BrandZ again highlights power of strong brands

by Nigel Hollis | May 30, 2018

The combined value of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands rose by $748 billion to a total of $4.4 trillion. This huge increase was driven not just by the growth in demand for high profile categories like technology and telecom but by strong brands in every category. I review the topline here, but see below about an opportunity to learn more in person at Cannes.

I do not wish to utter any ill omens but the fact that the value of the BrandZ Top 100 rose by 21 percent is notable, not just for the absolute size of the increase, but because the last time the valuation jumped so strongly was back in 2008…and I think you know what happened next. Of course, The Great Recession did help prove one thing, strong brands are more resilient than weak ones. While they took a hit, the strong brands in the Top 100 bounced back far faster than the S&P 500.

Once again, there is a big variation in value growth by category. Technology brands recorded the strongest growth and the proportion of the Top 100’s value they account for has increased from 37 percent in 2006 to 56 percent in 2018. Particularly striking is the fact that the Top 10 most valuable brands now includes 8 tech brands including Google at number one, Apple at number two and Amazon at number three. By contrast, in 2006 there were only four tech brands in the Top 10 and Microsoft topped the ranking.

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Looking through the 2018 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report I was intrigued to see that this year strong and innovative brands in the Top 100 have been called out separately from strong brands. No doubt boosted by brands like Apple, Amazon and Tencent the value of strong and innovative brands has grown 227 percent since 2006 compared to 172 percent for strong brands and 102 percent for the S&P 500. This points to the importance of meaningful innovation, particularly for tech brands, if they are to disrupt their category and grow.

One of the most important themes highlighted in this year’s report is that of disruption, disintermediation and difference. As noted in this post brands that grow are the ones that stand out from the crowd and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives. It is a salutary reminder that when 60 percent of a brand’s total value lies in its brand equity, companies need to make sure that they keep up a cycle of constant innovation and, in the absence of meaningful product innovation, need to find other ways to change the playing field in their favor.

If you would like to learn more about how brands can grow through being disruptive then a couple of sessions at Cannes Lions may be of interest to you. Join Doreen Wang on the main innovation stage, 18 June at 13:00 to learn about Disruptive Creativity: The New Model For Marketing  . And, join me for a free luncheon session on Tuesday 19 June to learn How to Grow Brands Faster. Cannes tickets are not required for this event. Click here to learn more about Kantar’s full agenda and to register.   

But meanwhile, was there anything new and interesting that caught your eye in the BrandZ report? Please share your thoughts.

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  1. Catherine Kohler, May 31, 2018

    Hi Nigel, this is not so much a thought or comment from my part as a question: in your blog you say that "60% of a brand's total value lies in its brand equity": is this a Brandz calculation or a Kantar Millward Brown calculation or is this a general truth that I really should know anyway?

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