Apple is remains the most valuable brand in terms of dollar value, while Facebook is the fastest growing brand, making it to No. 19. The world’s biggest brands have continued to grow in value during the current economic uncertainty, according to WPP company Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.
The No1 brand for the second year, Apple, rose 19% in value and is now worth $182.9 billion. IBM grew 15% in value to $115.9 billion and overtook Google, which dropped to third place in the ranking and is now worth $107.8 billion.
As its IPO closes, eight year old Facebook rose 74% in value, making it the fastest brand value riser in the ranking but still worth less than Google. Its brand is worth $33.2 billion, moving the social network up in the ranking to No19 from No35.
Seven British brands appear in the ranking, with Vodafone maintaining its leading position. At No12 in the global ranking, the communications provider is worth $43 billion (£26.4 billion).
The 2012 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor and now in its seventh year. It 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.
This year’s ranking demonstrates the power of strong brands as both a driver of new business growth and a critical support in hard times. Between 2006 and 2012, the total value of the BrandZ Top100 rose 66% and is now worth $2.4 trillion. UK brands increased by 84% in value during this period and are now worth $127 billion.
Tim Wragg, European CEO for Millward Brown said “The ubiquity of technology in our daily lives is more evident than ever this year as brand winners like Facebook, Apple and IBM grow from strength to strength and technology brands dominate the rankings. Businesses in other categories are also leveraging the power of smart, simple to use technology to enhance their customer experience.
Burberry – up 21% to $4 billion – created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more. 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.”
“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.”
Key findings highlighted in this year’s research report include:
• 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 British communications brand is Vodafone. At No12 in the global ranking, the communications provider is worth $43 billion (£26.4 billion). AT&T is the most valuable global telecoms brand worth $68.8 billion.
• Retail: constructing an omni-channel business. The customer experience is a new focus for many retailers – including M&S and Tesco – as they recognise its importance in keeping customers loyal and the need to be present anywhere and everywhere on the path to purchase. Tesco is the most valuable British retail brand worth just over $18 billion, a drop of 18%. Amazon’s brand declined by 9% and is now worth $34 billion but the retailer highlights the strong appeal of retail, in a twist on the bricks to clicks and mortar strategy usually taken with the opening of new stores this year.
• Exports to Emerging Markets Bolsters UK brands. Burberry, Dove, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Vodafone were bolstered by sales to emerging markets. Burberry leveraged its ‘Made in Britain’ label to enjoy health sales in China and other fast-growth markets with expanding middle classes. The recent acquisition of the brand’s store network in China has positioned Burberry well in this high growth region. A brand value increase of 23% put Dove in the ranking for the first time with a brand value of $4.6 billion. HSBC, worth $19.3 billion and the second Most Valuable British Brand saw an increase in its revenue from Africa and the Middle East of 67% in 2011. Africa, one of the world’s fastest growing regions, helped brands like Guinness, Orange and Vodafone this year. Further, the arrival of the first African brand in the ranking, mobile company MTN, confirms the start of Africa’s economic development.
• 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% 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% compared to an average growth of only 6% for those BrandZ Top100 brands that don’t have a woman on the board. In the UK, all of the Top10 brands have women in the boardroom.
• Strong brands provide better shareholder value. An analysis of BrandZ Top100 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%, the BrandZ Portfolio provided a 36.3% ROI, proving that companies with strong brands are able to deliver better value to their shareholders.
The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study is the only valuation in the world that takes into account what people think about the brands they buy alongside rigorous analysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles. The research report, which is available online, includes a ranking and analysis of the Top 10 most valuable brands for key regions of the world and 13 market sectors.
Download the complete BrandZ ranking here, including regional and category breakdowns.