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Tech firms dominate as Interbrand reveals brand spanking brand rankings

Interbrand has released the 11th annual 100 Best Global Brands rankings and, out of the corporate turbulence seen over the past 12 months, it’s the high profile technology brands that have performed best.

Interbrand, a leading global brand consultancy, publishes the ranking of the top 100 brands based on a methodology that analyses the many ways a brand touches and benefits an organisation, from attracting top talent to delivering on customer expectation. And for the 11th year in a row, Coca-Cola has retained the top spot as the number one ranked brand on the list. Google (#4) saw a 36 percent increase in value over last year, bringing the company closer than ever to rival Microsoft (#3), while HP (#10) entered the top 10 for the first time.

Interbrand New Zealand managing director James Bickford says “simple, honest and genuine communication runs in the blood of the top brands and sets them apart from others —they are easy to relate to, and strike a chord globally”.

“2010 has seen verbal identity — the way a brand speaks — become a critical tool for brands whether in crisis or interacting with customers. More importantly consumers can see straight through a brand’s verbal uncertainty.”

A number of prominent brands faced extraordinary crisis in 2010 resulting in stalled growth, value loss and, in the case of BP, failure to make the ranking this year. BP’s environmental disaster and inability to make good on its brand promise of ‘Beyond Petroleum’ led to it falling off of the list and helped competitor Shell emerge as an industry leader, now ranked number 81, up from number 92 in 2009.

Although the Toyota (#11) recall caused the brand to lose 16 percent of its brand value, its long-standing reputation for reliability, efficiency and innovation helped it weather the crisis better than expected. In contrast, Goldman Sachs (#37), once the envy of Wall Street, now faces the dichotomy of strong economic results and an angry public that will continue to lash out until the company begins to demonstrate that it is making sincere efforts to better align its ethics with its brand, Bickford says.

“Verbal identity is not cracked overnight. It is a part of the brand’s overall make up and is generated, nurtured and delivered from the inside out. If employees are not brand engaged, living and communicating the brand’s personality, values and story consistently in a simple and genuine tone of voice, consumers will react negatively,” Bickford says.

Technology brands are well represented in the top 10, with IBM (#2), Microsoft (#3), Google (#4), Intel (#7), and HP (#10) earning top rankings. Apple (#17) increased brand value 37 percent through carefully controlled messaging and an endless wave of buzz surrounding new product launches.

Despite a challenging year, HP made smart additions to its product portfolio and swiftly expanded the HP brand to protect its ranking on the list. With 32 percent brand value growth, BlackBerry (#54) remains the most popular smartphone for business users, despite pressure from Apple as it edges into the corporate world.

During a difficult year for the auto industry, Mercedes Benz (#12) and BMW (#15) were able to sustain and build their value through innovative design and a focus on delivering premium value vehicles with luxury features. Using customer feedback, largely drawn from YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook to launch the 2009 Fiesta, Ford (#50) stands out as one of the best examples of how to use social media. Award-winning products like the Q5 and rich heritage help Audi (#63) lead auto industry growth this year with a nine percent increase in its brand value.

Despite the economic downturn, luxury brands Cartier (#77), Armani (#95), Louis Vuitton (#16), Gucci (#44), Tiffany & Co (#76) and Hermes (#69) all saw the value of their brands increase in 2010 by continuing to invest in their heritage and legendary status. Outstanding customer service and a focus on unique in-store and online experiences allowed them to stay strong, even while consumers cut back spending.

In the financial sector, legacy brands Citi (#40) and UBS (#86) lost double-digits in brand value, while Santander (#68), Barclays (#74) and Credit Suisse (#80) made their debut on the list for the first time. Their ability to stay true to brand promises in unsure times, and avoidance of the subprime mortgage crisis, helped them stay the course.

Interbrand’s 2010 Best Global Brands is available in full, along with expanded content and methodology, on Interbrand.com.

