What’s up with personal assistant apps?

Apple Siri loses a chunk of users, but it still possesses the biggest share of the AI-powered personal assistant apps market.

With the entry of new personal assistant apps, it’s only logical that there would be a shift in market share between the established players and the upstarts.

That trend is underscored in statistics recently published by Verto Analytics which are based on behavioral data gleaned from ~20,000 U.S. consumers via passive metering of their digital devices.

According to Verto, the current share of usage among the seven top personal assistant apps breaks down as follows:

  • Apple Siri: 41MM monthly U.S. users (~44%)
  • Samsung S Voice: 23MM (~25%)
  • Google Text-To-Search: 20MM (~21%)
  • Google Home: 5MM (~5%)
  • Amazon Alexa: 3MM (~3%)
  • Google Allo: 1MM (~1%)
  • Microsoft Cortana: 1MM (~1%)

These stats show the degree to which the top three apps continue to dominate the U.S. market. However, they don’t tell the entire story.  A more interesting trend is what’s happening with the number of monthly users by app. In the case of Siri, its monthly user figure has dropped a full 15% in the past year – or about 7 million monthly users lower than in 2016.

Samsung, #2 on the list, also experienced a decline in monthly users – in its case a drop of 8%, or about 2 million fewer users compared to 2016.

Google Home also experienced a slide in subscribers, although #3 ranged Google Text-To-Search did grow.

The biggest growth trends in personal assistant apps were experienced by Alexa (up ~325%) and Cortana (up ~350%). Both apps were starting from a very low baseline, however, and today they still number only around 3 million and 1 million monthly users respectively.

Another interesting dynamic is the level of engagement each of these personal assistant apps generates. As it turns out, there is a direct correlation between overall user growth and levels of engagement, so it’s pretty clear where most of the “go-go” action is at the moment:  Alexa and Cortana.

Perhaps most significantly, the Verto report suggests that personal assistant apps are of more utility to users than search apps such as Google or Yelp. Approximately 45% of smartphones owned by U.S. adults contained a personal assistant app that was used at least once during the month of May 2017.  Compare that to the percent of smartphones that had a search app installed over the same period:  just 34%.

It goes to show that among personal assistant apps broadly, the market is quite robust even if it’s fragmenting rather than consolidating.

Who are the World’s Most Reputable Companies in 2016?

I’ve blogged before about the international reputation of leading companies and brands as calculated by various survey firms such as Harris Interactive.

RI logoOne of these ratings studies is conducted by market research firm Reputation Institute, which collected nearly 250,000 ratings during the first quarter of 2016 from members of the public in 15 major countries throughout the world.

The nations included in the company reputation evaluation were the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil in the Americas … France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Russia in Europe … India, China, South Korea and Japan in Asia … as well as Australia.

Approximately 200 leading companies were rated by respondents on a total of seven key dimensions of reputation, including:

  • Products and services
  • Innovation
  • Workplace
  • Governance
  • Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Performance

In the 2016 evaluation, the top-rated companies scored “excellent” (a rating of 80 or higher on a 100-poinst scale) or “strong” (a rating of 70-79) in all seven reputation categories. 2016’s “Top 10” most reputable firms turned out to be these (ranked in order of their score):

#1 Rolex

#2 The Walt Disney Company

#3 Google

#4 BMW Group

#5 Daimler

#6 LEGO Group

#7 Microsoft

#8 Canon

#9 Sony

#10 Apple

Different companies scored highest on specific attributes, however:

  • Apple: #1 in Innovation and in Leadership
  • Google: #1 in Performance and in Workplace
  • Rolex: #1 in Products & Services
  • The Walt Disney Company: #1 in Citizenship and in Governance

VAt the other end of the scale, which company do you suppose was the one that suffered the worst year-over-year performance?

That dubious honor goes to Volkswagen.  In the wake of an emissions scandal affecting the brand internationally, VW’s reputation score plummeted nearly 14 points, which was enough to drop it out of the Top 100 brand listing altogether.

It’s quite a decline from the VW’s #14 position last year.

The complete list of this year’s Top 100 Reputable Companies can be accessed via this link. You may see some surprises …

Is Apple setting itself up for failure in the FBI’s Syed Farook Probe?

ipThere’s no question that Apple’s refusal to help the FBI gain access to data in one of the iPhones used during the San Bernardino massacre has been getting scads of coverage in the news and business press.

