Top 10 global brands named

Interbrand report coverAs we reported earlier, marketing consultants Interbrand have published a list of the world's top 100 brands for the last 11 years. The list gives brands a value based on financial performance, the brand's ability to influence purchase decisions and its strength in securing earnings. So what are the top 10?

10 Hewlett Packard: value $26,867m, up 12%

HP has expanded its product portfolio and moved into service provision, while strengthening its brand platform under the slogan 'Let's Do Amazing'. Interbrand reckons its challenge is to demonstrate it can innovate in the same it is has done with hardware in the less tangible offers it is now developing.

9 Disney: $28,731m, up 1%

The company has continued to build a strong social media presence, and has kept demand for its theme parks up with a strong portfolio of discounts and incentives. It has announced plans to make its stores more of a multisensory, theme=park style experience. Interbrand would like to see more innovation.

8 Nokia: $29,495m, down 15%

The company's strength in global handset sales has kept it high in the rankings, but it's behind in the vital smartphone market. It was late to market with its own product and was not prepared for the explosion in apps that has enabled rivals to build strong economic eco-systems. Challenges lay ahead.

7 Intel: $32,015m, up 4%

New processors enabled Intel to expand beyond its tradition PC and server market. It now supplies chips fro everything from mobile phones to TVs. It has, says Interbrand, been "the engine of computing for the past 20 years". Its future strength depends on it playing the same role in the smart computer age.

6 McDonald's: $33,578m, up 4%

In a recession, the firm's emphasis on value proved a strong draw. A wider choice of products and new café concepts have attracted new customers and driven sales. It's got a strong social media presence and its corporate citizenship efforts are attracting plaudits.

5 GE: $42,808m, down 10%

GE is described as a company with " a lack of focus" by Interbrand as the consultants attempt to explain the two-year decline. Last year's problems at the consumer finance division have made way for problems caused by a decline in the importance of sustainability and a lack of new product focus.

4 Google: $43,557m up 36%

As Google continues to grow, its 'don't be evil' brand promise is going to be difficult to maintain, reckons Interbrand. Its services are undeniably popular, but well-publicised problems over how it handles privacy issues and its activities in China could begin to erode the key value of trust.

3 Microsoft: $60,895m, up 7%

Annual revenues are down, but Microsoft's focus on creating defensive products such as Bing, Xbox and Windows 7 has helped it maintain its position as the leading operating system on the market. The launch of the Xbox Kinect may signal a new wave of innovation to boost the brand.

2 IBM: $64,727m, up 7%

IBM is no longer a computer giant, it is at the centre of the knowledge economy, having continued a process of constant reinvention. Its focus on emerging economies means it can tap into big growth rates, its social media initiatives are innovative and it leads in corporate citizenship.

1 Coca-Cola: $70,452m, up 2%

The simplest product in the top 10 is the most successful brand. As Interbrand says, "It gets almost everything right". It has an attractive brand promise of fun, freedom spirit and refreshment while maintaining a nostalgic appeal. It is flexible and innovative, particularly in social media, and is already developing initiatives to counter criticism from health campaigners.

Later: More on brand winners and losers, and what makes a brand strong


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