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2010

RANK

2009

RANK

BRAND SECTOR 2010

BRAND VALUE $m

2009

BRAND VALUE $m

% CHANGE (BRAND VALUE)
1 1 COCA-COLA BEVERAGES 70,452 68,734 2%
2 2 IBM BUSINESS SERVICES 64,727 60,211 7%
3 3 MICROSOFT COMPUTER SOFTWARE 60,895 56,647 7%
4 7 GOOGLE INTERNET SERVICES 43, 557 31,980 36%
5 4 GE DIVERSIFIED 42,808 47,777 -10%
6 6 MCDONALD’S RESTAURANTS 33,578 32,275 4%
7 9 INTEL ELECTRONICS 32,015 30,636 4%
8 5 NOKIA ELECTRONICS 29,495 34, 864 -15%
9 10 DISNEY MEDIA 28,731 28,447 1%
10 11 HP ELECTRONICS 26,867 24,096 12%
11 8 TOYOTA AUTOMOTIVE 26,192 31,330 -16%
12 12 MERCEDES-BENZ AUTOMOTIVE 25,179 23,867 6%
13 13 GILLETTE FMCG 23,298 22,841 2%
14 14 CISCO BUSINESS SERVICES 23,219 22,030 5%
15 15 BMW AUTOMOTIVE 22,322 21,671 3%
16 16 LOUIS VUITTON LUXURY 21,860 21,120 4%
17 20 APPLE ELECTRONICS 21,143 15,433 37%
18 17 MARLBORO TOBACCO 19,961 19,010 5%
19 19 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS 19,491 17,518 11%
20 18 HONDA AUTOMOTIVE 18,506 17,803 4%
21 21 H&M APPAREL 16,136 15,375 5%
22 ORACLE BUSINESS SERVICES 14,881 13,699 9%
23 23 PEPSI BEVERAGES 14,061 13,706 3%
24 22 AMERICAN EXPRESS FINANCIAL SERVICES 13,944 14,971 -7%
25 26 NIKE SPORTING GOODS 13,706 13,179 4%
26 27 SAP BUSINESS SERVICES 12,756 12,106 5%
27 25 NESCAFE BEVERAGES 12,753 13,317 -4%
28 28 IKEA HOME FURNISHINGS 12,487 12,004 4%
29 37 JP MORGAN FINANCIAL SERVICES 12,314 9,550 29%
30 30 BUDWEISER ALCOHOL 12,252 11,833 4%
31 31 UPS TRANSPORTATION 11,826 11,594 2%
32 32 HSBC FINANCIAL SERVICES 11,561 10,510 10%
33 33 CANON ELECTRONICS 11,485 10,441 10%
34 29 SONY ELECTRONICS 11,356 11,953 -5%
35 34 KELLOGG’S FMCG 11,041 10,428 6%
36 43 AMAZON.COM INTERNET SERVICES 9,665 7,858 23%
37 38 GOLDMAN SACHS FINANCIAL SERVICES 9,372 9,248 1%
38 39 NINTENDO ELECTRONICS 8,990 9,210 -2%
39 40 THOMSON REUTERS MEDIA 8,976 8,434 6%
40 36 CITI FINANCIAL SERVICES 8,887 10,254 -13%
41 35 DELL ELECTRONICS 8,880 10,291 -14%
42 42 PHILIPS ELECTRONICS 8,696 8,121 7%
43 46 EBAY INTERNET SERVICES 8,453 7,350 15%
44 41 GUCCI LUXURY 8,346 8,182 2%
45 44 L’OREAL FMCG 7,981 7,748 3%
46 48 HEINZ FMCG 7,534 7,244 4%
47 45 ACCENTURE BUSINESS SERVICES 7,481 7,710 -3%
