Asia Up, LATAM Down, Other Regions Moderate
Almost half of the brands in the BrandZ™ Top 100 ranking are based in North America. They account for two-thirds of the Top 100's $2.6 trillion in brand value. Brand value growth in North America was flat, however.
Growth rates fluctuated by region: Asia, Continental Europe, Latin America, North America and the UK. The BRIC markets drove the greatest swings, with the Top 10 brands from Asia up 13 percent in brand value, while the Latam Top 10 declined 13 percent. The key reasons for the contrast in growths rates across regions were:
- Strong individual brand performances in China, despite a slower national economic growth rate, and brand growth in Korea, Japan and Australia;
- The slowdown of the Brazilian economy and the impact of government policy on strategic categories, including energy and banking; and
- Modest growth in the value of leading technology brands based in North America, relative to prior years
In addition, the resilience of luxury and apparel brands based in Continental Europe balanced the overall impact of the region's troubled economies. And a couple of global banks based in the UK improved sharply in brand value.
Asia appreciates in brand value
Many of China's leading brands continued to appreciate in brand value, despite the slowdown in the rate of economic growth. The country's most valuable brand, China Mobile increased 18 percent in brand value. China Mobile won more 3G subscribers than its rivals with its aggressive marketing. It is also expanding its 4G network.
Tencent, with a 52 percent rise in brand value, continued to draw more users to its instant messaging service and other offerings. The success of its Galaxy smartphones drove the improved 51 percent in Samsung's brand value and burnished the Korean brand across its wide range of home appliances and digital devices.
Toyota reclaimed the number one position in the BrandZ car category ranking, suggesting that the Japanese brand has recovered from the product recall crisis of 2009. The presence of two Australian banks, Commonwealth and ANZ, reflects the country's economic strength relative to other developed markets.
Latam declines in brand value
The brand value decline by the Top 10 Latam brands resulted from the impact of the troubled Brazilian economy and the government's response with policies aimed at expanding the middle class and controlling inflation.
These factors negatively impacted Petrobras, the government-controlled oil and gas company, and major Brazilian bank brands, including Bradesco and Itaù. At the same time, government policies to stimulate spending helped consumer products. The Brazilian beer Skol increased 39 percent in brand value.
Corona, the Mexican beer, improved 29 percent in brand value. In addition, two Colombian brands entered the BrandZ™ category rankings for the first time, the beer brand Aquila and Ecopetrol, an oil and gas brand.
Continental Europe and the UK experience modest growth
Despite economic problems across the continent, the Top 10 brands based in Europe increased 5 percent in brand value, in part on the strength of apparel. Fast fashion apparel brand Zara improved 60 percent.
In a year when the technology category improved only modestly in overall brand value, Germany-based SAP appreciated 34 percent as the business-to-business sector recovered and SAP introduced solutions for using big data for enterprise transformation.
The 4 percent brand value rise in by Top 10 UK-based brands resulted primarily from the financial rebound of banking. Barclays, with a 34 percent rise in brand value, worked to restore trust. Improving 24 percent in brand value, HSBC refocused on developing its profitable international trade business.
North America up slightly
The Top 10 North American brands are also the BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands, with one exception. GE appears at number 11 in the BrandZ Top 100, following China Mobile, in tenth place with a slightly higher brand value.
The collective brand value of the North American Top 10 totals over $900 billion. Although these large and stable brands improved a modest 2 percent in brand value, 2 percent of almost $1 trillion is a lot of brand value.
Some of the more recent arrivals like Apple (established in 1976) and Google (established in 1998) grew so quickly that their brand value growth is beginning to resemble the pace of a more mature brand.
That said, GE (established in 1892) grew 21 percent in brand value because of the strength of the brand and recovery in some of its key industries, such as jet engines, with strong demand from fast growing markets.