People expect more from brands than ever before. They want brands to meet their needs, make their lives easier, save them money – and deliver a more positive future. But what’s that got to do with dirty dishes? More than you might think, reveals the exclusive research in our Brand Impact Index.

Dirty dishes are unavoidable, especially for those who want to improve their health by cooking at home and help the planet by avoiding disposable packaging. This means that dishes – or cleaning them – can contribute to a better future. It’s a future that consumers are keen to see, as shown by our Brand Impact Index. The Index draws on the responses of 7,000 US consumers to rank the brands who are working to create better growth, and a better future. Dawn – the brand that topped the Index – delivers impact for consumers, and the world at large. And it does it with dish soap. On National No Dirty Dishes Day, let’s look at what it takes for consumer brands to sparkle.

Making the mundane meaningful

Nobody likes cleaning dishes. People have enough on their plates without having to worry about things like dishes – and herein lies the opportunity.  

A significant proportion of the top-ranking brands in the Index are brands that people use in the home to carry out unavoidable, every-day tasks. Tide, Charmin, Clorox, Hoka, and Mr Clean are just a handful of house-related brands that joined Dawn at the top. These brands capitalize on necessity, taking something that consumers need to do and making it easier.

The not-so-secret-secret behind their success is that these brands get closer to consumers. They are there, reliably, whenever they are needed, but they also go the extra mile to create an experience that is more than just a transaction.

When someone uses Dawn’s dish soap, they’re also supporting the brand’s efforts to help wildlife impacted by oil spills. When someone chooses Charmin, they’re choosing Forest Stewardship Council approved products. Through this positive impact, brands can help to create a better future – all while bringing an element of joy to not-particularly-exciting tasks.

Innovate, with intention

The Brand Impact Index goes beyond listing brands to really understand what builds consumer connection – what it is that forges the strongest relationships? As always, it’s a combination of components: engaging emotionally, delivering dependably, innovating intelligently, creating consciously, and cultivating community. When brands get this combination right, they win big.

At the very heart of this engine for better growth is intelligent innovation. While it’s rare to see innovation and dish soap in the same sentence, this is exactly what sets Dawn apart. Dawn’s Powerwash™ Dish Spray only calls for water at the rinse stage, helping customers to save water (and money). Its EZ-Squeeze single-handed bottle dispenses soap from a self-sealing, non-drip valve, stopping leaks while increasingly accessibility and ease of use. Building on this, water usage in Dawn’s manufacturing process has been reduced by 35 percent, adding to marginal but meaningful water usage changes in consumers’ homes. Less waste, less cost – for all. These innovative tweaks have had a big impact on useability, affordability, and sustainability.

From wishy-washy to hard impact

Sink, or cell phone. It’s an obvious choice – or is it? In our Brand Impact Index, Dawn beat a range of leading tech, entertainment, apparel, and food and beverage brands to emerge from the suds as the most impactful brand overall. Dawn was also the brand that consumers said they love most. Of course, it’s not the chore that people adore; it’s what the brand delivers in terms of dependability, authenticity, and sustainability. This is a really fundamental lesson for brands.

National No Dirty Dishes Day isn’t just an excuse to order takeout. It’s an opportunity to think about consumption, habits, and how brands can create the future that consumers want to see. This starts with value, relevancy, and reliability, but beyond that, it takes something more. Brands that fail to answer consumers’ calls for a positive future will sink down the drain – but those that do will shine.

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