Category Archives: Global Trends

Google’s top trending search for 2013 is Nelson Mandela

Google Top Trending Searches 2013


Google has released its list of top trending searches for 2013. Two year-end deaths resonated most in the ranking charts given a year that was full of major news events, new products releases and buzzwords.

This year, Google surveyed 72 countries and their search results is the largest sample the company has ever undertaken. The two top trending searches globally were : Nelson Mandela” and “Paul Walker”.

Even though searches for “Nelson Mandela” were extremely strong before the passing away of the South African icon, after his death at 95 on 5 December Google experienced a flood of searches for information about the a man who fought and brought about the end of Apartheid after spending 27 years in jail.

Following Mandela was the search for the late “Fast and the Furious” actor, Paul Walker who ironically died in a motor vehicle accident. Apple’s iPhone5s took the number 3 spot followed by the Glee celebrity Cory Monteith who died of an accidental drug overdose.

5th place went to Harlem Shake followed by Boston marathon, Royal Baby, Samsung S4, Playstation 4, and North Korea rounded out the top 10 list for global trending searches on Google.

Google analyzed roughly 1 trillion searches to complete its annual Zeitgeist list and also offered information about how individuals made use of its services in different part of the world.

Google’s top trending searches, South Africa:

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Oscar Pistorius
3. Paul Walker
4. Defencex
5. Vuyo Mbuli
6. OLX
7. Standard Bank Internet
8. BBM for Nadroid
9. Reeva Steenkamp
10. Royal Baby

Google’s top trending How to.., South Africa:

1. Twerk
2. Fight
3. Survive
5. Drawing
6. Massage
7. Dance
8. Skip
9. Kickflip
10. Code

To view Google’s top trending search results for South Africa 2013 CLICK HERE


South Africa personal wealth and quality of life is declining

Legatum Global Prosperity Index 2013-1


South Africa slips 5 places to 77th most prosperous country in the world, hampered by poor health and education levels and a low sense of safety and security. Over the past 5 years, South Africa’s ranking has continued to decline. The majority of the lowest ranking countries in the Prosperity Index all come from the sub-Saharan Africa region.

The Legatum Institutes annual prosperity index ranks 142 countries across the globe in terms of income (GDP, economy, wealth) along with well-being (quality of life, governance, sentiment). The index utilizes thousands of datapoints from global data sources, tracking close to 90 variables as well as an average of over 1,500 interviews with people in each of the 142 countries covered.

Over the last five years, South Africa has dropped 33 places to 82nd in the Personal Freedom sub-index because of a decrease in civil choice. Fewer individuals in the country feel satisfied wiht their freedom of choice.  Due to an increasing perception of social support and volunteerism rates, South Africa has risen in the Social Capital sub-index to 65th position.


Legatum Global Prosperity Index 2013-2

The top performing countries in the index are Norway, with the strongest economy and highest level of social capital; followed by Switzerland in 2nd and Canada in 3rd.

The highest ranking country in the sub-Saharan Africa region is Botswana with a ranking of 72 followed by South Africa in 77th position. The highest ranked countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region fill out most of the middle and bottom reaches of the index, with plenty of countries slipping in the rankings.

When it comes to entrepreneurship and opportunity, South Africa performed well. This is the country’s highest rank when it comes to sub-indices. South Africa ranked 41st in entrepreneurship and opportunity and governance (53rd); however, education (91st), health (105th) and safety and security (106th) drag on the country’s rank.

The overwhelming majority of individuals that were interviewed (82%) believe that government corruption in the country are widespread and 73% do not feel safe in the country. South Africa has fallen.

Overall, Personal Freedom across the sub-Sahara regions has decreased significantly over the past 2 years. Countries such as South Africa , Ghana and Mali dropped out of the top 50 in the Safety & Security sub-index to 82nd, 79th, and 61st, respectively.  The main reason for the decline is due to the perceived freedom to choose the course of their lives in all 3 countries.

To view the 2013 Legatum Institutes annual prosperity index – CLICK HERE

Source: Legatum Institute


Amazon voted ahead of Apple and Google as most trusted US company

Harris Poll Reputation Quotient 1


Online retailer Amazon nabbed the premium position for corporate reputation in the latest Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, ahead of companies like Disney, Coca-Cola, and tech rivals Google and Apple.

The Annual RQ is an evaluation tool that records perceptions and views of corporate reputations across industries, involving multiple audiences, and is also adjustable to countries outside of the United States. RQ research measures stakeholder perceptions utilizing 20 attributes which are grouped into six dimensions of reputation. Those dimensions include Products & Services, Financial Performance, Workplace Environment, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, and Emotional Appeal.

The Harris Poll interviewed 14,000 individuals of the general public, evaluating their emotions and thoughts with regards to the 60 most visible companies in the united states. In the previous survey Apple held the top spot in reputation perception among consumers. However this year, Amazon’s composite score of 82.62 narrowly edged out Apple who attained a score of 82.54.


Harris Poll Reputation Quotient 3


Amazon led attained top spot in both Emotional Appeal and Products and Services. When it came to the remainder of the dimensions, Amazon placed in the top five performers. As noted by the report, Amazon obtained nearly 100 percent positive ratings on measures associated with trust, in addition to substantial support in Advocacy and Word of Mouth.

Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, stated that “Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive. And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than 9 in 10 members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”

Apple, falling into second place, placed in the top five companies in four of the poll’s metrics. In Vision & Leadership and Financial Performance, Apple grabbed the premium spot in perception.

In third spot behind Apple was The Walt Disney Company, then followed by Google, Johnson & Johnson, the Coca-Cola Company, Whole Foods, and Sony. Apple scored 82.54 while Google had a score of 81.32, rendering both companies an “Excellent” reputation courtesy of the Harris’ metrics. Down the list was Samsung, Apple’s smartphone and tablet rival, in eleventh place with a score of 77.7, climbing 2 spot from the previous year and attaining a “Very Good” reputation.


Harris Poll Reputation Quotient 2


In the previous survey, Apple and Google placed one and two on the charts, with Amazon trailing in fourth place. Speaking with Yahoo Finance, Robert Fronk mentioned that Apple’s minor drop in reputation is due in no small part to the company’s current drop in the company’s share price given the fact that investors are becoming hesitant in relation to its future earning potential.

For many years Apple’s reputation has been driven by their innovation and the fact that their products and services were always perceived to be ahead of their time in addition to driving the market. Nowadays, in actual fact, financial performance is the dominant driver of the company’s reputation. Not to mention, financial performance can be to some degree out of company’s control, as Apple is discovering.



Best and worst countries to be born in 2013


Switzerland may need to take care of a number of extra soiled diapers in the coming year. Based on a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the world’s best place to be born is Switzerland. South Africa came in at 53.

Each country is assessed according to 11 statistically significant indicators consisting of gender equality, life expectancy at birth, quality of family life, divorce rates, climate change ranked by monthly temperatures and rainfall amongst others.

Its quality-of-life index links the outcomes of subjective life-satisfaction surveys – how happy people state they are – to objective determining factors of the quality of life across countries. There is no doubt that wealth assists a lot more than anything else, however it is not all that matters; such things as crime, trust in public institutions as well as the health of family life are also taken into consideration. Overall, the index makes use of 11 statistically significant indicators into consideration. A number of indicators are fixed factors, for instance geography; a few adjust extremely slowly over time (demography, numerous social and cultural characteristics); while some factors rely upon policies along with the state of the world economy.

Even though many of the drivers associated with the quality of life are slow-changing, for this reason several ranking variables, for example income per head, have to be forecasted. The study makes use of the EIU’s economic forecasts to 2030, which happens to be approximately when children born in 2013 will reach adulthood.





In spite of the current worldwide economic crisis, times have in certain respects never been so good. Despite the fact that output growth rates happen to be declining throughout the world, income levels have reached or near historic highs. Life expectancy is constantly increasing slowly but surely and political freedoms have spread throughout the world. In various other ways, on the other hand, the crisis has left a deep imprint-in the euro zone, but also elsewhere – specifically on unemployment as well as security. As a result, it has drastically changed both family and community life.

Precisely what does all of this, and likely developments in the many years to come, necessarily mean for where a baby could very well be luckiest to be born in 2013? Following some number crunching, the EIU has Switzerland easily in the top spot followed by Australia.

The report indicates that small economies dominate the top ten. 50 % of these are European, however only one, the Netherlands, comes from the euro zone. The Nordic countries stand out, in contrast to the crisis-ridden southern region of Europe (Greece, Portugal and Spain) lags behind in spite of the benefit of a favorable climate. The largest European economies (Germany, France and Britain) tend not to do particularly well.

America, where babies will certainly end up with the massive debts of the boomer generation, languishes in 16th place. In spite of their economic dynamism, not one of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) scores that well at all. Among the list of 80 countries surveyed, Nigeria comes in in last place: this is basically the worst location for a baby to enter the world in 2013.



Coca-Cola Retains Title as World’s Most Valuable Brand


Bloomberg unveiled Interbrand’s Best Global Brands of 2011 report. The rankings are derived from five criteria and don’t include privately owned brands. The current recession has provided marketing executives throughout the world with the most challenging test of their careers. A number of brands have excelled amid the difficult times-or at the very least held their own. While others have fallen an unexpected number of spots in the latest report compiled by consultancy Interbrand. However, for seven brands, remarkable performances saw them race up the charts to take their place on this year’s list.

The majority of the top 10 have retained their positions from last year. Coca-Cola retains the #1 spot, followed by IBM, Microsoft, Google, and GE. Despite the fact that there aren’t a great deal of differences on this year’s list, you will discover a couple of unexpected surprises. Nissan, John Deere, and HTC are new on this year’s list, ranking at 90, 97, and 98, respectively.


Out of all the brands listed, Apple experienced the most significant growth and second biggest jump in the rankings. In a year when the majority of brands moved no more than a few spots in either direction, Apple leaped amazingly nine places becoming the eighth most valuable brand globally. With an amazing 58% improvement in brand value, Apple leaped from 17th place last year to break into this year’s top 10.

Amazon too experienced incredible growth, jumping 10 spots to come in at No.26 on the list, having a year-over-year value increase of 32%. Microsoft and Google finished in third and fourth respectively, with Microsoft slipping 3% and Google increasing 27% as compared to 2010.

Apple’s tremendous increase is extraordinary, but not all that unexpected, considering the year the company has experienced. What is going to be interesting is to see where Apple is ranked the same time next year, taking into consideration the adjustments to the company at the end of 2011.

To view interactive table ranking of the top global brands –  click here