Brand value is intangible but often more valuable than the financials for a company. It is not something you can buy off the shelf but has to be created painstakingly over years. Small mistakes and missteps can kill a brand. A brand has to win the trust of the consumers and for that the brand has to deliver consistently not just in terms of quality and promises but in terms of the total experience for the consumer. It makes an interesting study to see where the prominent global brands stand and how they grow in value or loose some of it. Interbrand Global is conducting this extensive study, year after year for the last twelve years now. At the end of the study each year they release the rankings of the top 100 global brands. Financial performance, role of brand in purchase-decision process, and strength for the brand to continue to be profitable are the criteria for determining these rankings used by Interbrand. It shows a mirror to the brands and the companies managing them. It gives them the right perspective as to where they stand in their industry and what the others are doing that is right.
There aren’t many surprises in the list of top brands this year apart from the fact that Apple made it to the top ten just before Steve Jobs passed away. Apple is perhaps a perfect example as to how a brand is built and the kind of influence it can wield on the consumers. Steve Jobs made the brand synonymous with innovative technology and raised the expectation level of the consumers from the brand. Coca-Cola is perhaps the most consistent as a brand as it has been occupying the top slot consecutively for the last twelve years. Jez Frampton, CEO at Interbrand Global gave out a press statement along with the release of the rankings. He believes that the uncertainty in the markets is here to stay and in this environment only those brands and companies can survive and flourish who are quick and nimble. The world, and along with it the markets are changing vary rapidly and the brands need to keep pace with the change by ensuring consistency. They might need to reinvent themselves occasionally to stay relevant and their commitment to the consumer has to be one hundred percent if the brands want to keep performing at their peak levels in this changing scenario.
Louis Vuitton is once again the leader of the luxury industry at number 18 overall. However, their brand value has gone up by two percent. Luxury brands in the top 100 included Gucci (#39), Hermes (#66), Cartier (#70) Tiffany & Co. (#73), Armani (#93), and Burberry (#95). However, Cartier can be labeled as the best performer during the year as it achieved a seven point increase in its position and went ahead of Tiffany & Co. The important development during the year was that the luxury brands went digital to increase their level of engagement with consumers via social media outlets to improve their brand’s value. They were quite successful in reaching out to new customers without diluting the prestige and value of their brands. Burberry, the brand ranked lowest among the deluxe labels, was the leader in increasing brand value with a 20-percent rise. Apple was the leader in brand value increase with a whopping 58% surge and it might have given Steve Jobs some solace while he was fighting death.