, a copy-testing solution for digital advertising that delivered results in a similar time frame.[26]

Brand Dynamics

Millward Brown launched Brand Dynamics in 1996. Brand Dynamics is used to look at a brand’s health. Millward Brown created the brand dynamics pyramid[27] as an instrument to illustrate the factors underpinning customer loyalty to a brand.[28]


Millward Brown launched the Neuroscience Practice in 2010 to apply some insights from neuroscience to advertising research.[29] Headed up by Graham Page,[30] the team has four regional leads in AMAP, LatAm, Europe and North America.[31]

Meaningfully Different Framework

Brand Dynamics was launched in 1996, in 2011 Millward Brown set out to improve measurement of brand equity. By 2013 MB launched the Meaningfully Different Framework (MDF).

Key research


Millward Brown manages the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking.[32] The study is conducted by Millward Brown Optimor to determine the financial value of consumer-facing brands and announced Apple as the most valuable global brand in 2011.[32] It is the only brand ranking to combine consumer measures of brand equity - from the Brand Dynamics studies in Millward Brown’s BrandZ database - with financial data.[33]

Apple was named as the world's most valuable brand in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands 2011, 2012, and 2013 ranking.[34]

In 2014 Google overtook Apple to once again take the top spot in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands [35]

In November 2010, Millward Brown launched its first ever BrandZ Top 50 most Valuable Chinese Brands ranking.[36] And in December 2011, Millward Brown launched the second BrandZ Top 50 most Valuable Chinese Brands ranking with China Mobile announced as Number 1.[37]


In February 2011, Millward Brown launched the findings of its Value-D study, which looked at brand value and desire.[38]

Language of Love

In 2010, Firefly Millward Brown announced the findings of its Language of Love in Social Media study,[39] which recommends successful strategies within the social media space.

Value of a Fan

In 2011, Millward Brown launched the Value of a Fan[40] study in collaboration with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). The study was conducted with WFA members and looked at what contributes to a successful brand fan page.


Millward Brown's Chief Global Analyst, Nigel Hollis, has written a number of books on the subject of brand value, including The Global Brand[41] and Brand Premium.[42]

In addition, these books have a connection to Milward Brown:


Millward Brown has been involved in the following papers:


Millward Brown sponsored the U.S.[76] and Australian Effie Awards in 2009.[77]


Travyn Rhall is the global CEO of Millward Brown. Rhall became CEO in May 2013.[78] Previous Millward Brown CEOs include:

Key people


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  2. Salama, Eric. "Honomichl Global Top 25 2010", "Marketing Power". Retrieved 20 April 2011.
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  4. Twose, Dominic. "From Leamington Spa to Beijing", The Global Brand, 2008, p.227.
  5. "Group History" "WPP". Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  6. "Millward Brown buys Analytics Quotient, 400 experts transfer". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  7. "Millward Brown Agrees to Acquire Marketing Analytics Company Analytics Quotient". Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  8. "Millward Brown acquires global brand strategy company EffectiveBrands". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  9. "Millward Brown acquires research firm InsightExpress in the US". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  10. "Millward Brown Accelerates Digital Strategy with Acquisition of InsightExpress". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  11. "Millward Brown acquires majority stake in BrandAnalytics in Brazil". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  12. "WPP to acquire IntelliQuest Information Group". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  13. "WPP's Millward Brown to Acquire IntelliQuest Information Group, Inc; Strengthens Position in Hi-Tech and Internet Research". Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  14. Twose, Dominic."From Leamington Spa to Beijing", The Global Brand, 2008, p.225-226.
  15. Heath, Robert."Can Tracking Studies Tell Lies?""International Journal of Advertising, 1999."
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  18. Feldwick, Paul., Cook, Louise., & Carter, Sarah."How Useful is the Awareness Index?" "AdMap", March 1991.
  19. Goode, Alistair."The role of ad memory in ad persuasion – rethinking the hidden persuaders" "International Journal of Market Research", Vol. 49, No. 1, 2007, p.1.
  20. Brown, Gordon."The link between sales effects and advertising content" "AdMap", April 1987.
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