Apple’s concerns, eloquently stated by CEO Tim Cook, are understandable. From the company’s point of view, it is at risk of giving up a significant selling feature of the iPhone to enable a “back door” access to encrypted data..  Apple’s contention is that many people have purchased the latest models of iPhones for precisely the purpose of protecting their data from prying eyes.

On the other hand, the U.S. government’s duty is to protect the American public from terrorist activities.

Passions are strong — and they’re lining up along some predictable social and political fault lines. After having read more than a dozen news articles in the various news and business media over the past week or so, I decided to check in with my brother, Nelson Nones, for an outsider’s perspective.

As someone who has lived and worked outside the United States for decades, Nelson’s perspectives are invariably interesting because they’re formed from the vantage point of “distance.”

Furthermore, Nelson has held very strongly negative views about the efforts of the NSA and other government entities to monitor computer and cellphone records. I’ve given voice to his perspectives on this topic on the Nones Notes blog several times, such as here and here.

So when I asked Nelson to share his perspectives on the Apple/FBI, I was prepared for him to weigh in on the side of Apple.

Well … not so fast. Shown below what he wrote to me:

______________________

This may come as a surprise, but I’m siding with the government on this one. Why?  Three reasons:

Point #1: The device in question is (and was) owned by San Bernardino County, a government entity.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated …”

The investigation that the FBI wants to conduct could either be thought of as a seizure of property (the iPhone), or as a search (accessing the iPhone’s contents). Either way, Fourth Amendment protections do not apply in this case.

Within the context of the Fourth Amendment, seizure of property means interfering with an individual’s possessory interests in the property. In this case, the property isn’t (and never was) owned by an individual; it is public property.  Because Farook, an individual, never had a possessory interest in the property, no “unreasonable seizure” can possibly occur.

Also, within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, an “unreasonable search” occurs when the government violates an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy. In this case the iPhone was issued to Farook by his employer.  It is well known and understood through legal precedent that employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy when using employer-furnished equipment.  For example, employers can and do routinely monitor the contents of the email accounts they establish for their employees.

Point #2: The person who is the subject of the investigation (Syed Farook) is deceased.

According to Paul J. Stablein, a U.S. criminal defense attorney, “Unlike the concept of privilege (like communications between doctor and patient or lawyer and client), the privacy expectations afforded persons under the Fourth Amendment do not extend past the death of the person who possessed the privacy right.”

So, even if the iPhone belonged to Farook, no reasonable expectation of privacy exists today because Farook is no longer alive.

Point #3: An abundance of probable cause exists to issue a warrant.

In addition to protecting people against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fourth Amendment also states, “… no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

I strongly believe the U.S. National Security Agency’s mass surveillance was unconstitutional and therefore illegal, due to the impossibility of establishing probable cause for indiscriminately searching the records of any U.S. citizen who might have placed or received a telephone call, sent or received an email message or logged on to their Facebook account.

That’s because these acts do not, in and of themselves, provide any reasonable basis for believing that evidence of a crime exists.

I also strongly believe that U.S. citizens have the right to encrypt their communications. No law exists preventing them from doing so for legal purposes. Conducting indiscriminate searches through warrantless “back door” decryption would be just as unconstitutional and illegal as mass surveillance.

In this case, however, multiple witnesses watched Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, open fire on a holiday party, killing 14 people, and then flee after leaving behind three pipe bombs apparently meant to detonate remotely when first responders arrived on the scene.

Additional witnesses include the 23 police offers involved in the shootout where Farook and Malik eventually were killed.

These witnesses have surely given sworn statements attesting to the perpetrators’ crimes.

It is eminently reasonable to believe that evidence of these crimes exists in the iPhone issued to Farook. So, in this case there can be no doubt that all the requirements for issuing a warrant have been met.

For these three reasons, unlike mass surveillance or the possibility of warrantless “back door” decryption, the law of the land sits squarely and undeniably on the FBI’s side.

Apple’s objections.

Apple’s objections, seconded by Edward Snowden, rest on the notion that it’s “too dangerous” to assist the FBI in this case, because the technology Apple would be forced to develop cannot be kept secret.

“Once [this] information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, [iPhone] encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge,” says Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Presumably this could include overreaching government agencies, like the National Security Agency, or criminals and repressive foreign regimes.

