Interbrand, a consulting firm focused on brand strategy, corporate design, brand valuation and digital marketing, has recently released their 19th Best Global Brands (BGB) 2018 annual report. Through an ISO certified methodology, Interbrand evaluates and ranks the brand’s financial performance, role and strength of multinational companies with broad and diversified geographical presence in developed and emerging markets.
The three components of the Interbrand valuations are backed by data and quantitative analyses: Reuters for financial performance, GlobalData for brand volumes/values to infer the role of brand in purchasing decisions, Infegy for social media analysis as proxy for brand competitive strength.
The 2018 BGB report is themed “Activating Brave”:
In other words, harnessing the ability to take bold short-term action that responds to the needs of the marketplace while pursuing a clear and aligned long-term vision.
To simultaneously look through a microscope and a telescope,
To have the courage to intercept the future, not just flow with it, and,
To take decisive action that makes a real impact.
Only when you have the sanctuary of a deep understanding of who you are, and where you are going tomorrow, can you confidently make the brave short-term calls needed to win today.
Technology is the single biggest valued category with most brands in the top one hundred ranking. Apple is not only the biggest company in terms of market capitalization but also for brand value: Apple’s valuation alone is around four fifths of the entire automotive sector, the second most valued industry in the report.
Together the media, electronics and technology sectors comprise twenty two brands with Apple leading the overall ranking of the report with a high margin on second ranked Google. The top five technology brands are top ten global brands. Spotify is a new entrant in 2018 report and classified under the media category, although it could be also included as a technology company. Nintendo is a new entrant in the electronics category.
The luxury sector was the top-performing category this year with 42 percent growth. Despite the shifting expectations of luxury, leading luxury brands have continued to show significant growth. Undoubtedly, luxury today is defined as both products and experiences, but each provides a sense of exclusiveness that comes from a unique or personalized service, or a premium experience that delivers an emotional reward at every touchpoint, and exceeds customer expectations to surprise and delight.
[…] Gucci’s recent efforts to respond more rapidly to today’s business landscape helped it grow by 30 percent within the past year. The luxury brand’s rapid growth can be attributed to the striking dynamic between Creative Director Alessandro Michele and CEO Marco Bizzarri. One of the many investments that Bizzarri has made in people is his ‘shadow committee’ of millennial employees, with whom he meets regularly to garner insights from their thoughts on the business and ideas for innovation.
Alcohol, beverages and restaurants industries comprise thirteen brands, including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, which are in the top ten.
Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail brands include several in the former and only Amazon, Ebay and Ikea in the latter. E-commerce giant Amazon is the brand that increased the most in the 2018 Interbrand ranking. It is remarkable that retail brands are only three in the BGB report and two of them digitally native e-commerce sites (although Amazon after the acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods has now also physical stores). Ikea remains the only traditional retailer, but the Swedish multinational company is digitalizing, expanding its online sales channel and testing small store concepts known as “Order and collection point”, an AR app called Ikea Place and VR showrooms.
Automotive brands are shown individually, although some of them are part of the same parent group. Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen considered as one entity would be ranked higher among the top four automotive brand powers. Similarly BMW-Mini and Hyundai-Kia are brands in the same company.
Business and financial services brands include three top growing companies: Mastercard, PayPal and Salesforce. Among the fifteen brands only two, PayPal and Salesforce, are non incumbent financial firms.
There are twelve Asian brands and for the great majority from Japan (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Nintendo, Subaru), followed by Korea (Samsung, Hyundai, Kia) and China (Huawei). Samsung is the most valued Asian brand in the Interbrand BGB report and with Toyota the only two Asia Pacific brands in the top ten.