Anatomy of the top 100 brands 2013

MUMBAI: This year, Apple has re-written history by replacing Coca-Cola, the number one brand for the past 13 years, as the new numero uno in the coveted top 100 global brands announced by brand consultancy, Interbrand.

Interestingly, it’s not as if Coca-Cola got it wrong this time round. Rather, the FMCG brand has been on a successful spree; winning awards, launching brilliant campaigns, and engaging people in popular initiatives like Coke Studio. Just that technology and new media have emerged leaders this year.

Ashish Mishra says the report tries to find an answer to who really leads the brand the marketer or the consumer, or both

Says Interbrand India managing director Ashish Mishra: “If we look at the top five or ten, its technology and new media which is leading the pack and this is the trend all across.”

The top 10 brands convey a message: A brand today has got to be all about the people. And how anticipation, co creation, conversation, innovation, investment in people & big data, strategic CSR and new leadership is the new way ahead. Mishra goes on to say that Apple has climbed the charts because of the Apple culture is has fashioned across the globe.

East is East, West is West

What emerges from the list is that most of the top 100 brands belong to the Western world. So is it to do with our white fixation or the fact that brands from the US, UK, Germany or France have made a name for themselves globally?

“A brand needs to be where the top 10 GDPs are,” says Ashish, adding that apart from the brands’ financial performance, their role in influencing consumer choice, the strength they command as also recognition across the globe are important factors while determining their value.

What is more unfortunate is that no Indian brand figures in the top 100. The consultancy reasons it’s all about diversification.

Mishra explains that post Independence, India grew at a fast clip while business grew in various directions. For example, Tata today means different things i.e. Tata Steel, Tata Motors, TCS etc. to different people. Ditto for other Indian conglomerates, which diversified into different brands and sub-brands, which in turn grew bigger than the mother brand in some cases.

“An organisational structure is important and somewhere down the line, custody of sub-brands was handed over to people (CEOs, CMOs, CFOs etc) who took charge but forgot to work towards the mother brand,” says Mishra of the irony of the Indian market.

The agency is helping many companies in India to bridge the gap and be part of the global brands. And to achieve it, the agency feels the companies need to have an inside-outside perspective wherein they need to go to the right markets after creating a name for themselves here as well as compete with the global counterparts on the same parameters.

Media not so savvy

Of the top 100, the only media brands are Disney, Thomson Reuters, Discovery (new entrant this year) and MTV. Implying that while media may be the most influential opinion maker for readers and viewers, it somehow fails to impress brand creators.

While the consultancy does evaluate media brands excluding publishing houses, very few made it to the list. Also, the consultancy made an exception for India and China by taking into consideration government-owned brands because of their sheer number in these countries.

“The names in the list are the most influential brands globally. But if you look at the media in a broader context, then many other brands too would be included. For example, Facebook,” says Ashish. Incidentally, the top 30 brands evaluated by the consultancy in India did not have a single name from the media.

Whatever may be the case, the names that figure on the list demonstrate that these brands have indeed managed to deliver meaningful and seamless experiences across all platforms and touch points.

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