It is important to note that Apple has not been ordered to invent a “back door” that decrypts the iPhone’s contents. Instead, the FBI wants to unlock the phone quickly by brute force; that is, by automating the entry of different passcode guesses until they discover the passcode that works.

To do this successfully, it’s necessary to bypass two specific iPhone security features. The first renders brute force automation impractical by progressively increasing the minimum time allowed between entries.  The second automatically destroys all of the iPhone’s contents after the maximum allowable number of consecutive incorrect guesses is reached.

Because the iPhone’s operating system must be digitally signed by Apple, only Apple can install the modifications needed to defeat these features.

It’s also important to note that Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym’s order says Apple’s modifications for Farook’s iPhone should have a “unique identifier” so the technology can’t be used to unlock other iPhones.

This past week, Apple has filed a motion to overturn Magistrate Judge Pym’s order. In its motion, the company offers a number of interesting arguments, three of which stand out:

Contention #1: The “unreasonable burden” argument.

Apple argues that complying with Magistrate Judge Pym’s order is unreasonably burdensome because the company would have to allocate between six and ten of its employees, nearly full-time over a 2 to 4 week period, together with additional quality assurance, testing and documentation effort.  Apple also argues that being forced to comply in this case sets a precedent for similar orders in the future which would become an “enormously intrusive burden.”

Contention #2: Contesting the phone search requirement.

Apple isn’t contesting whether or not the FBI can lawfully seize and search the iPhone.  Instead it is contesting Magistrate Judge Pym’s order compelling Apple to assist the FBI in performing the search.  As such, Apple is an “innocent third party.”  According to Apple, the FBI is relying on a case, United States v. New York Telephone, that went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1977.  Ultimately, New York Telephone was ordered to assist the government by installing a “pen register,” which is a simple device for monitoring the phone numbers placed from a specific phone line.

The government argued that it needed the phone company’s assistance to execute a lawful warrant without tipping off the suspects.  The Supreme Court found that complying with this order was not overly burdensome because the phone company routinely used pen registers in its own internal operations, and because it is a highly regulated public utility with a duty to serve the public.  In essence, Apple is arguing that United States v. New York Telephone does not apply, because (unlike the phone company’s prior use of pen registers) it is being compelled to do something it has never undertaken before, and also because it is not a public utility with a duty to serve.

Contention #3: The requirement to write new software.

Lastly, Apple argues that it will have to write new software in order to comply with Magistrate Judge Pym’s order. However, according to Apple, “Under well-settled law, computer code is treated as speech within the meaning of the First Amendment,” so complying with the order amounts to “compelled speech” that the Constitution prohibits.

What do I think of Apple’s arguments?

Regarding the first of the them, based on its own estimates of the effort involved, I’m guessing that Apple wouldn’t incur more than half a million dollars of direct expense to comply with this order. How burdensome is that to a company that just reported annual revenues of nearly $234 billion, and over $53 billion of profit?

Answer:  To Apple, half a million dollars over a four-week period is equivalent to 0.01% of last year’s profitability over an equivalent time span. If the government compensates Apple for its trouble, I don’t see how Apple can win this argument.

Regarding the other two arguments above, as Orin Kerr states in his Washington Post blog, “I don’t know which side would win … the scope of authority under the [All Writs Act] is very unclear as applied to the Apple case.  This case is like a crazy-hard law school exam hypothetical in which a professor gives students an unanswerable problem just to see how they do.”

My take:  There’s no way a magistrate judge can decide this.  If Apple loses, and appeals, this case will eventually end up at the Supreme Court.

What if the back door is forced open?

The concerns of privacy advocates are understandable. Even though I’m convinced the FBI’s legal position is solid, I also believe there is a very real risk that Apple’s modifications, once made, could leak into the wrong hands. But what happens if they do?

First, unlike warrantless “back door” decryption, this technique would work only for iPhones — and it also requires physical possession of a specifically targeted iPhone.

In other words, government agencies and criminals would have to lawfully seize or unlawfully steal an iPhone before they could use such techniques to break in. This is a far cry from past mass surveillance practices conducted in secret.

Moreover, if an iPhone is ever seized or stolen, it is possible to destroy its contents remotely, as soon as its owner realizes it’s gone, before anyone has the time to break in.

