The world’s biggest brands: Consistent brand building is the key to this year’s success stories as brand consultancy Interbrand reveals Jane Bainbridge reports.

It will come as little surprise to most in the industry that Coca- Cola is the leading global brand, but in many ways it sits awkwardly among its fellow brand supremos.

It will come as little surprise to most in the industry that Coca-

Cola is the leading global brand, but in many ways it sits awkwardly

among its fellow brand supremos.



In the league table of the top 60 brands in the world, as devised by

brand consultancy Interbrand, the other brands in the top ten almost all

enjoy multiple product bases, as opposed to Coca-Cola’s single soft

drink offering. It is testament to Coca-Cola’s well-honed economic model

that, despite this, its brand value is way ahead of any other

contenders.



However, Raymond Perrier, Interbrand’s brand valuation director, thinks

Coca-Cola’s position in the long term is not totally secure.



’To me Coke looks more like a brand model of the past - it’s a single

product and a single experience brand. The rest of the top ten are all

brands about building a relationship through a variety of products and

distribution channels. Microsoft, IBM and Disney are all examples of

that. Coke couldn’t be less like that,’ he says.



Interbrand’s matrix for identifying the Superpower brands was based on a

complex series of calculations and criteria. The brands had to be

global, they had to be public companies, (or have publicly available

financial information), and the table excludes non-commercial

organisations such as the BBC (arguably) and the Red Cross.



The table is based on financial forecasts to the year 2005. A brand

strength score was calculated for each company based on factors such as

leadership, market stability and geography. A formula was then created

which factored in brand strength with financial forecasts, analysts

reports and revenue and profit figures, to give an overall brand value.

That is why some brands on the table have higher brand strength scores

than others, but when other factors are taken into account are lower

down the ranking.



Microsoft’s domination of the software market has ensured its position

at number two, ahead of IBM, which has worked hard to turn itself around

from its loss-making days.



Although General Electric does not have a presence in the UK, it has

shifted its marketing focus to establish its brand rather than just its

products.



GE introduced the tagline, ’We bring good things to life’ across all its

ad messages to ensure a consistent image, no matter what the

communication.



In the US it has also set up a series of co-branding and co-marketing

agreements with other known brands as a means of further leveraging its

brand value and ensuring the GE umbrella covers more. Its consistent

branding effort has paid off.



Car giant Ford is in fifth place. It has shifted its strategy to

concentrate more on the Ford brand than the individual models. While its

role of branding index is 60% compared with BMW’s 90%, its sheer size -

BMW’s revenue is about a quarter of Ford’s - ensures it claims top car

spot.



While AT&T’s fortunes may have been mixed in the UK, it is the highest

ranked telecoms company globally in this booming sector. The

announcement earlier this year that Eugene Lockhart is to be its first

ever chief marketing officer added even more weight to its focus on

branding. He was chief technology officer at Midland Bank in the 80s,

where he created First Direct.



Perrier says the top ten brands all have something in common: ’The chief

executive of all these companies understand the value of branding, and

it shows in the results.’



Another brand that has been caught out by a changing market is

Apple.



While the computing sector has become dominated by Microsoft and PCs,

Apple enjoys strong brand loyalty. From a position of financial crisis a

couple of years ago, it is starting to reverse its fortunes with the

heavily marketed iMac machine.



Successful global retailing operations are thin on the ground. This is

borne out by Gap and IKEA being the only retail brands to feature in the

table. There are, however, a significant number of luxury products -

Moet & Chandon, Louis Vuitton, Rolex - because although their revenues

aren’t necessarily high, their level of profits invariably are.



But it is toward the bottom of the top 60 brands that the new marketing

phenomenon of the internet begins to show. Amazon.com comes in at 58,

with Yahoo! at 54 and AOL at 33.



’Amazon.com has created a brand from nothing. It’s potentially very

valuable but also potentially very risky,’ says Perrier. ’It faces three

big obstacles.



Up to now it has never really had a competitor based on the

internet.



Second, it doesn’t know if it’s an internet brand or a virtual retailing

brand. Third, it’s an English language brand and people don’t buy

English language books in 80% of the world. Compare that with Microsoft

which is a language-neutral brand. Amazon has still not made any profit,

but it has created a personality.’



One danger with this table is that it looks at brands, not companies,

which means that those firms that are all one brand are more likely to

feature. This doesn’t mean that focusing on one brand is a better

marketing strategy than establishing multiple brands. So Interbrand has

also tried to value portfolio brand-based firms such as Procter & Gamble

and Nestle.



P&G comes out the top of the portfolio list, but it is still over pounds

20bn shy of Coca-Cola’s brand value.



