Each 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:
#9 China Mobile
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:
#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.