Second, Apple might actually find a market for the technology it is being compelled to create. Employers who issue iPhones to their employees certainly have the right to monitor employees’ use of the equipment.  Indeed, they might already have a “duty of care” to prevent their employees from using employer-issued iPhones for illegal or unethical purposes, which they cannot fulfill because of the iPhone’s security features.

Failure to exercise a duty of care creates operational as well as reputational risks, which employers could mitigate by issuing a new variety of “enterprise class” iPhones that they can readily unlock using these techniques.

____________________

So that’s one person’s considered opinion … but we’d be foolish to expect universal agreement on the Apple/FBI tussle. If you have particular views pro or con Apple’s position, please join the discussion and share them with other readers here.

Is the Apple Watch already proving the naysayers wrong?

Apple WatchI’ve blogged recently about the market reception to the Apple Watch, which seemed to be somewhat less “ecstatic” compared with previous Apple product introductions — at least in the first few weeks after its unveiling.

Now we have several months behind us — as well as some field research that suggests that the Apple Watch is being very well-received by early adopters.

logoThe findings come courtesy of a research panel of 145 Apple Watch owners who were contacted in late July and early August 2015 by consumer market research company 451 Research. The research sample was drawn from the company’s ChangeWave network of ~25,000 business and technology professionals.

The overall satisfaction level with the Apple Watch among these respondents is ~83%, with ~54% stating that they are “very satisfied” with the product.

In terms of how well the watch is performing in relation to owners’ expectations, almost the same percentage (~79%) state that the Apple Watch is meeting them.

The three attributes of the Apple Watch that are most well-liked are these:

  • Notifications/alerts: ~49% mentioned
  • Health and fitness monitoring: ~41%
  • Design aesthetics of the product: ~30%

The three concerns about the Apple Watch mentioned most frequently are these:

  • Battery life is too short: ~37% mentioned
  • Tied to the iPhone: ~31%
  • Product is not waterproof: ~25%

The battery life issue really is one to “watch,” as it were:  Tracking surveys of Apple Watch owners reveal that more people are checking their battery status at least once per day than are checking their watch faces for the time (!).

Not surprisingly, the Apple Watch poses a competitive threat to more traditional digital watches, as more than four in five respondents report that the Apple Watch has replaced the traditional watches if they had worn one earlier.  (On the other hand, about one third of owners didn’t wear anything on their wrist at all before acquiring their Apple Watch.)

Fitness monitors: Odd man out?
Fitness monitors: Odd man out?

The popularity of the Apple Watch’s health and fitness monitoring capabilities portends problems for competing monitors as well. Nearly half of the Apple Watch owners surveyed by 451 Research reported that they have previously planned on purchasing a monitor, but have since decided not to, thanks to the Apple Watch’s functionality.

As for whether the Apple Watch is becoming an indispensible part of the fabric of daily life with these users as compared to being more of a novelty gadget, the behavior is looking a lot more like the former:

  • Use daily for health and fitness monitoring: ~79% of respondents reported
  • Send and receive text messages daily: ~63%
  • Check weather information daily: ~52%

Perhaps the best indication of how satisfied these early adopters are with the Apple Watch is how they responded to the question, “Would you recommend the Apple Watch to a friend or colleague?”

The answer? More than four in five respondents (~83%) answered in the affirmative: ~55% reported “very likely” and ~28% reported “somewhat likely.”

If consumer response continues along the same lines in the upcoming months, it may well mean that the Apple Watch is on the path to gaining impressive adoption figures — and proving the naysayers wrong.

The real proof will be in the sales figures, of course.  But seeing these indications of early adopters being quite satisfied ith the product’s performance — and willing to recommend it to friends and colleagues — is a very good first step.

If you have begun using an Apple Watch, I’m sure other readers would be interested to know what appeals to you most about it — and what attributes might not be living up your expectations. Please share your experiences here.

In case you’re wondering … consumers don’t really care about brands all that much.

branding“I don’t want a ‘relationship’ with my brands.  I want the best products at the best price.” — Jane Q. Public

In the era of interactive marketing and social media, there’s often a good deal of talk about how certain brands are successfully engaging their customers and creating an environment of “brand love” — or at least “brand stickiness.”

It’s not only consumer brands like Chipotle and Under Armour, but also B-to-B and hybrid brands like Intel, Apple and Uber.

