ICICI, Airtel in world's top 100 brands

MUMBAI: Telecom major Airtel has become the new Indian brand to have made it to WPP company Millward Brown‘s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

Valued at $11.53 billion, Airtel has joined ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector bank, to become the only brands from India to feature in the illustrious list which consists of world’s biggest brands.

ICICI has been ranked 63 on the list, while Airtel is 71st most valuable brand in the world.

Brand ICICI, which has seen its brand valuation decline by 15 per cent to $12,665 million, has made to the list for a record third time a row. The financial service major was ranked 45th most valuable brands in the world in the 2010 study, which has entered into its seventh edition.

Apple No. 1 brand, IBM edges past Google

The study notes that world‘s biggest brands have continued to grow in value even during the current economic uncertainty with Brand Apple, the number one brand for second year in a row, growing 19 per cent to $182.9 billion.

American technology and consulting corporation IBM has eased past internet search giant Google to take number two spot. IBM grew 15 per cent in value to $115.9 billion and overtook Google, which dropped to third place in the ranking and is now worth $107.8 billion.

In advance of its IPO, eight-year-old Facebook rose 74 per cent in value, making it the fastest brand value riser in the ranking. Worth $33.2 billion, the social network moved up to number 19 from 35.

Apple sits at the top but faces competition in luxury brand segment to Samsung. Apple continues to innovate and maintain its ‘luxury‘ brand status, but faces future competition from Samsung. Now worth more than $14.1 billion, thanks in part to the success of its Galaxy handsets, Samsung is successfully outpacing Apple in a significant number of markets by positioning as a cool, well-priced alternative to the ubiquitous iPhone.

The study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor and now in its seventh year, identifies and ranks the world‘s most valuable brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity.

The 2012 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking demonstrates the power of strong brands as both a driver of new business growth and a critical support in hard times.

In 6 years, Top 100 brands rise 66% to a value of $2.4 trillion

Between 2006 and 2012, the total value of the BrandZ Top 100 rose 66 per cent and is now worth $2.4 trillion.

"Brands are an insurance policy for businesses," said Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of brand research company Millward Brown. "Despite a prolonged period of economic stress, political uncertainty and natural disasters that buffeted brands across many categories, the value of the world‘s leading brands keeps rising across many categories, sustaining and nurturing businesses."

David Roth for WPP said, "Brands help businesses create competitive differentiation, command a price premium and become more resilient to crises or economic turbulence. This year, those businesses that leveraged technology, focused on the customer experience or boosted control of their brands thrived.”

ank 2011Rank changeRank 2012CategoryBrand

Brand Value
2012 ($M)

404Fast FoodMcDonald‘s95,188
606Soft drinksCoca-Cola74,286
7-18Communication ProviderAT&T68,870
1349Communication ProviderVerizon49,151
9-110Communication ProviderChina Mobile47,041

Key findings highlighted in this year‘s research report include:

Technology Prevails: Technology has become ubiquitous in all areas of our lives. Seven of the top 10 brands are technology or telecoms brands. However, the power of smart, simple-to-use technology can also be seen beyond these two sectors.

In other categories - cars, financial services, luxury and retail for example - we can also see that brands are gaining significant advantages by using smart technology to enhance their customer experience. For example, Burberry - up 21 per cent to $4 billion - created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more.

The Rise of Africa: This year‘s ranking highlights the progress of Africa‘s economic development with the arrival of the first African brand in the Top 100 - South African mobile company MTN - No 88 at $9.2 billion. But it‘s not just African brands that are thriving south of the Sahara. Around 40 per cent of Guinness‘s sales come from Africa, Airtel‘s third quarter results showed a 16 per cent increase in revenue in Africa. Similarly, Orange enjoyed rapid growth in Africa in 2011, while Walmart invested there with the acquisition of Massmart.

The Future is Mobile: The future of the internet will be predominantly mobile rather than computer based. Mobile, to some extent, has been shielded from the recession as one of the few items consumers don‘t want to give up or cut back on. The most valuable telecoms brand is AT&T worth $68.8 billion. USA‘s largest mobile service provider, Verizon, increased its brand value by 15 per cent in the last year and is now worth $49.1 billion.

Retail is constructing an Omni-Channel Business: The customer experience is a new focus for many retailers as they recognise its importance in keeping customers loyal and the need to be present anywhere and everywhere on the path to purchase. Walmart knocked Amazon from the top position and its brand is now worth $34.4 billion whilst Amazon is now worth $34 billion.

Brands with Women on the Board Outperform: As the number of women on corporate boards continues to rise, the BrandZ Top100 study this year reveals the success that women bring to brands. 77 per cent of the brands appearing in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands have women in the boardroom. The average value of brands with women on the boards is $27 billion, double that of those companies without female directors. Not only that, these brands also show an average five-year growth of 66 per cent compared to an average growth of only 6 per cent for those BrandZ Top100 brands that don‘t have a woman on the board.

Strong Brands Provide Better Shareholder Value: An analysis of BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands as a ‘stock portfolio‘ over the last seven years shows a highly favourable performance compared to a current stock market index, the S&P500. While the total return on investment (ROI) for all companies in the S&P500 index was just 2.3 per cent, the BrandZ Portfolio provided a 36.3 per cent ROI, proving that companies with strong brands are able to deliver better value to their shareholders.

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