Coca-Cola retains top spot in Interbrand's Global Brands report

MUMBAI: Coca-Cola, Apple and IBM lead brand consultancy Interbrand‘s 13th annual Best Global Brands report.

While Coca-Cola retained its top position, Apple jumped to number two with stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets over the last year.

Social media giant, Facebook (69), enters the report after making headlines as the third largest IPO in US history, and Google in fourth spot experienced a 26 per cent increase in brand value over the last year, exceeding rival Microsoft‘s (5) brand value for the first time in the history of Interbrand‘s report.

Interbrand publishes its Best Global Brands report of the world‘s 100 most valuable brands on an annual basis.

Interbrand‘s methodology - the first of its kind to be ISO certified - analyses the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organisation, from driving bottom-line business results to
delivering on customer expectations.

To develop its report, Interbrand examines the 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

2012 Overview: Delivering meaningful brand experiences across all touchpoints

Against the backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty, this year‘s top 100 brands excelled in securing their market position and delivering more personal and enriching experiences to consumers -- across geographies and platforms.

Interbrand Global CEO Jez Frampton said, "As global competition increases and many competitive advantages, like technology, become more short-lived, a brand‘s contribution to shareholder value will only increase. The world‘s 100 most valuable brands are leading the way by listening to consumers, employees, and investors alike and delivering a seamless and holistic brand experience across an ever-evolving range of touchpoints."

In a fast-moving world where consumers‘ offline and online brand experiences constantly intertwine, the leading brands are staying actively engaged, tapping into the inexorable rise of data and information in order to drive innovation across all industries. They are spending the time and money required to understand the role their brand plays in consumers‘ lives - and they are strategically weaving their brand proposition into every interaction.

New entrants in 2012

Pampers (34): Pampers, the top-selling diaper brand in the US and P&G‘s number one selling brand in the world, earned the highest ranking position among this year‘s new entrants. Pampers has effectively used social media platforms and loyalty programmes to connect to its consumer base. Such efforts (and increased financial transparency on P&G‘s part) have earned Pampers a high-ranking spot in this year‘s Best Global Brands report.

Facebook (69): Facebook‘s IPO in May enabled Interbrand to examine the social media behemoth‘s financials for the first time. Despite its rocky start as a publicly listed stock and lingering uncertainty about its business model, Facebook‘s growth as a brand, especially in developing markets, earns it a position in this year‘s report.

Prada (84): Prada returns to the Best Global Brands report this year. The brand‘s continued growth in revenue is fueled largely by 250+ DOS (Directly Operated Stores) worldwide - a network that has expanded by keeping a careful eye on increasingly sophisticated customers in developing markets.

Kia (87): For the past few years, Kia has been one of the fastest-growing global automotive brands. In the US, Kia‘s market share has grown for 17 consecutive years and its sales numbers continue to rise, even in the troubled European marketplace.

Ralph Lauren (91): Making its first appearance in the top 100 since 2009, Ralph Lauren‘s notable brand growth in the past year can be attributed to highly innovative communication patterns and consistency across all touchpoints and formats.

MasterCard (94): MasterCard makes its debut in the 2012 Best Global Brands report after an impressive year. The company‘s launch of its "Priceless Cities" campaign and a growing suite of solutions for business owners are steadily increasing consumer satisfaction - and contributing to its rise in brand value.

Top rising brands in 2012

Apple (+129 per cent): Despite Steve Jobs‘ passing, consumers‘ emotional connection to the Apple brand remains stronger than ever - this was made clear just recently with the launch of iPhone 5. Even in the face of increasing competition from rivals Google and Samsung, the company continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the Apple brand and its intellectual property. Such commitment enabled Apple to post quarterly revenue of $35 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion in July.

Amazon (+46 per cent): Amazon has introduced the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in 175 countries, stretching the Kindle beyond its e-reader origins and turning it into a serious
rival to the iPad. The Kindle Fire now enjoys the world‘s second-largest tablet market share.

