The value of a valuable brand

Top 10 global brands 2015

Brand consultancy Interbrand has published its latest annual report and ranking on the world’s top 100 global brands for 2015.

The top 10 companies ranked by brand valuation, with the percentage difference in 2015 rank compared to Interbrand’s rank of last year, are these:

  1. Apple – $170.3bn (+43%)
  2. Google – $120.3bn (+12%)
  3. Coca-Cola – $78.4bn (-4%)
  4. Microsoft – $67.7bn (+11%)
  5. IBM – $65.1bn (-10%)
  6. Toyota – $49.0bn (+16%)
  7. Samsung – $45.3bn (-7%)
  8. GE – $42.3bn (-6%)
  9. McDonald’s – $39.8bn (-6%)
  10. Amazon – $39.8bn (+29%)

There’s little surprise about the companies that are in the top 10, each of them being organizations that clearly meet Interbrand’s criteria for inclusion:

A brand must be truly global, having successfully transcended geographic and cultural boundaries. It will have expanded across the established economic centers of the world and have entered the major markets of the future.

More in the detailed explanation of Interbrand’s methodology.

Looking at number one, Apple’s 43 percent increase in brand value over the past year, my take is that this illustrates the power of the iPhone brand where the iPhone 6 launched a year ago has sold in its millions in markets worldwide. And iPhone as a brand is synonymous with Apple the brand. And number ten, Amazon, is a new entrant into this year’s top ten.

For the top 100 as a whole, Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global CEO, voices a credible perspective:

Many of the brands in this year’s Top 100 are so intuitively aligned with people’s priorities, that they are able to seamlessly integrate into their everyday lives.

The image above is a great global snapshot of so many recognizable names.  Each ranking is based on a combination of attributes that contribute to a brand’s cumulative value:

  • The financial performance of the branded products and services.
  • The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice.
  • The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

Scanning the list, one company in particular stands out because it is still a major news-headlines event – Volkswagen and the emissions-testing scandal. You’d expect the negative brand value percentage to be far higher than just nine percent, which perhaps reflects the fact that VW’s woes are too recent to have impacted Interbrand’s analysis. I wonder what 2016’s brand value and ranking story for VW will be.

While the brand value dollar figure for each brand represents the sum of the parts that Interbrand measures, the positive and negative percentage figures show that each brand has its own story to tell of successes, failures and much in between.