Perrier says: ’ There is a danger of thinking in marketing it’s about

changing fashions, etc. but this shows that it’s more about being

dogged, remaining true to your business, and putting branding into the

hands of the board and chief executive.’



For a longer analysis of the table and methodology see Marketing’s web

site at www.marketing.haynet.com





WORLD’S LEADING BRANDS

      BRAND NAME          INDUSTRY            BRAND VALUE    BRAND VALUE

                                           (dollars US m)     (pounds m)

1     Coca-Cola           beverages                83,845         52,403

2     Microsoft           software                 56,654         35,408

3     IBM                 computers                43,781         27,363

4     General Electric    diversified              33,502         20,939

5     Ford                automobiles              33,197         20,748

6     Disney              entertainment            32,275         20,172

7     Intel               computers                30,021         18,763

8     McDonald’s          food                     26,231         16,394

9     AT&T                telecoms                 24,181         15,113

10    Marlboro            tobacco                  21,048         13,155

11    Nokia               telecoms                 20,694         12,934

12    Mercedes            automobiles              17,781         11,113

13    Nescafe             beverages                17,595         10,997

14    Hewlett-Packard     computers                17,132         10,708

15    Gillette            personal care            15,894          9,934

16    Kodak               imaging                  14,830          9,268

17    Ericsson            telecoms                 14,766          9,229

18    Sony                electronics              14,231          8,894

19    Amex                financial services       12,550          7,844

20    Toyota              automobiles              12,310          7,694

21    Heinz               food                     11,806          7,379

22    BMW                 automobiles              11,281          7,051

23    Xerox               office equipment         11,225          7,016

24    Honda               automobiles              11,101          6,938

25    Citibank            financial services        9,147          5,717

26    Dell                computers                 9,043          5,652

27    Budweiser           alcohol                   8,510          5,319

28    Nike                sports goods              8,155          5,097

29    Gap                 apparel                   7,909          4,943

30    Kellogg             food                      7,052          4,408

31    Volkswagen          automobiles               6,603          4,127

32    Pepsi-Cola          beverages                 5,932          3,707

33    Kleenex             personal care             4,602          2,876

34    Wrigley’s           food                      4,404          2,753

35    AOL                 software                  4,329          2,706

36    Apple               computers                 4,283          2,677

37    Louis Vuitton       fashion                   4,076          2,548

38    Barbie              toys                      3,792          2,370

39    Motorola            telecoms                  3,643          2,277

40    Adidas              sports goods              3,596          2,248

41    Colgate             personal care             3,568          2,230

42    Hertz               car hire                  3,527          2,205

43    IKEA                housewares                3,464          2,165

44    Chanel              fashion                   3,143          1,964

45    BP                  oil                       2,985          1,866

46    Bacardi             alcohol                   2,895          1,810

47    Burger King         food                      2,806          1,754

48    Moet & Chandon      alcohol                   2,804          1,752

49    Shell               oil                       2,681          1,675

50    Rolex               luxury                    2,423          1,514

51    Smirnoff            alcohol                   2,313          1,445

52    Heineken            alcohol                   2,184          1,365

53    Yahoo!              software                  1,761          1,101

54    Ralph Lauren        fashion                   1,648          1,030

55    Johnnie Walker      alcohol                   1,634          1,022

56    Pampers             personal care             1,422            889

57    Amazon.com          books                     1,361            850

58    Hilton              leisure                   1,319            824

59    Guinness            leisure                   1,262            789

60    Marriott            alcohol                   1,193            746

      BRAND NAME          INDUSTRY                 MARKET    BRAND VALUE

                                           CAPITALISATION      AS A % OF

                                                OF PARENT         MARKET

                                                  COMPANY       CAPITAL-

                                              (dollars m)        ISATION

1     Coca-Cola           beverages               142,164            59%

2     Microsoft           software                271,854            21%

3     IBM                 computers               158,384            28%

4     General Electric    diversified             327,996            10%

5     Ford                automobiles              57,387            58%

6     Disney              entertainment            52,552            61%

7     Intel               computers               144,060            21%

8     McDonald’s          food                     40,862            64%

9     AT&T                telecoms                102,480            24%

10    Marlboro            tobacco                 112,437            19%

11    Nokia               telecoms                 46,926            44%

12    Mercedes            automobiles              48,326            37%

13    Nescafe             beverages                77,490            23%

14    Hewlett-Packard     computers                54,902            31%

15    Gillette            personal care            42,951            37%

16    Kodak               imaging                  24,754            60%

17    Ericsson            telecoms                 45,739            32%

18    Sony                electronics              28,933            49%

19    Amex                financial services       35,459            35%

20    Toyota              automobiles              85,911            14%

21    Heinz               food                     18,555            64%

22    BMW                 automobiles              14,662            77%

23    Xerox               office equipment         27,816            40%