Samsung (+40 per cent): Samsung became the global leader for smartphone shipments in 2011 ahead of Apple and Nokia. Samsung also generated a great deal of online buzz by integrating its Galaxy SIII and Note into the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Despite its legal battle with Apple, Samsung‘s global market share is 32.6 per cent and its brand value increased by a meteoric 40 per cent in the past year.

Nissan (+30 per cent): Nissan recovered quickly from last year‘s natural disasters in Japan and grew its market share by pushing the envelope on innovation and by creating bold vehicle designs like that of the Nissan Juke. Nissan‘s ability to overcome challenges and continually innovate caught the attention of consumers and helped increase its brand value by 30 per cent.

Oracle (+28 per cent): Oracle has been branching out beyond database solutions in order to stay ahead of competitors. The company continues to make strategic acquisitions and grow its capabilities and offerings, especially in cloud computing. Oracle‘s 28 per cent increase in brand value this year proves that such strategies have impressed customers and investors alike.

Technoplogy brands continue to dominate: Technology brands continued their strong push of recent years, with four of the five top risers hailing from the sector (Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Oracle).

In addition, five of this year‘s Top 10 brands come from within the technology sector (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung). Apple, in particular, experienced record growth in brand value. While there is no question that products like the iPad and iPhone 5 are attractive to consumers around the world, Apple‘s values and unmistakable human touch are what set it apart from competitors in the end.

Automotive brnds move beyond recovery: Automotive brands are becoming more attuned to the emotional connection consumers have with their cars. This has caused many automakers to develop more effective, technologically savvy ways to reach target markets and help prospective buyers better relate to car brands.

Audi‘s (55) digital showroom, Audi City, is revolutionising the future of retailing by combining digital product presentations and personal contact with dealers. Similarly, Ford (45) is working hard to improve MyTouch, its in-car communications and entertainment system. Brands like BMW (12) and Hyundai (53) are investing in global brand campaigns and are becoming more digitally connected and tailored to narrower target groups.

For the most part, the entire industry appears to be focused on engaging customers and prospects in a more relevant and personalised manner throughout the entire purchase cycle.

Luxury brand prove resiliant: Despite the current economic landscape, all of the luxury brands in this year‘s report increased their brand value. As the meaning of luxury shifts, this year‘s top luxury brands reflect a changing global consciousness - with success dependent not only upon a portfolio of superior products and superb quality of service, but also a strong cohesive brand, a formidable digital presence, and reputation that is timeless, elevated, and refined. The 2012 Best Global Brand report includes seven luxury brands: Louis Vuitton (17), Gucci (38), Herm?s (63), Cartier (68), Tiffany (70), Burberry (82), and Prada (84).

FMCG/CPG brands increase in brand value & expand product offerings

The rise in value of several FMCG/CPG brands -- Kellogg‘s (29), L‘Oréal (42), Heinz (46), Colgate (47), Danone (52), Nestlé (57), and Johnson and Johnson (79) -- reflect successful growth, especially in the developing markets. Another growing trend observed this year was the increasing number of FMCG brands expanding into the healthcare space. Avon (71) and Kleenex (80) were the only two brands to lose brand value (-4 per cent and -7 per cent respectively).

Financial Services: Financial services brands are continuing to feel the impact of 2008‘s global economic downturn. Recent events, such as the notorious Libor scandal, have tarnished the reputation of leading brands like Credit Suisse - it declined by five per cent in brand value and ranked 95. There is reason to be optimistic about the future of this sector, however: Five of the 12 financial services brands in this year‘s report increased in brand value, including American Express (24), Morgan Stanley (54), AXA (58), Allianz (62), and Visa (74). MasterCard (94) was a new entrant to this year‘s report, an indication that its "Priceless" campaign continues to succeed in building a stronger connection between the brand and its growing customer base.

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