Global brand consultancy Interbrand has released the thirteenth edition of its much popular Best Global Brands Report. Recognised as a definitive guide to the most valuable brands in the world, the report is annually developed examining three key aspects that contribute to a brand's value - financial performance of the branded products or service, the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice and the strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company. Interbrand's methodology analyses the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organisation; from driving bottom-line business results to delivering on customer expectations.
Among other significant movements in the list is social media site Facebook, which at No. 69 enters the report after making headlines as the third largest initial public offering (IPO) in US history. Fourth-ranked Google has also witnessed a rise in brand value over the previous year, outshining Microsoft (at No. 5) for the first time in the history of the report.
The report finds that in spite of continued global economic uncertainty, the top 100 brands in the report maintained their market position and delivered more personal and enriching experiences to consumers across geographies and platforms.
"As global competition increases and many competitive advantages, like technology, become more short-lived, a brand's contribution to shareholder value will only increase,"
says Jez Frampton, global chief executive officer, Interbrand.
"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 touch points," he adds.
Besides Facebook, among the new entrants in the list are P&G's top selling brand in the world, Pampers (at No. 34), fashion brand Prada (at No. 84), automotive brand Kia (at No. 87), Ralph Lauren (at No. 91) and MasterCard (at No. 94).
The report puts Apple, Samsung, Oracle, Amazon and Nissan among the top rising brands in 2012. While Apple has continued to maintain the emotional connection with the consumers despite the passing away of Steve Jobs and stiff competition from Google and Samsung; the Korean mobile handset giant has reigned the smartphone market ahead of Apple and Nokia.
With four of the five top rising brands from the technology sector, tech brands continue their strong push.
Automotive brands are increasingly paying attention to the emotional connection consumers have with their cars, which has led many automakers to develop effective and technologically savvy ways to reach target markets and help prospective buyers better relate to car brands. The auto brands in the top 100 include Audi (at No. 55), Ford (at No. 45), BMW (at No. 12) and Hyundai (at No. 53). The report finds the industry to be more focused on engaging customers and prospects in a more relevant and personalised manner throughout the entire purchase cycle.
Luxury brands have managed to up their brand value despite uncertain economic conditions. The report states that the 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 timless, elevated and refined. The 2012 Best Global Brand Report includes Louis Vuitton (at No. 17), Gucci (at No. 38), Hermes (at No. 63), Cartier (at No. 68), Tiffany & Co. (at No. 70), Burberry (at No. 82) and Prada (at No. 84).
Most FMCG brands too have managed to increase value reflecting successful growth, particularly in the developing markets. The report observes another trend in the sector of increasing number of FMCG brands expanding into the healthcare space. Among the included brands at Kellogg's (at No. 29), L'Oreal (at No. 42), Heinz (at No. 46), Colgate (at No. 47), Danone (at No. 52), Nestle (at No. 57) and Johnson & Johnson (at No. 79).
Finally, in the financial services space, brands have felt the obvious impact of the economic scenario. Leading brands like Credit Suisse (at number 95) have suffered loss in reputation. Five of the 12 financial services brands in this year's report witnessed an increase in brand value - American Express (at No. 24), Morgan Stanley (at No. 54), AXA (at No. 58), Allianz (at No. 62) and Visa (at No. 74).