Brand consultancy Interbrand has released its 20th annual Best Global Brands Report—don’t be shocked: Apple, Google, and Amazon continue their success as the world’s three most valuable brands worldwide—but this year’s report adds a new twist by examining the world’s most successful brands by focusing on the end of a traditional approach to brand positioning and their ability to get ahead of consumers’ newly amplified expectations.
The latest brand valuation survey, The End of Positioning, with its revised focus on industry leaders’ navigation of the rapid ongoing change among consumers and competitive landscapes, which the firm calls “iconic moves,” also uncovered that the luxury and retail industry is still the fastest growing sector.
“Twenty years on from our first report, customers today are more informed, more connected and more demanding than ever before through a combination of wealth of choice, erosion of loyalty and shifting frames of reference wanting immediacy, abundance and intimacy—all at the same time,” said Charles Trevail, global CEO of Interbrand, in a news release.
“The age of brand positioning is over.In a world where customer expectations will continue to move faster than businesses, static brand positions and incremental change will just about keep brands in the game—but it will take, brave, we would say ‘iconic’, moves, to make brands leap ahead of customer expectations and ultimately deliver extraordinary business results,” Trevail added.
Tech dominates the Top 10
The technology sector continues to lead the rankings in 2019. Tech companies account for half of the top 10 brands—Apple (#1, $234.24B), Google (#2, $167.71B), Amazon ($125.26B), Microsoft (#4, $108.85B) and Samsung (#6, $61.1B)—and show an average growth in brand value of nine percent, tied for second behind only the luxury and retail sector. Dell (#63, $9.09B) returns to the rankings after a six-year absence, Uber (#87, $5.71B) and LinkedIn (#98, $4.84B) are all new entrants in this year’s list.
Facebook first entered the Best Global Brandsreport in 2012 at #69, seeing a steady stream of growth in the following five years. At its peak in 2017, Facebook was ranked at #8 with a Brand Value of $48.19m. 2018 saw the brand’s place slip to #9, and after falling an additional 11.8 percent in 2019, now sits at #14 with a Brand Value of $39.86B.
Rounding out the top 10 brands in this year’s report are: Coca-Cola #5 ($63,365m), Toyota #7 ($56,246m), Mercedes-Benz #8 ($50,832m), and McDonald’s #9 ($45,362m), with Disney #10 ($44,352m) returning to the top 10.
Top 20 Best Global Brands:
Some brands continue to impress in 2019—while others remain slow to make iconic moves
The new brand valuation report features a series of individual sector reports which delve deeper into the technology, luxury and retail, consumer packaged goods, media, automotive, travel, and financial services industries.
The top growing sector for 2019 was luxury and retail with 15 luxury and retail brands making the top 100; this sector sees the highest average brand value growth rate year-over-year at 11 percent. The most successful brands in the luxury space are those that have adapted to rapid changes in the global marketplace, including catering to a younger consumer base whose stylistic tastes have shifted toward streetwear, who are tech-first in their purchasing habits, and who increasingly demand for shareable, memorable moments from any brick-and-mortar retail experiences.
Gucci (#33, $15.95m) was emblematic of the luxury sector’s success, showing a 23 percent increase in brand value. Venerable brands Louis Vuitton (#17, $32.22m) and Chanel (#22, $22.13m) saw a 14 percent and an 11 percent increase, respectively, since last year’s report.
Mastercard (#62, $9.4B) demonstrated the fastest growth of any brand this year, showing a 25 percent increase in brand value, jumping eight places in the rankings.
Top growing brands:
While Mastercard’s ascent has been fueled in part by its transition from purely a financial services provider to a technology-forward enterprise, it bucks an industry-wide trend toward stagnation. Financial services are broadly represented in this year’s rankings, with 12 brands representing $145 billion in brand value in the rankings, however, none of those brands reached the top 20. Many of the sector’s leading brands have been slow to embrace the disruptive forces of technology, even as Apple, Facebook and Google make bigger moves into financial services.
20 years of brand insights
Interbrand launched the Best Global Brandsreport 20 years ago to provide marketers, investors and consumers unprecedented insights into the state of the brands that have come to define modern consumerism and the evolution of the sectors in which they operate.
Looking back on 20 years of brand valuation data can provide many insights for the future:
- Only 31 brands from the first report in 2000 remain on the list today, including Disney, Nike and Gucci.
- 137 brands, such as Nokia and MTV have dropped off the list in the intervening years.
- Coca-Cola and Microsoft are the only brands to have retained top 10 spots.
- In 2001, the first year in which the table included 100 brands, the cumulative brand value residing in the world’s top 100 brands was $988B. Today, that value stands at $2.13T, representing a 4.4 percent average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and a more than doubling in total value.
These figures show that in such a fluid market landscape, investing in brand is key to long term success.
“For decades, the entire discipline of brand-building was based on the concept of brand positioning, but in today’s accelerating markets, customer expectations outstrip static brand positions. Brands can no longer be considered separate to businesses and will be judged on what they do, not just what they say; it is about trust, not just delivery,” said Trevail.
Interbrand’s 20th annual report, The End of Positioning, analyzes how the Best Global Brands are achieving bold transformation that drives lasting economic value through brand strength.
Interbrand was the first company to have its brand valuation methodology certified as compliant with the requirements of ISO 10668 (requirements for monetary brand valuation) and played a key role in the development of the standard itself.
There are three key pieces of analysis that form the basis of Interbrand’s valuation methodology:
- The financial performance of the branded products or services
- The role the brand plays in purchase decisions
- The brand’s competitive strength and its ability to create loyalty and, therefore, sustainable demand and profit into the future