As a person who’s been involved in marketing and advertising for well over a quarter-century, I tend to treat these pronouncements with a little less open-mouthed awe than others.

I get how when a brand is particularly admired, it becomes the “go-to” one when people are in the market for those particular products and services.

But the idea that there’s real “brand love” going on — in a sense similar to people forging close relationships with the people in their lives — to me that’s more far-fetched.

The marketing research I’ve encountered appears to refute the notion as well.

Case in point: In an annual index of “meaningful brands” published by the Havas MarComm agency, the research finds that very few consumers cite brands they “can’t live without.”

The 2015 edition of the Havas Meaningful Brands Index has now been released … and the results are true to form. Among U.S. consumers, only about 5% of the 1,000 brands evaluated by Havas across a dozen industries would be truly missed if they were no longer available.

It’s a big survey, too:  Havas queried ~300,000 people across 34 countries in order to build the 2015 index. Broadly speaking, the strength of brands is higher in countries outside the United States, reflecting the fact that trust levels for leading brands in general are higher elsewhere — very likely because lesser known brands or “generics” have a greater tendency to be subpar in their performance.

But even considering the brand scores globally, three out of four consumers wouldn’t miss any brands if they suddenly disappeared from the market.

What are the exceptions? Looking at the brands that scored highest gives us clues as to what it takes to be a brand that people truly care about in their lives.

Samsung is ranked the #1 brand globally. To me, it makes perfect sense that the manufacturer of the most widely sold mobile device on the planet would generate a strong semblance of “brand love.”

Even in the remotest corners of the world, Samsung has made the lives of countless people easier and better by placing a powerful computer in their pocket. It’s only logical that Samsung is a brand many people would sorely miss if it disappeared tomorrow.

The second strongest brand in the Havis index is Google. No surprise there as well, because Google enables people to research and find answers on pretty much anything that ever crosses their minds. Again, it’s a brand that most people wouldn’t want to do without.

But beyond these, it’s plain to see that nearly all brands just aren’t that consequential to people’s lives.

With this in mind, are companies and brands spending too much energy and resources attempting to get customers to “care” about them more than simply to have a buying preference when the time comes to purchase products and services?

Brand-LoyaltyRelated to that, is adding more “meaning” to a brand the answer to getting more people to express brand love? Or does it have far more to do with having products that meet a need … work better than competitors’ offerings … and are priced within the means of more people to purchase?

Havas — and common sense — suggests it’s the latter.

Do that stuff right, and a company will earn brand loyalty.

All the rest is just froth on the beer … icing on the cake … good for the psychological bennies.

 

 

What’s happening with the Apple Watch these days?

Not all that much, it turns out.

Apple Watch LineWhen is the last time you heard about a product introduction where initial sales were off by 90% barely three months after coming on the market?

If you’re thinking the Blackberry 10 … you’re wrong.

It’s the Apple Watch. Its introduction in April was made with a big amount of fanfare, promoted before and after the launch by PR, TV and online advertising, and even outdoor billboards.

But the hard truth is that aside from the tech community, few people are buying the Apple Watch.

According to Slide Intelligence, weekly Apple Watch sales have plummeted from around 200,000 per day at launch to fewer than 20,000 per day now. Moreover, most sales have been of the least expensive Sport model ($349).

Even worse, of those who have purchased an Apple Watch, fewer than four in ten would recommend the device to others.

You know there’s a problem when a new product engenders ridicule such as this brief, highly dismissive video review.

It may be too soon to write off the Apple Watch introduction as an abject failure. But I know one thing: The market’s (lack of) receptivity so far can’t be what Apple execs were hoping for.

It must be quite a comedown for a company that experienced the dizzying popularity of the iPod, iPhone and iPad right out of the box — and where those product sales continued to climb at an increasing rate for months or years after their debut.

google-glass-fashionSome people are comparing the Apple Watch introduction to what happened to Google Glass – likewise the victim of tepid sales to the point where Google quietly removed the product from the market after making a go of it for about two years.

Actually, I’m not quite sure the comparison is completely apt.

For starters, Google Glass didn’t come on the market backed by a ginormous PR and advertising campaign. In fact, it wasn’t really presented as a full-blown product – but more like a project with a beta test component.

Also, it was never made available in wide release; some people I know who wanted to “kick the tires” with Google Glass had difficulty finding out how they could do so.