48 50 ZARA APPAREL 7,468 6,789 10%
49 47 SIEMENS DIVERSIFIED 7,315 7,308 0%
50 49 FORD AUTOMOTIVE 7,195 7,005 3%
51 52 COLGATE FMCG 6,919 6,550 6%
52 57 MORGAN STANLEY FINANCIAL SERVICES 6,911 6,399 8%
53 55 VOLKSWAGEN AUTOMOTIVE 6,892 6,484 6%
54 63 BLACKBERRY ELECTRONICS 6,762 5,138 32%
55 54 MTV MEDIA 6,719 6,523 3%
56 53 AXA FINANCIAL SERVICES 6,694 6,525 3%
57 58 NESTLE FMCG 6,548 6,319 4%
58 60 DANONE FMCG 6,363 5,960 7%
59 56 XEROX ELECTRONICS 6,109 6,431 -5%
60 61 KFC RESTAURANTS 5,844 5,772 2%
61 NEW SPRITE BEVERAGES 5,777 N/A N/A
62 62 ADIDAS SPORTING GOODS 5,495 5,397 2%
63 65 AUDI AUTOMOTIVE 5,461 5,010 9%
64 67 AVON FMCG 5,072 4,917 3%
65 69 HYUNDAI AUTOMOTIVE 5,033 4,604 9%
66 64 YAHOO! INTERNET SERVICES 4,958 5,111 -3%
67 81 ALLIANZ FINANCIAL SERVICES 4,904 3,831 28%
68 NEW SANTANDER FINANICIAL SERVICES 4,846 N/A N/A
69 70 HERMES LUXURY 4,782 4,598 4%
70 66 CATERPILLAR DIVERSIFIED 4,704 5,004 -6%
71 71 KLEENX FMCG 4,536 4,404 3%
72 74 PORSCHE AUTOMOTIVE 4,404 4,234 4%
73 75 PANASONIC ELECTRONICS 4,351 4,225 3%
74 NEW BARCLAYS FINANCIAL SERVICES 4,218 N/A N/A
75 80 JOHNSON & JOHNSON FMCG 4,155 3,847 8%
76 76 TIFFANY & CO LUXURY 4,127 4,000 3%
77 77 CARTIER LUXURY 4,052 3,968 2%
78 NEW JACK DANIEL’S ALCOHOL 4,036 N/A N/A
79 82 MOET & CHANDON ALCHOHOL 4,021 3,754 7%
80 NEW CREDIT SUISSE FINANCIAL SERVICES 4,010 N/A N/A
81 92 SHELL ENERGY 4,003 3,228 24%
82 94 VISA FINANCIAL SERVICES 3,998 3,170 26%
83 79 PIZZA HUT RESTAURANTS 3,973 3,876 2%
84 78 GAP APPAREL 3,961 3,922 1%
85 NEW CORONA ALCOHOL 3,847 N/A N/A
86 72 UBS FINANCIAL SERVICES 3,812 4,370 -13%
87 86 NIVEA FMCG 3,734 3,557 5%
88 95 ADOBE COMPUTER SOFTWARE 3,626 3,161 15%
89 84 SMIRNOFF ALCOHOL 3,624 3,698 -2%
90 NEW 3M DIVERSIFED 3,586 N/A N/A
91 88 FERRARI AUTOMOTIVE 3,562 3,527 1%
92 NEW JOHNNIE WALKER ALCOHOL 3,557 N/A N/A
93 NEW HEINKEKEN ALCOHOL 3,516 N/A N/A
94 NEW ZURICH FINANCIAL 3,496 N/A N/A
95 89 ARMANI LUXURY 3,443 3,303 45
96 91 LANCOME FMCG 3,403 3,235 5%
97 90 STARBUCKS RESTAURANTS 3,339 3,263 2%
98 73 HARLEY-DAVIDSON AUTOMOTIVE 3,281 4,337 -24%
99 100 CAMPELL’S FMCG 3,241 3,081 5%
100 98 BURBERRY LUXURY 3,110 3,095 0%

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