Lies, Damn Lies and Brand Valuations

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InterBrand have wheeled out their sturdy PR warhouse: a table of global brands and their value with BusinessWeek as their media partner.Whilst it gives lots of PowerPoint-friendly data and soundbites for marketers everywhere, the report usually raises more questions than it asks. InterBrand this year have used their BrandChannel blog to try and engage with marketers on some of these questions.

Reading through the methodology InterBrand is quite open about the fact that some of the leading marketers in the world are missing: notably Mars the confectionery to pet foods conglomerate owned by off-world aliens (only kidding, just don’t zap me with your legal ray-guns ok?)

Data points of interest:

Google isn’t number one (its number 24) , but has leapt forward in terms of brand value by 46 per cent. Overall online brands still do not seem to have scaled the top-ten despite their high trust and consumer touch points: maybe next year. Google’s brand is central to its proposition is worth on 12.4 billion USD, despite a market cap value of just under 118 billion USD at the time of writing.

The Google brand is outgunned by a number of traditionally stodgy brands for example: GE, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Hewlett-Packard and American Express!

Secondly I was amazed at how financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, HSBC and JPMorgan outclassed supposed marketing poster children like Apple, Kelloggs, Ikea, MTV, L’Oreal, Heinz and Colgate. Interestingly in the analysis at the back of the report Interbrand predict that food companies like Nestle may have a diminishing emphasis on brand as consumers cook less and third parties like vending machines, restaurants and other distribution channels play an increasing role in consumers lives.

Nestle gets two mentions with Nescafe and the corporate brand being split out separately. Added together they would have a position in the high teens coming in at over 17 billion USD of brand value.

Because of the product focus of branding by Unilever and Procter & Gamble they don’t seem to register on the list at all (though I may be mistaken), this again distorts the statistics.

Finally whilst marketers have been concerned that American foreign policy has turned foreign consumers away and some have claimed to have been hit economically American brands make 51 per cent of the the top 100 list. Germany, considered in a recent survey I saw as the world’s most trusted national brand came in second with nine per cent of the list.

For more information contact Lisa Marsala. Kudos to BrandChannel