Coca-Cola has remained in the top spot for a ninth year in a row, valued at $68.8bn (£42.1bn). Google, Amazon and Zara have seen value increases of 25 per cent, 22 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Graham Hales, managing director of Interbrand, says the common link between the three brands is an engagement with technology – most obviously in the case of Web brands Google and Amazon, and expressed in the way Zara uses technology to keep its stock rotation up to date.
Hales says, ‘Brands investing in technology in an appropriate way are benefitting at the moment.’
Brands in the automotive and financial sectors have been most affected by the recession, Hales says. Financial brands Merrill Lynch and AIG have both dropped off the list completely after both required emergency assistance from the US government.
Hales also picks out motorcycle brand Harley Davidson, which saw 43 per cent wiped off its brand value.
Hales says, ‘In any other year this would have been headline news. I think the brand is suffering as this sort of boy’s toy is seen as a bit of an indulgence at the moment. It’s a difficult position for them to innovate from.’
The value of the top 100 brands has fallen for the first time in the nine years the survey has been running – dropping by 4.6 per cent. Hales points out that this decline has to be put in the contexts of drops in stock market values of around 30 per cent in the same period. He says, ‘This shows that there’s still a string case for investing in brands.’