Despite disruptions, most
categories rise in value
Led by fast food and technology, all but two of the 13 product categories
in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report improved in
Brand Value – often significantly – over the past 10 years.
Seven categories at least doubled in value:
fast food, technology, beer, apparel,
telecom providers, soft drinks and retail.
But disruption touched many categories.
And every category felt both the immediate
impact of the global financial crisis and the
hangover of cautious consumer spending.
The biggest shift of Global Top 100 Brand
Value went to technology, which along with
telecom providers accounted for 44 percent
of the total in 2015, compared to 35 percent
10 years ago. The consumer categories
collectively declined in their proportion of
Although consumer concern about healthy
ingredients and calorie consumption
increased significantly during the past
decade, the two categories most impacted
by this trend, fast food and soft drinks,
increased in Brand Value 252 percent and
118 percent, respectively.
That’s because the Brand Power of the
category leaders, McDonald’s and Coca-
Cola, enabled the brands to sustain their
value even as they strove to adjust their
businesses for rapidly evolving consumer
In addition, value rose rapidly for newer,
healthier, innovative brands, like Panera and
Chipotle, which was not yet in the fast food
category ranking when the BrandZ™ Global
Top 100 launched in 2006. Responding
to health concerns, Chipotle removed
genetically modified food from its menu.
Personal care brands also responded to
consumer concern about the safety of
product ingredients, as well as more inclusive
ideals of beauty and the rapid growth of
the male grooming sector. The fluctuations
of China’s economy, which helped drive
category brand value growth, also influenced
its recent slowdown.
Changing millennial tastes shaped beer
brands, which introduced craft beer
versions and new flavor options. In the
luxury category, consumer reluctance to
spend ostentatiously during the recession
evolved into more conscious consumption,
with greater interest in craftsmanship and
provenance than logos.
Fast-fashion brands drove brand value
growth in the apparel category, although
the athletic clothing and affordable luxury
apparel brands also prospered. Brands in
the middle, lacking a compelling value
proposition, felt squeezed.
Some business-to-business technology
brands worked to reinvent themselves for
cloud-based enterprise solutions. Meanwhile,
the business-to-consumer leaders
broadened their influence on people’s
lives. Competition not only included Apple,
Google and Facebook, but also the Chinese
contenders, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu.
BrandZ™ includes Alibaba in the retail
category because of its e-commerce
dominance. E-commerce led a
transformation of retail so radical that today
the two most valuable retail brands – Alibaba
and Amazon – operate no physical stores.
The Internet and disintermediation impacted
the insurance category. Brands analyzed big
data to personalize their offerings, even as
aggregators commoditized the business in
certain markets, like the UK. Chinese brands
grew rapidly based on the size of the market
and the needs of the growing middle class
for insurance and wealth-management
Telecom providers also focused on building
brands and expanding from simply being
conduits of voice and data to becoming
content-provider brands. The heavy
investment to create these ecosystems and
build networks drove industry consolidation.
The global financial crisis especially impacted
the cars and banks categories. While business
ratcheted back up, cars and global banks
remain the only two categories that have not
recovered in Brand Value to pre-recession
levels. (For further details about 10-Year
trends and performance, please see Part 5:
Global Top 100 Brand Value shifts
The biggest shift of Global Top 100 Brand Value went to technology,
which along with telecom providers accounted for 44 percent of the
total in 2015, compared to 35 percent 10 years ago. The consumer
categories collectively declined in their proportion of overall value.