Value performance reflects dynamics of challenging year
Brands disrupt, rebound, or sustain value
Included among the Top 20 Risers—the brands with the greatest year-on-year value increase—are five brands that also appeared in the 2016 Top Risers list: Amazon, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Facebook, and PayPal. This is the fourth consecutive year Facebook has made the Top Risers list, a considerable achievement.
The 2017 Top 20 Risers, from 11 categories, reflect a key theme of the 2017 BrandZ™ Global Top 100 report: This was a period of geopolitical, economic, and social disruption that crossed all categories and spared few brands.
To comprehend the success of the Top Risers, it is useful to divide them roughly into three groups of brands: disruptors that fomented change; rebounders that successfully responded to change; and sustainers that endured despite change.
Amazon, the brand that virtually invented e-commerce and disrupted retail, is aiming to disrupt other categories, including cars and technologies associated with the cloud or the Internet of Things. The 41 percent brand value increase is especially impressive because of Amazon’s $139.3 billion brand value.
Although Tesla did not report profits, it rose 32 percent in value, twice the rate of any other car brand, as its combination of electric car technology leadership and luxury marketing continued to set the pace for carmakers, who worried about the anticipated introduction of Tesla’s more mass market Model 3. Tesla surpassed Ford and GM in market value.
The 30 percent value rise for Netflix reflects the market strength of a brand that redefined how consumers access film and other entertainment content. Facebook appeared again because it continued to grow steadily, ending 2016 with over 1.8 billion monthly active users (MAUs), and advancing its three priorities: monetizing video, adding advertisers, and making ads more relevant.
Salesforce continued to drive its leadership in cloud customer-management tools, even collaborating with established brands like IBM that worked hard to transition their legacy businesses into the cloud. With the rising concern about online security, PayPal benefited from its dominance as an online payment pioneer. Tencent, the internet portal and China’s most valuable brand, benefited from advertising growth on its vast ecosystem, which includes almost 890 million MAUs on its social media apps, including WeChat. Tencent also benefited from its online gaming business and payment-related and cloud services.
The 58 percent brand value rise by Adidas followed a 14 percent increase a year ago and a 36 percent decline in 2015. The brand caught the fashion wave exactly right, with its classic high-top sneakers becoming a favorite of millennials looking for a retro look. Adidas improved its weakness in the US with operational and marketing initiatives. Adidas opened a US factory, raised its profile in basketball, and signed US celebrity brand ambassadors.
Moutai continued to rebound from the sales slowdown that followed the Chinese government’s limits on extravagant official entertainment and gifting. Moutai adjusted pricing, expanded distribution, and cultivated export markets. Continuing some of the strategies in place since their acquisition by the Brazilian investment firm 3G, the fast food brands Burger King and Tim Hortons focused on their core customers and added franchise locations.
Shell and Rosneft increased sharply in value despite continuing pressures on the oil and gas category. Shell’s assimilation of BG Group, acquired early in 2016, strengthened its position in liquid natural gas, a fast-growing industry segment. Russia’s Rosneft grew in brand value despite sanctions that restricted activity with Western companies. Rosneft sold just under 20 percent of the company to Glencore, a Swiss commodities trader, and Qatar in a 50/50 joint venture, thereby expanding its presence in the Middle East, signing agreements with Iraq, Libya, and other countries.
Morgan Stanley reported strong profit gains based on its wealth management services and other businesses. The bank invested in 10 FinTech companies during 2016 to better serve its high-wealth customers, expand its digital investing options, and raise margins.
The 29 percent rise in value for Domino’s Pizza followed a 30 percent increase a year ago. The brand continued to do a lot of things right, starting with the product, having improved the taste of its pizza several years ago. A fast food leader in digital innovation, Domino’s Pizza introduced an app to simplify pizza ordering and improve customer experience, from ordering to delivery. Many Domino’s Pizza delivery trucks now include warming ovens.
The Samsung brand proved resilient after the recall of its Note 7 smartphone. Its next smartphone iteration, Galaxy S8, received positive initial reviews for its design, especially the large curved screen. And Samsung’s finances remained strong because of its diverse product portfolio. DHL continued its leadership in business-to-business logistics and added capacity in the US and Asia to handle the growing e-commerce volume. The three Latin American beer brands—Brahma and Skol from Brazil, and Mexico’s Corona—are owned by AB InBev. Constellation Brands distributes Corona in the US. Each brand excelled at marketing communication that, with variations, associated the brands with joyful living.