Brand Value Rises For Most Categories
Strong category-by-category brand value growth reflects the overall 7 percent increase in the 2013 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.
A year ago, the overall brand value of the Top 100 remained flat in the BrandZ 2012 report, with a rise of less than 1 percent. Half the categories grew in brand value and half declined. One remained even. No category grew in brand value by more than 15 percent.
In the BrandZ 2013 Top 100 report, every category is up year-over-year except for two—technology and oil and gas, which declined modestly. Six categories improved brand value by more than 15 percent.
Some categories improved dramatically. The brand value of the beer category grew 36 percent compared with a decline of 1 percent a year ago. Insurance is up 19 percent compared with last year's 16 percent decline. The overall brand value growth resulted from many factors, including:
- Strengthening of the global economy, despite continued weakness in Europe and slower growth in the BRICs
- Strong recovery of some categories (banks), incremental progress in others (cars)
- Brand strength that enabled brands to endure difficult times and flourish during the early stages of economic recovery
The strong brand value rise in the beer category illustrates the power of brand strength. Not surprisingly, beers generally score high in Brand Contribution, the amount of brand value attributed to brand alone rather than financial and other factors. With the exception of luxury, beer is the category where the product most depends on the emotional connection with the consumer.
Several factors influenced brand value growth in the apparel category. First, consumers were more willing to spend money. Second, they spent cautiously, and brand influenced what they purchased.
The BrandZ 2013 ranking divides the category formerly called financial institutions into global banks and regional banks. The total brand value of the regional banks was more than double that of the global banks. Both groups experienced strong brand value appreciation. The regional banks improved 15 percent in brand value, the global banks, 23 percent.
The rising brand values for banks, reflect both improvements in the economy and brand building efforts, such as products and services aimed at finding new customers, better serving their needs and regaining their trust. Similar factors influenced the brand value rise of the insurance category.
Both the soft drink and fast food categories registered a 5 percent rise in brand value. These categories remained under pressure as consumer concern with healthy eating increases. The leading brands introduced new products, including lower calorie options.
The car category's 5 percent growth in brand value follows a 7 percent decline a year ago. The positive swing in brand value reflects an industry that's still stuck in neutral in Europe, moving forward in China, and rapidly gaining speed again in the US, based on the economic recovery and brand reinvention by the Detroit Three.