As evident from the results of Millward Brown’s seventh annual Brand Z study of the top 100 most valuable global brands, the world’s favourite brands are even more highly prized and influential today.
This year’s top ranking brands barely moved from their positions last year although IBM vaulted over third-placed Google to take second position. Apple maintained its pole position for the second consecutive year. Among the blue chip brands that dropped out include Nokia and Goldman Sachs, the latter a casualty of financial performance.
The Brand Z top 100 study is the only ranking based on a brand valuation methodology that is grounded in qualitative customer research and in-depth financial analysis. This year’s study focused on the continuing impact of the recession, the expansion of technology, and the growing power of emerging markets. Cumulatively, brands in the top 100 league, spread evenly across 13 categories, were worth US$2.4 trillion.
“Strong brands survive as a shield against recessionary pressures,” argues Nitesh Lall,
Millward Brown’s Country Manager. “Investment in brand building certainly props brand
value, particularly in the case of developing-market brands.”
Effectively, top-tier brands that monetise their corporate sustainability and responsibility
credentials by linking more directly to social and emotional causes are fast emerging as trendsetters.
China Mobile, ranked tenth in the global study, is the only Asian brand in the top 10.
Although developing-market brands on the average saw a value decline, Africa made its
maiden entry in the top 100 with telecom brand MTN at number 88. India’s second brand
inclusion in the top 100, Bharti Airtel, made an impressionable start at position 71.
Fast-growing emerging markets now account for 20 of the top 100 brands, a 10-fold increase
from the two that appeared in 2006. Although their aggregate value dipped slightly from
last year, this could be due to financial factors such as exchange rates.
“Brands in countries with smaller populations will do well by investing and building local
value,” advises Lall. “The trust factor is an important component. People are well connected
in the social media environment, and they have the ability to influence others.”
Technology and telecoms brands account for just under a third of the top 100 brands in
the study, with Facebook the top percentage riser moving up to 19 th position. This is hardly
surprising considering that four of the top five brands, with the exception of McDonald’s, are
Brands sponsoring the 2012 Olympics, which are already strong favourites, including
McDonald’s, Samsung, Proctor & Gamble, and Coca-Cola, enjoy a huge advantage from the
reputational halo of those five interlocking rings.
The Brand Z study covers two million consumers and more than 50,000 brands in more than
Brand Z Global Top 10 Brands
10. CHINA MOBILE