Brands with a simple, unifying identity shine in the latest of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands survey, published last week.
Apple Computer, Yahoo!, eBay, Samsung and HSBC are among the top gainers in the annual ranking, which is published in conjunction with BusinessWeek magazine. All five brands saw their equity rise by between 16 per cent and 21 per cent in the past year.
By contrast, Sony, Morgan Stanley, Levi’s and Volkswagen saw a steep fall in value – equity in these brands slid by between 10 per cent and 16 per cent. Newcomers to the survey this year include Zara, Hyundai and Google.
Among the main industry sectors, food brands largely performed well – NestlÃ©, Danone, Kellogg’s and Wrigley’s saw their equity rise, while Heinz posted a small fall.
Luxury brands Armani, Channel and Bulgari also had a positive year – their equity increasing by between 2 per cent and 8 per cent.
It was more of a mixed bag for computer software and services companies. Microsoft and IBM saw the value of their brands fall by between 1 per cent and 2 per cent, against a static performance by Oracle. In contrast, Accenture and Sap grew by 6 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.
Jez Frampton, Interbrand chief executive, says many of the survey’s top players have developed their brand to become a central organising principle, sending out a highly consistent message.
Frampton adds, ‘One of the interesting themes of the survey is the rise of the Koreans – for example, Samsung and Hyundai. These companies have got their heads around the fact that brands are worth serious money, and that a brand is not just a piece of marketing.’
To be included in the survey, the brands had to be valued at over $2.1bn (£1.2bn).