Group XP Unveils Top 30 Experience Brands for 2017; Assesses Impact of Artificial Intelligence

Report examines risk of trading human connection for AI efficiency, introduces brand experience archetypes, and evaluates the world’s best brands according to customer experience


Technological advancement leads the way as WPP’s leading experience consultancy Group XP – comprising brand agency Brand Union, retail and brand consultancy FITCH and brand experience agencies SET and SET Live – unveils the 2017 version of its influential Experience Index. Following last year’s successful launch, Group XP once again leverages data from BrandZ – the world’s largest brand equity database – to evaluate brands according to the strength of their overall experience, which has become one of the most important marketing metrics.

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With strong evidence that innovative experiences are closely tied to brand growth, the Experience Index closely analyzes the growing challenge posed by the rise of automation. Called the “tech-human paradox”, Group XP explains that brands must find methods to serve and engage customers in more natural and human ways despite—or preferably, in concert with—automation, or risk losing earned trust and emotional engagement. Group XP notes that each of the Experience Index Top 30 brands offer customers their unique approach to combining frictionless, automated interactions with authentic human engagement.

For the second year in a row, Pampers tops the list of Global Experience Brands, but Facebook makes significant gains, landing at second place. Paypal, Disney and FedEx round out the top five. Several brands enter the Top 30 list for the first time, including YouTube (+15), Coca-Cola (+17), Microsoft (+14), McDonald’s (+10), eBay (+9) and Gillette (+8).

Group XP also defines six brand experience archetypes to provide a more actionable way of identifying what brands need to do to strengthen customer loyalty and advocacy:

  1. Lab brands (those that constantly define new worlds)
  2. Playground brands (stimulate and create an enjoyable sense of discovery)
  3. Campfire brands (create a hub where people connect for a better world)
  4. Highway brands (deliver consistent, convenient and seamless experiences)
  5. Gym brands (focus on continuous improvement)
  6. Lighthouse brands (guiding light to show the world a better way)

These archetypes continue to utilize Group XP’s four critical performance-based drivers – Create (“Create something unique”), Deliver (“Deliver on your most important needs”), Engage (“Engage through integrated services and content”) and Strive (“Strive to make people’s future lives better”) – all calculated via the consultancy’s unique algorythm and central to assembling 2017’s Top 30 Global Experience Brands.

“As AI becomes a ubiquitous tool; it’s going to be EQ, the Emotional Quotient, that drives superior value for customers,” says Group XP Chief Growth Officer Iain Ellwood. “That means revolutionizing person to person interactions to build truly emotional relationships.”

Along with CEO Bolton and Ellwood, Group XP’s distinguished leadership team includes Executive Creative Director/FITCH Chairman Tim Greenhalgh, and Head of Growth & Innovation Ksenia Starikova.

For more insights from the 2017 XP Experience Index, visit

For more information, contact:
Raya Sadledein
Business Development Manager
Group XP

Nathaniel Pollard
Marketing and Brand Strategist

About Group XP

Group XP is the Customer Experience Innovation offer comprising Brand Union, FITCH, SET and SET Live, designed to deliver end-to-end experiences that accelerate business growth. Part of WPP, it’s headquartered in New York City with over 1,000 strategic and creative thinkers across 40 studios worldwide.