Top 10 brand flux reflects
impact of a dynamic market
Between 2006, the year WPP
launched the BrandZ™ Top 100
Most Valuable Global Brands
ranking, and 2015, the Brand Value
of the Top 10 almost tripled, to
$1.1 trillion, one-third of the total
value of the Global Top 100. But
five of the Top 10 dropped out and
were replaced. No brand occupies
the same rank today as it did 10
This reality reflects both the essential power
and stability of high-value brands and the
extraordinary pressures that brands faced
during the past 10 years, including the global
financial crisis that bisected the decade,
the changing consumption attitudes that
emerged from the crisis, and the disruption
that technology triggered across categories.
Most astonishingly, 10 years ago, Apple, the
world’s most valuable brand, did not even
rank in the BrandZ™ Global Top 10. Apple’s
rise demonstrates the strength of the brand,
which increased 1,446 percent in Brand
Value since 2006. Apple’s performance also
mirrors the overall influence of technology.
Four of the BrandZ™ Global Top 5 most
valuable brands in 2015 are in technology.
Six of the Top 10 are technology or telecom
provider brands. The addition of more
technology brands to the Top 10 reduced
the diversity of categories represented,
eliminating banks, cars and retail. Now
comprised of only North American brands,
the Top 10 also became less geographically
IBM’s rise in the Top 10, from number eight
to number four, shows that a heritage
brand over a century old, can reinvent
itself. Similarly, the younger Microsoft
brand refreshed both its products and its
processes to compete in today’s more open
and collaborative business culture.
The two telecom providers in the Top 10,
AT&T and Verizon, demonstrate the impact
of Brand Power on Brand Value. These big
and salient brands stretched from being voice and data conduits alone to offering
content, in an attempt to serve customers in
a meaningfully different way.
China Mobile slipped from the Top 10. While
the telecom provider remains a powerful
brand, it’s no longer China’s most valuable
brand. That designation belongs to Tencent,
the Internet portal. The market-driven brand
surpassed state-owned China Mobile last
year in Brand Value.
Two iconic brands that ranked in both the
2006 and 2010 Top 10 – Coca-Cola and
McDonald’s – Illustrate how a powerful
brand can sustain a business through
difficult transitions. Both brands adjusted
their products and communications to more
effectively address consumer concern about
health and calorie intake.
The disappearance of Walmart and Citi from
the BrandZ™ Global Top 10 exemplified
the impact of disruptive forces. The largest
retailer in the world in sales, with over
11,000 stores worldwide, Walmart now
ranks third in the retail category, after
e-commerce leaders Amazon and Alibaba,
which operate no physical stores.
Like other global banks, the financial crisis
and an erosion of consumer trust hurt Citi.
Although its business has rebounded as it
has reorganized, the global banks category
overall has not recovered in Brand Value to
Market dynamics impact Top 10
Between 2006 and 2015, five of the Top 10 dropped out and were replaced.
And no brand occupies the same rank today as it did 10 years ago.