Strong brands have once again proven their resilience in the recession in Millard Brown's 5th annual ranking of the world's top 100 brands. At a time when most key financial indicators plummeted, the value of the top 100 brands rose by 4% in the last year to more than $2 trillion - a 40% increase over the last 5 years. In the wake of the recession, more brands have realized that they need to maintain and even increase their marketing spend to support brand loyalty and engagement. As Millard Brown Optimor's Research Unit comments:
"Strong brands have the power to create business value. They impact much more than revenues and profit margins. Strong brands create competitive advantages by commanding a price premium and decrease the cost of entry into new markets and categories. They reduce business risk and help attract and retain talented staff."
The Top 10 Most Valuable Brands are:
- Google $114 billion
- IBM $86 billion
- Apple $83 billion
- Microsoft $76 billion
- Coca Cola $67 billion
- McDonald’s $66 billion
- Marlboro $57 billion
- China Mobile $52 billion
- GE $45 billion
- Vodafone $44 billion
Key findings from the BrandZ Top 100 include:
The value of technology brands has become indispensible in our lives. Google leads as the Most Valuable Global Brand worth $114 billion. IBM was second at $86 billion, an increase of 30 percent. In third place, Apple’s brand value grew by 32 percent and is now worth $83 billion, Microsoft was fourth with a value of $76 billion.
The Facebook Factor
Facebook, the popular social networking site, entered the technology sector ranking for the first year with a brand value of $5.5 billion. Use of social media was a key trend across many of the successful brands this year, for example, HSBC’s highly successful Expat Explorer online community.
The Emergence of BRIC Brands
The first Indian brand, ICICI, enters the Top 100 at number 45. This is the first year that all members of the BRICs have been represented with new entrants from China, Russia and Brazil.
Strong Brands Generate Strong Returns
Taking the BrandZ Top 100 as a portfolio and comparing it to the S&P 500 over the last five years reveals that $1000 invested in the BrandZ Portfolio in 2006 would now be worth $1185 compared to $885 invested in the S&P 500, proving that strong brands outperform the stock market.
Brands such as Samsung, the highest riser with an 80% growth in Brand Value, and Starbucks with an increase of 17%are evidence that businesses with strong brands are able to recover from adversity faster.
Downloads on the full reports are available from Millard Brown Optimor.