Wednesday, April 28, 2010 Blog: Weighing in on brand value and the BrandZ Top 100 for 2010

Which of the world’s great brands grew the most in value over the past five years? No one should be too surprised to learn that this honor was earned by BlackBerry, according to Millward Brown Optimor’s ranking in the BrandZ Top 100 most valuable global brands 2010. In this, the fifth year running that Millward Brown has produced its global survey ranking the world’s leading brands according to their financial value, it is particularly interesting to note some of the macro trends that its researchers and statisticians have observed. To learn about it first hand, visit BrandZ's website for the full report, and/or read the story in the April 28 edition of the Financial Times.

For starters, Millward Brown contends that consideration of brand in the purchase decision has increased by 20 percentage points since 2005—despite global economic turmoil and the perceived “flight to price” that many marketing experts have been preaching over the past two years. Indeed, brand values increased overall from 2008 to 2009, according to the study, during arguably the darkest days of the recession. Much of this growth in value, of course, is attributable to strong showings by emerging brands from the BRIC and their neighboring countries, demonstrating the symbiotic effect of growth economies and the ascendant brands that serve them. Indeed, when the BrandZ Top 100 was introduced in 2006, there was just one BRIC brand on the list; today there are 13 brands from emerging markets, including the addition of the first Indian brand (ICICI Bank).

Of course, this is just one global brand ranking list among several so it begs the question: what does the BrandZ survey have that the others (most notably BusinessWeek’s) do not? The Millward people cite a list of distinctions in their report, naturally, but (to me) the most important difference is that the BrandZ study uses broad-based consumer data, accumulated in large quantities (they claim over 1.5 million people queried since the inception of BrandZ 12 years ago) and tracked consistently over time. With the exception of Landor’s own Breakaway Brands survey, BrandZ's Top 100 list is the only financial brand valuation survey that uses quantitative consumer perceptions as part of its model. In other words, no mysterious “black box” analyses based on judgment calls and assumptions—just the facts, ma’am.

Needless to add, it’s always nice to see how our Landor client brands fare in all the rankings, but especially this one. And a good number of them have performed exceptionally well, starting with the aforementioned BlackBerry. But others can be equally proud: Verizon is No. 7 on the list of Top 20 risers and No. 3 among the world’s mobile operators (behind China Mobile and Vodaphone, a partner firm). BP leads the oil and gas company brands, and Bradesco is the third most valuable overall brand in Latin America, and the most valuable among all LatAm banks.

There’s much more to the study than what I've discussed here, including key sector analysis by WPP experts, and valuation rankings by geographies—but you will have to see for yourself. It's time well spent for any marketer interested in understanding today’s global brandscape and its implications for the future. Blog

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