- Category: December 2013 - Brand Management
Interbrand, the world's largest brand consultancies, expanded and improved its service capabilities as well as abilities in dealing with cross-language and cross-cultural branding even further after being acquired by Omnicom Group in 1993, having now 42 offices in 28 countries.
Specialized in vast brand services - including brand strategy, brand analytics, brand valuation, corporate design, digital brand management, packaging design and naming - Interbrand is widely recognized for its annual Best Global Brands report, which is the topic I want to talk about.
Published on an annual basis, it identifies and examines the top 100 most valuable global brands (see list below). To qualify, brands must have a presence on at least three major continents, and must have broad geographic coverage in growing and emerging markets. Besides that, 30% of revenues must come from outside the home country, and no more than 50% of revenues should come from any one continent. The annual report was published in BusinessWeek until 2009, before Interbrand assumed sole authorship in 2010.
Jez Frampton, Global CEO, Interbrand states in the latest Best Global Brand 2013 report: “Driven by rapid technological advancement, the digitization of nearly everything, and the ever more intricate interdependencies of the global market, the business landscape has transformed over the past two decades. Operating in a bewildering new environment in which little is certain, the pace is quicker and the dynamics more complex.”
His statement is a good explanation, why for the first time in the history of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, there is a new #1 brand: Apple. The usual suspects for the top spot slip down: Google jumps to #2 and Coca-Cola, the brand that held the #1 position for 13 consecutive years, moves to #3.
Apple has appeared on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking since 2000, when the ranking debuted. In 2000, Apple ranked #36 and had a brand value of USD $6.6 billion. Today, Apple’s brand value is USD $98.3 billion– almost 15 times the amount of its brand value in 2000. Its spectacular rise in brand value can be attributed to the way it has created a seamless omnichannel experience for customers.
“Every so often, a company changes our lives—not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Apple now ranks #1,” said Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer.
When determining the top 100 most valuable global brands, Interbrand examines three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value:
- The financial performance of the branded products or service;
- The role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice;
- The strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.
This year, the total value of all 100 Best Global Brands is USD $1.5 trillion, which is an 8.4% record increase over last year.
In addition to identifying the top 100 most valuable global brands, the Best Global Brands 2013 report examines the evolving role of leadership as it relates to brands. Interbrand contends that leadership must now be shared. CEOs, CMOs and consumers all have the power to drive the value of the brands they manage or admire.
“In today's global and social media-obsessed marketplace, brand leaders recognize the need to be highly collaborative,” notes Frampton. “The top 100 most valuable global brands are unlocking their value by participating, listening, learning, and sharing – and not just with leaders from within their organization, but with consumers too. Brands that learn to think differently about the role they play in consumers’ lives – and how to fulfill that role – have an opportunity to change the world in ways they never imagined.”
Top Rising Brands
Facebook: As the leading (and only) social media brand to claim a position on this year’s Best Global Brands ranking, Facebook has succeeded in boosting both revenue and earnings per share in the past year—and has surpassed Wall Street's expectations in the process. Facebook also increased its global user base by 26% since its IPO over a year ago. Around the world, the brand continues to see an increase in users, with the Asia-Pacific region experiencing the largest growth. Facebook’s mobile users also grew by 51% in the past year and mobile ads are poised to account for more than half of the social media giant's advertising dollars. With former Google executive Gary Briggs recently named the company's first CMO and by acquiring companies like Instagram, Facebook’s growth is likely to continue for years to come.
Google: Due to evolutionary changes to its core offerings - Search, Android, and Gmail - and new innovations like Google Glass and its self-driving car, Google’s brand value increased by 34% – making it this year’s #2 brand and the second top rising brand after Facebook. By continuing to move beyond search and by placing big bets on innovation, Google will impact the way its consumers live and behave worldwide – and increase the value of its brand in the process.
Apple: Despite having its reputation tarnished by patent spats with Samsung and the Foxconn labor conditions scandal, the Apple brand proved to be resilient and emerged as not only the leader in this year’s Best Global Brands report, but also a top riser. In addition to being resilient, Apple is also prescient – continually anticipating what consumers will want next. To maintain its #1 position over the next year, Apple will have to slow rival Samsung’s momentum in the mobile market and never lose sight of what it does best: “Think different.”
Amazon: With a brand value increase of 27%, Amazon is a top riser in this year’s Best Global Brands report. The e-commerce innovator continues to differentiate itself from rivals by taking on initiatives such as Amazon Appstore, which provides a comprehensive mobile experience for Google Android devices. Amazon has also expanded into new businesses such as original programming, the Kindle line of e-book readers, and same-day grocery delivery service. Such initiatives, if successful, could mean Amazon will play an even greater and more holistic role in its consumers’ future retail experiences.
Fact is that technology dominates as the most valuable sector overall, with a combined brand value USD $443.154 billion and that tech brands continue to dominate Interbrand's Best Global Brands report – underscoring the fundamental and invaluable role they play in consumers' lives.
Due to its commitment to product innovation and its massive marketing spend, Samsung (#8, +20%) has surpassed Apple in smartphone sales and appears to be leading the tech sector in terms of connectivity and home automation. Samsung, which had one of the strongest increases of absolute brand value this year, continually anticipates what consumers will desire next.
Despite the strong performance of many brands in this sector, a number of tech and consumer electronic brands did not rise, or even earn a position, on this year’s ranking. Most notably, one-time category leaders, Yahoo! and Blackberry fell off this year's ranking entirely, while Nokia (#57, -65%) experienced the largest decline in brand value in the history of Best Global Brands. Nintendo (#67, -14%), and Dell (#61, -10%) also experienced a decline in brand value. In the fast-changing world of mobile, digital, and social media, these brands have struggled to articulate their respective attributes and deliver meaningful and seamless experiences across all platforms and touch-points.
As purchasing increasingly shifts from a physical experience to a virtual one and transaction-based interactions between brands and consumers shift to relationship-based interactions, it can be expected that the results of next year’s report won’t look much different. But who knows, since traditional structures are crumbling and the consumer’s voice carries more weight than ever, the suspense continues for Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands. (Source: Interbrand)