Facebook Leads the Top Risers
With a 246 percent surge in brand value, Facebook entered the BrandZ Top 100 for the first time at No. 35.
Along with Facebook, the Top 20 Risers included online retailer Amazon and four other technology brands – Apple and Baidu along with Siemens and Cannon, which benefited from resurgence in business-to-business demand. Visionary, entrepreneurial leadership also contributed to growth in value, especially for Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks.
With almost 600 million members worldwide, Facebook last year was anointed "The Social Network" by the film of the same name about the firm's founding in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. Ironically, the film's release coincided with Facebook's rapid evolution into a powerful commercial platform exploring ways to monetize its social reach by connecting shoppers, retailers and brand marketers. Valuation is based on a Goldman Sachs study.
Apple rose to the No. 1 position in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands. It earned an 84 percent increase in brand value with successful iterations of existing products like the iPhone, creation of the tablet category with iPad, and anticipation of a broadened strategy making the brand a trifecta of cloud computing, software, and innovative, well-designed devices. Perpetual concern over the health of CEO Steve Jobs intensified at the end of the year when he announced a temporary leave of absence.
The Chinese search engine Baidu captured rank No. 29 in the BrandZ Top 100, up from No. 75 in 2009 on a sharp 141 percent rise in brand value. As more of China's 1.3 billion citizens searched the Internet, they turned to Baidu because the brand has deeply understood the nuances of China's diverse cultures and languages. Illustrating how dramatically shopping has changed, Amazon, the online company with no stores, surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retail brand. The company continued to add categories last year, even food, to drive traffic. Since founding the company in 1995, Jeff Bezos has worked to perfect its unparalleled selection, peer reviews and a delivery scheme that builds loyalty.
The Starbucks 40 percent rise in brand value demonstrated the success of the brand revitalization initiatives implemented two years ago by Howard Shultz when he returned as CEO. He closed underperforming locations and improved the coffeehouse experience while extending the brand into instant coffee and preparing it for aggressive international and multi-channel growth in grocery as well as fast food.
The housing recovery drove IKEA's 28 percent growth. Sector strength also helped rands in fast food, insurance and luxury. While the brand value of the luxury sector still lagged its pre-recession level, customers came back as evinced by Burberry's 86 percent leap and the brand appreciation of Cartier, Estée Lauder and Hermès.
The fast-growing market dynamism that boosted China's Baidu also pushed the brand values of Skol, Brazil's largest beer brand, up 68 percent, and Petrobras, the country's oil and gas giant, which advanced 39 percent. The 58 percent rise in the brand value of Pizza Hut was in part driven by its performance in China. Standard Chartered Bank of the UK, up 45 percent, also benefited from global business.