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Apple is world's top value brand, says WPP's BrandZ

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MUMBAI: Apple has emerged as the most valuable brand in the world, ending the four-year reign of Google at the top of the table, says the sixth edition of BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

With an 84 per cent increase in value over the past year and 859 per cent since 2006, Apple now stands at $153.3 billion, according to estimates by WPP‘s brand research company, Millward Brown Optimor. 

 

Also, emerging markets account for 19 of the top 100 brands.

During last year‘s economic recovery, the combined value of all the brands in the top 100 has risen by 17 per cent and is now worth $2.4 trillion.

In terms of geography, according to BrandZ study 2011, 19 of the Top 100 brands now originate in "BRICs" markets, versus only two in 2006.

The study claims that the growing presence of brands from BRICs in this global ranking highlights the expanding purchasing power of people in these countries. While many of these brands are buoyed by the size of their local customer base, many more now have international ambition including Petrobras in Brazil (No. 61 in the ranking with a brand value of $13.4 billion); ICICI Bank in India (No. 53 and worth $14.9 billion) and China‘s largest search engine Baidu (No. 29, up 46 places, and valued at $22.5 billion). 

  

Despite these successes, however, consumers in the BRIC regions continue to favor Western brands. Louis Vuitton, for example, (for which Brazil is its second-largest market) benefited from the new energy and confidence in the BRICs region. Its 23 per cent growth in brand value to $24.3 billion has helped this luxury retailer achieve 26th place in the ranking, a three-spot increase from 2010.

Said David Roth at WPP, "In the last year, the global economy shifted from recovery to real growth, the combined value of all brands in the Top 100 ranking has risen by 64 percent since 2006 and is now worth $2.4 trillion. Strong brands, while not immune to the vicissitudes of the market, are more protected, prepared, resourceful and resilient."

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, identifies and ranks the world‘s most valuable 100 brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data combined with consumer measures of brand equity.

The Most Valuable Global Brands 2011 :

Rank Brand Value in $ million Brand value change from 2010
1
Apple 153,285 + 84 per cent
2
Google 111,498 - 2 per cent
3
IBM 100,849 + 17 per cent
4
McDonald‘s* 81,016 + 23 per cent
5
Microsoft 78,243 +2 per cent
6
Coca-Cola 73,752 +8 per cent
7
at&t 69,916 -
8
Marlboro 67,522 +18 per cent
9
China Mobile 57,326 +9 per cent
10
GE 50,318 +12 per cent

The Brand Value of Coca-Cola includes Lites, Diets and Zero

Adds Millward Brown CEO Eileen Campbell, "Business leaders can embrace brand management as a critical competency for building long-term financial value. Compared with an overall improvement of 13 per cent in the world‘s equity markets during 2010, the best brands grew their value 30 per cent faster."

The study also says that heritage brands stayed relevant in a technology age.

Brands such as Coca-Cola (No. 6), GE (No. 10), IBM (No. 3) and McDonald‘s (No. 4), stand out in this study of global brand strength as brands that have survived for more than 50 years. Leadership, strategy and tactics aside, what all of these companies have in common is their use of brand to remain relevant to consumers and drive global business success.

Technology and telecom brands have dominated the ranking:

Technology brands, which make up one-third of the Top 100 brands, continue to demonstrate their relevance in our daily lives.

While Apple leads the ranking, it is followed in second place by Google, with a brand value of $111.5 billion, and IBM in third place with a brand value of $100.9 billion.

Facebook makes its debut in the Top 100 ranking this year at No. 35 with the highest increase in brand value, 246 per cent, making the brand worth $19.1 billion. Online retailer Amazon also edged past Walmart to become the No. 1 retail brand and 14th overall, with a 37 per cent rise in brand value to $37.6 billion.

Fast food, luxury and technology brands led brand value appreciation: Each of the 13 market sectors covered in this study grew in value over the last year. Fast food led the sector growth (22 per cent) followed by luxury (19 per cent) and technology (18 per cent). The oil and gas sector experienced the slowest rate of growth (1 per cent).

BrandZ Top 100 also says that brands are ever more dependent on their use of technology to win consumers‘ hearts and minds.

The brand values of Burberry, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Coca-Cola all benefited from their use of technology, for example, by harnessing social media and apps. At the same time, the dependencies demonstrated in the physical world between applications, devices and operating platforms are creating similar branded interdependencies.

Brands that are aware of the risks can leverage these associations to drive value and growth, the study advises.

Also, Toyota has reclaimed the position as most valuable car brand demonstrating the power of strong brands to recover from the most fundamental challenges to product efficacy and reputation. Toyota‘s brand, which is rated by consumers as "great value," rose 11 per cent to $24.1 billion.

 

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