MUMBAI: Continuing the trend, Apple and Google have claimed the top positions on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking for the second year in a row followed by the well-known beverage brand Coca Cola, the business services company IBM and Microsoft, which recently acquired Nokia.
Valued at $118.9 billion, Apple (#1) increased its brand value by 21 per cent while Google (#2), which is valued at $107.43 billion, increased its brand value by 15 per cent.
“Apple and Google’s meteoric rise to more than $100 billion is truly a testament to the power of brand building,” said Interbrand global CEO Jez Frampton. “These leading brands have reached new pinnacles—in terms of both their growth and in the history of Best Global Brands—by creating experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”
Also for the first time, Huawei (#94), the Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider, makes Best Global Brands history as the first Chinese company to appear on Interbrand’s ranking with a brand value that exceeds $100 billion.
“The company is currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world—just behind Samsung and Apple. The Chinese brand is one of five new entrants to enter the Best Global Brands ranking this year—the others being DHL (#81), Land Rover (#91), FedEx (#92), and Hugo Boss (#97),” the press release said.
According to the report, the top risers in 2014 include Facebook (#29, +86%), Audi (#45, +27%), Amazon (#15, +25%), Volkswagen (#31, +23%), and Nissan (#56, +23%).
The world’s largest social network, Facebook continues to exceed expectations. Reported on its Q2 earnings call, income from its operations was a staggering $1.4 billion.
“Facebook’s acquisitions of messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion and Oculus VR for $2 billion signal a new strategy unfolding. The company is building a vast product portfolio, brimming with competing services and apps,” the report stated.
Audi is another top-rising automotive brand in this year’s Best Global Brands report. It was a record-breaking year for the brand, having sold the greatest amount of cars in its history, and having achieved an operating profit of more than $6 billion.
The company also plans to invest more than $30 billion through 2018 in new products, technology, and production sites. Earlier this year, it also announced a partnership with Google, which will allow Audi drivers and passengers to use an Android-powered entertainment and information system that will run on the car’s hardware.
Another top riser, Amazon, ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company,’ with its commitment to responsiveness has become part of the brand’s mythos. It continues to grow its core business through services such as Amazon Prime, which, at one point, garnered more than a million subscribers in a single week, the report added.
While Volkswagen, one of this year’s top-rising Best Global Brands, is striving to become the world’s leading automaker by 2018, Nissan continues to drive up the Best Global Brands ranking with improved financial and brand performance.
On the other hand among the new entrants this year; DHL (#81) has opened a sea of opportunity for delivery and logistics companies whereas FedEx is also realigning its business to make the most of the booming e-commerce sector.
“As international online shopping continues to grow—and is poised to grow 200 percent in the next five years—brands like DHL and FedEx have made strides in bolstering their e-commerce capabilities,” the report reveals.
Among other findings, the research states, “This year, the collective brand value of the automotive brands appearing on the Best Global Brands ranking increased 14.6 percent. All 14 automotive brands collectively make up a combined brand value of $211.9 billion.”
This year’s top 14 automotive brands include: Toyota (#8, +20%), Mercedes-Benz (#10, +8%), BMW (#11, +7%), Honda (#20, +17%), Volkswagen (#31, +23%), Ford (#39, +18%), Hyundai (#40, +16%), Audi (#45, +27%), Nissan (#56, +23%), Porsche (#60, +11%), Kia (#74, +15%), Chevrolet (#82, +10%), Harley-Davidson (#87, +13%), and Land Rover (#91, new).
“The technology sector leads as the most valuable category overall. Legacy and one-time leading brands struggle to evolve at the pace of change,” the study adds.
Out of this year’s top 100 brands, 13 hail from the tech sector. The category as a whole grew 11.3 percent year-over-year, and collectively is worth $493.2 billion in brand value.
While Facebook (#29, +86%), Apple (#1, +21%), and Google (#2, +15%) represent this year’s fastest growing brands, a number of one-time leading brands experienced the steepest decline in brand value.
“Finnish communications and information technology provider Nokia (#98, -44%) experienced the largest decline in value among the top 100 brands, dropping from its #57 position in 2013 to #98 this year,” the survey discloses.
Against the backdrop of global economic recovery, financial services brands are also experiencing growth in brand value.
All 11 financial services brands appearing on this year’s Best Global Brands ranking increased in brand value: American Express (#23, +11%), HSBC (#33, +8%), J.P. Morgan (#35, +9%), Goldman Sachs (#47, +3%), Citi (#48, +10%), AXA (#53, +14%), Allianz (#55, +15%), Morgan Stanley (#63, +11%), Visa (#69, +10%), Santander (#75, +16%), and MasterCard (#88, +13%).
Started in 1974, Interbrand is a brand consultancy, with a network of 33 offices in 27 countries. It identifies the top 100 most valuable brands every year.