24    Honda               automobiles              30,050            37%

25    Citibank            financial services       42,030            22%

26    Dell                computers                97,327             9%

27    Budweiser           alcohol                  26,036            33%

28    Nike                sports goods             10,565            77%

29    Gap                 apparel                  20,481            39%

30    Kellogg             food                     13,445            52%

31    Volkswagen          automobiles              22,071            30%

32    Pepsi-Cola          beverages                43,450            14%

33    Kleenex             personal care            22,445            21%

34    Wrigley’s           food                      8,809            50%

35    AOL                 software                 23,979            18%

36    Apple               computers                 5,574            77%

37    Louis Vuitton       fashion                  11,935            34%

38    Barbie              toys                      8,196            46%

39    Motorola            telecoms                 24,394            15%

40    Adidas              sports goods                 **             **

41    Colgate             personal care            20,330            18%

42    Hertz               car hire                  4,691            75%

43    IKEA                housewares                   **             **

44    Chanel              fashion                      **             **

45    BP                  oil                      88,619             3%

46    Bacardi             alcohol                      **             **

47    Burger King         food                     33,810             8%

48    Moet & Chandon      alcohol                  11,935            23%

49    Shell               oil                     164,157             2%

50    Rolex               luxury                       **             **

51    Smirnoff            alcohol                  33,810             7%

52    Heineken            alcohol                  14,886            15%

53    Yahoo!              software                 12,673            14%

54    Ralph Lauren        fashion                   2,479            66%

55    Johnnie Walker      alcohol                  33,810             5%

56    Pampers             personal care            95,127             1%

57    Amazon.com          books                    18,510             7%

58    Hilton              leisure                   3,765            35%

59    Guinness            leisure                  33,810             4%

60    Marriott            alcohol                   2,278            52%

      BRAND NAME          INDUSTRY                ROLE OF          BRAND

                                           BRANDING INDEX       STRENGTH

                                                                   SCORE

1     Coca-Cola           beverages                   90%             82

2     Microsoft           software                    25%             80

3     IBM                 computers                   40%             75

4     General Electric    diversified                 25%             71

5     Ford                automobiles                 60%             72

6     Disney              entertainment               70%             79

7     Intel               computers                   30%             74

8     McDonald’s          food                        80%             78

9     AT&T                telecoms                    25%            70

10    Marlboro            tobacco                     90%            74

11    Nokia               telecoms                    60%            64

12    Mercedes            automobiles                 70%            78

13    Nescafe             beverages                   90%            79

14    Hewlett-Packard     computers                   50%            65

15    Gillette            personal care               90%            80

16    Kodak               imaging                     60%            71

17    Ericsson            telecoms                    40%            63

18    Sony                electronics                 70%            75

19    Amex                financial services          60%            71

20    Toyota              automobiles                 60%            68

21    Heinz               food                        90%            75

22    BMW                 automobiles                 90%            74

23    Xerox               office equipment            40%            68

24    Honda               automobiles                 60%            64

25    Citibank            financial services          30%            67

26    Dell                computers                   25%            57

27    Budweiser           alcohol                     80%            69

28    Nike                sports goods                90%             71

29    Gap                 apparel                     80%             60

30    Kellogg             food                        90%             70

31    Volkswagen          automobiles                 80%             73

32    Pepsi-Cola          beverages                   90%             73

33    Kleenex             personal care               90%             68

34    Wrigley’s           food                        90%             69

35    AOL                 software                    40%             52

36    Apple               computers                   80%             59

37    Louis Vuitton       fashion                     90%             62

38    Barbie              toys                        90%             70

39    Motorola            telecoms                    60%             59

40    Adidas              sports goods                90%             67

41    Colgate             personal care               90%             79

42    Hertz               car hire                    60%             69

43    IKEA                housewares                  80%             56

44    Chanel              fashion                     90%             72

45    BP                  oil                         10%             59

46    Bacardi             alcohol                     90%             71

47    Burger King         food                        80%             63

48    Moet & Chandon      alcohol                     80%             70

49    Shell               oil                         10%             61

50    Rolex               luxury                      90%             64

51    Smirnoff            alcohol                     90%             71

52    Heineken            alcohol                     90%             74

53    Yahoo!              software                    60%             50

54    Ralph Lauren        fashion                     90%             53

55    Johnnie Walker      alcohol                     90%             69

56    Pampers             personal care       &nb

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