Category Changes

Apparel Leads Rise in Brand Value Growth That Touches All Categories

Each of the 14 categories examined in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014 increased in overall brand value.

Ten categories experienced double-digit growth led by apparel with a rise of 29 percent. The strong performance across categories reflects general economic improvement and consumer spending enthusiasm even for big-ticket items like cars.

Spending attitudes and shopping habits have changed, however, shaped by the financial austerity of the past few years and the influence of technology, particularly mobility and social networking.

These attitudes touched many categories, causing stress and even disruption and transformation. Consumers expected wide product choice, low prices and instant gratification. In addition, they expressed concern about ethical sourcing and product impact on health and the environment.

These four categories experienced less than double-digit growth – telecoms, regional banks, soft drinks and oil and gas. But even this performance was relatively strong. Only soft drinks and oil and gas improved in brand value by less than 5 percent. Here’s how these trends affected the various categories:

Consumer and Retail

Led by apparel, the consumer and retail categories topped the category ranking in overall brand value growth, with cars up 17 percent and retail and luxury each up 16 percent. Personal care advanced 12 percent.

Fast Food and Soft Drinks

Although these categories continued to experience steady growth, they felt the impact of consumer concerns and habits that impacted the rate of growth. The beer category rose 14 percent in brand value; fast food, 10 percent; soft drinks, 4 percent.

Financial Institutions

The global banks made money and the category brand value increased 15 percent overall. Less tainted by the risky practices that precipitated the financial crisis, the regional banks enjoyed strong results, but brand value rose only 6 percent because the growth of Chinese banks slowed. Insurers enjoyed a strong year and the category grew 11 percent.


The brand value of oil and gas appreciated 3 percent, the most modest gain of any category, as companies slowed exploration in response to shareholder pressure for improved ROI (Return on Investment).


Technology companies continued to appreciate in value, especially the consumer-facing brands, while business-to-business brands adjusted to the era of Cloud computing and big data management. The category rose 16 percent in brand value.

BrandZ Top 100 2014

BrandZ Global 2014 Report Top 100 Report

Top 100 Chart

Top 100 Infographic

Methodology and valuation by Kantar Millward Brown

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