Last summer the term ‘Google’ was honoured in the Oxford English Dictionary – since then the value of the US mega-brand has risen 44 per cent, according to this year’s Interbrand survey of top brands.
Google’s brand value is now listed at £8.8bn, putting it at 20th place, with Zara, Apple Computer and Nintendo also among this year’s climbers.
Its success is down to its ‘Google-ness’, says Interbrand chief executive Rune Gustafson. ‘Despite its rapid growth and diversification into maps, videos, pictures and e-mail, it has still maintained a strong brand ethos,’ he says.
Coca-Cola came top of the league for the seventh year running, despite its brand value decreasing by 3 per cent, as its move into ‘healthier’ drinks is yet to resonate with consumers.
The Interbrand report also revealed some significant losses for Ford and Gap, which have fallen 19 per cent and 15 per cent respectively since last year, as both companies have struggled to revive tired, long-established brands.
But there is always the hope of a comeback. Finnish phone giant Nokia faltered in the rankings after making cheap handsets for the developing world, but emerged this year in fifth place after entering the high-end mobile market.
The secret to scaling the Interbrand list, says Gustafson, is putting the brand at the centre of your organisation. ‘Successful brands look ahead, anticipate change, focus on customer needs and use all the elements of their organisation to support the brand,’ he explains.