But besides the very different rollout strategies, another factor might explain a more fundamental difference – and which has hugely negative potential impact on the Apple Watch.

Whereas Google Glass offered its wearers some truly new functionality, what does the Apple Watch deliver besides being merely a miniature version of an iPhone?

When something is less user-friendly (too miniature for many) … doesn’t offer any new functionality over alternative products … and is pretty expensive to boot, is it any wonder that the Apple Watch’s debut has had all the pizzazz of a cold mashed potato sandwich?

Speaking personally, I don’t consider a multipurpose device about an inch square in size as a “must-have” gadget, and I’m pretty sure others would agree with me.

Technology writer and CRM specialist Gene Marks cautions that the Apple Watch’s future isn’t likely to be much brighter than its less-than-impressive performance to date because of this fundamental liability: “The Apple Watch is not making people or companies quicker, better or wiser,” he contends.

In the world of technology and gadgets, that’s not recipe for success. Just ask Blackberry.

Now … let’s hear from Apple Watch users.  What’s your take?

World brands: Who’s up … Who’s down?

brand finance logoEach year, the brand valuation consulting firm Brand Finance produces a report on the strength of the world’s Top 500 brands.

It’s an interesting study in that Brand Finance calculates the values of brands using the so-called “royalty relief” approach – calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand name if it weren’t already owned by the company.

In the 2015 report, just issued, Apple remains the world’s most valuable brand based on this criterion.  The Top 10 listing of world brands is as follows:

brand finance global 500 2015#1  Apple

#2  Samsung

#3  Google

#4  Microsoft

#5  Verizon

#6  AT&T

#7  Amazon

#8  GE

#9  China Mobile

#10 Walmart

Of these, all but China Mobile were in the Top 10 listing in Brand Finance’s 2014 rankings.  Of the others, all maintained their rank except for AT&T and Amazon, which rose, and GE and Walmart, which fell.

The most valuable brands differ by region, however.  In fact, Apple is tops only in North America:

Most valuable brand in North America:  Apple

… in Europe:  BMW

… in Asia/Pacific:  Samsung

… in the Middle East:  Emirates Air

… in Africa:  MTN (M-Cell)

… in South America:  Banco Bradesco

As for which brand’s value is growing the fastest, top honors goes to … Twitter?

That is correct:  According to Brand Finance, Twitter’s value has mushroomed from $1.5 billion in early 2014 to nearly $4.5 billion now.

Other social platform firms that have experienced big growth are Facebook (up nearly 150%) and the Chinese-based Baidu (up over 160%).

What about in non-tech or social media sectors?  There, Chipotle racked up the biggest growth in brand value:  nearly 125%.  At the other end of the scale, the McDonald’s brand has lost about $4 billion in value over the past year.

Most Powerful Brands 

In addition to its brand value analysis, Brand Finance also publishes a ranking of most powerful brands based on its “brand strength index” (BSI).  This index focuses on factors more easily influenced by marketing and brand management activities — namely, marketing investment and brand equity/goodwill.

In this analysis, Brand Finance comes up with a very different set of “top brands” – led by Lego:

Lego logo#1  Lego:  BSI = 93.4

#2  PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers):  91.8

#3  Red Bull:  91.1

#4 (tie)  McKinsey:  90.1

#4 (tie)  Unilever:  90.1

#6 (tie)  Burberry:  89.7

#6 (tie)  L’Oréal:  89.7

#6 (tie)  Rolex:  89.7

#9 (tie)  Coca-Cola:  89.6

#9 (tie)  Ferrari:  89.6

#9 (tie)  Nike:  89.6

#12 (tie) Walt Disney:  89.5

According to Brand Finance, Lego’s brand power stems from it being a “creative, hands-on toy that encourages creativity in kids and nostalgia in their parents, resulting in a strong cross-generational appeal.”  Lego also has a big consumer marketing presence, thanks to its brand activities in film, TV and comics.

Last year’s top brand was Ferrari, which has now slipped in the rankings.  Brand Finance cited the brand’s 1990s-era “sheen of glory” as wearing a bit thin 20 years on.

For more details on these brands and other aspects of the 2015 evaluation, you can review Brand Finance’s 2015 report here.

Do any of the results come as a surprise to you?  Please share your observations with other readers as to why certain specific brands are coming on strong while others may be fading.