Brands based in North America grew in value last year or declined only slightly.

This result contrasts sharply with results in Continental Europe, the UK, Asia and Latam, where many more brands declined.

Twenty-six, more than half, of the regional brand leaders declined in value in the 2012 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, compared with only nine declining brands in the 2011 ranking.

This finding reflects the global economic and political forces that impacted brands last year. The relative strength of the brands based in North America underscores the correlative point: brand strength matters. It’s a sturdy tiller no matter which way the currents are running.

The North American brands are, with one exception, the Top 10 most valuable global brands. The list includes Apple, IBM and Google as well as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. It’s not an accident that six out of the 10 have Brand Contribution scores of 4 or 5, the highest possible. Brand Contribution measures the impact on earnings made by brand itself, exclusive of finances or other factors. Similarly, these brands score high on Brand Momentum, a measurement of future earnings potential.

The category mix in each region affected the brand value fluctuations. The North American ranking comprises mostly technology and telecom brands. In contrast, retail, finance, and oil and gas—categories experiencing pressure— dominated the UK ranking, in which eight of 10 brands declined. Despite Europe’s troubled economy, half of the brands in the regional ranking improved in value. Half of the brands are in apparel and luxury, categories that grew in value.

With the exception of Japan’s Toyota and NTT DoCoMo, a telecom, and the Korean brand Samsung, the Asian ranking is made up of Chinese brands. While the general decline in brand value reflects the slowdown of the Chinese economy, the brand appreciation of Baidu, the search engine, and the social network Tencent/QQ, points to the driving power of technology.

The Latam results indicate how the slowdown in Brazil impacted brands, but it also reveals the residual strength of Brazilian brands such as the beers Brahma and Skol and Natura, the cosmetic. The introduction into the retail ranking of two brands from Chile, Falabella and Sodimac, and the presence of Telcel and Corona from Mexico, confirmed how Latam is broader than a Brazil phenomenon. Most important, five of the eight Latam brands scored 5 in Brand Contribution and another brand scored 4.

BrandZ Top 100 2012

BrandZ Global 2012 Report Top 100 Report

Top 100 Chart

Methodology and valuation by Kantar Millward Brown

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