Brand Champion
Brand Champion

We reach for resilient expensive brands because they ensure an unwavering and strong bond with consumers in a market which is largely dogged by instability and new and cheaper products. Year after year, the Top Brands witness a shuffle and only a few are able to retain their positions.  In this dog eat dog world, only the fittest survive and climb up the ladder of success, and again, not many can sustain their positions in face of threat from newer or better brands.  Some brands have come a long way, whereas the others have withered away in the sands of time, while some new ones have nudged the others to move over and make place for them. In this study, we intend to know the brands that made it to the coveted crown this year and compare them with those from the past with the purpose of gaining insight into what makes them top rung material and why others couldn’t reach there at all. So, get ready to find out, the shuffle that has been, the new entries and the old exits also the others who hold future promise. Well, for the purpose, we are taking Millward Brown Optimor BrandZ survey into consideration.

To know what substantiates the stability of retail brand value over time, we checked the report and found that in the year 2006, the BrandZ ranking of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global brands included 10 retail brands. And those 10 retail brands engaged about 9 percent of the total brand value of the Top 100. In 2010, 9 retail brands are among the Top 100, representing about 8 percent of the total value. The difficult economy primarily accounts for the slight decline in the figure.

So, in following with the above, let’s find out from the mandarins of the trade, what they think about this year’s Best 100 BrandZ 100, and also which others dropped from the slot to the lower positions and the ones that hold future promise.

Google-An eve with most suitors
Google had the unbelievable brand value of $114 billion grown by 14 per cent from 2009, followed by IBM at $86 billion an increase by 30 per cent from last year, then Apple at $ 83 per cent billion, Microsoft at $ 76 billion flat from 2009. China celebrated red letter day with China Mobile on number 8, Chinese gas and Oil Company at Petro China at number 73 and Chinese search engine Baidu at number 75. Coca Cola, Mc Donald, Marlboro, China Mobile, GE and Vodafone completed the brand coterie. Amusingly, the combined value of the top 100 brands increased by 4 per cent last year, although the economy had dipped owing to the recession.

Ishaan says, "Well, google is just amazing; imagine their newest baby Android where one can download any number of applications from the app store. Undoubtedly, the brand  will go a long way”.

IT is the best
IT sits comfortably in enviable top positions on the brand pyramid with top four brands: Google is ranked first, Blackberry 14th, then Amazon, and HP at 12.

Technology is fast getting incorporated in our daily lives profoundly, and that’s the best reason to explain why technology is pacing fast. Moreover, convergence and innovations are the other factors that lure the customers while promising to make their lives better and comfortable.

Interestingly, Samsung grew 80% with its innovative products while Nokia came down to 58. Apple with its iphones and ipads grew by 32 %.

Pleasures that don’t burn a hole in the pocket
The next brands were of affordable pleasures that scored high in a world of labyrinth, created by uncertainty of jobs and pay cuts. Mc Donalds, Coca Cola, Marlboro, Budweiser tickled the taste buds enough, leaving the consumers asking for more.

On the other hand, luxury items Chanel and Rolex leapfrogged.

Akash says,” If I have to choose a fast food item, I would prefer Mc Donald anytime and of course combined with Coke”.

Strong brands that bounced back
Samsung and Starbucks recovered from adversity of the past and the learning lesson is that strong brands can survive the test of time and make a comeback.

In the nonprofit sector, St Jude was on top of the rung, followed by Susan G Komen , other repeat finishers were Doctors without Borders and Habitat for Humanity, both placing in the top 10 among the most trusted non profits for the fourth year in a row.

According to Harish Bijoor of Brand Consultancy, “Milward Brown Optimor is right. The world is really getting very very excited by technology brands. The buzz word is the e-word. The e-word will continue to excite brand valuations across the world, never mind whether it is the developed world, the developing world or the under-developed”. He further adds, “I do believe this year’s ranking says it all succinctly. This is the era of brands that are all about technology, food, drink and telecom in that order. We literally eat all of these”.

Making of Power Brand?
It is evident that in times of turbulence consumers turn to brands they trust, and it is vital that recognition of this extends to the boardroom.

    * Brand valuations: The deal for marketers?

When times are tough, companies that invest in their brands can protect their businesses and help them grow. The rankings prove that strong brands continue to outperform weaker ones in terms of both market share and share price. And that the brands have held up better than any other part of the business shows the power of investing in them.

    * What makes a strong brand?

Millward Brown Optimor identifies five stages in the brand/consumer relationship.

    * Presence those who are aware of the brand
    * Relevance those who do not reject the brand for being too expensive or cheap
    * or for not meeting their needs
    * Performance those who do not find the brand lacking in their experience of it
    * Advantage those who believe the brand
    * to be better in some way than its rivals
    * Bonding those who find the brand has more advantages than other brands

Learning lessons
    * Google: Google never advertised, this serves as a timely reminder that pulling back marketing support may well provide a quick fix to a company's bottom line, but is often to the long-term injury of the business. Technology is regularly winning for many years and why not, when it has become an indispensable part of our lives, Blackberry, Samsung and Apple are some examples that could make it to the top because of its innovative features. What’s more, invention of robots are challenging the human pedigree, so a revolution is waiting at the ambush, most interestingly.

    * Despite  recession, there was cheerfulness all around and it failed to have a negative impact across all brands and categories; one of the big positive trends is the growth in popularity of activities undertaken at home that traditionally would have been done elsewhere. The ease and convenience of online shopping, for example, has been the driving force behind brands such as Amazon (+85%) and eBay (+16%).

    * In fast food category Mc Donald emerged a winner due to low pricing and innovations in categories. Coke is well everybody’s poison if I am not wrong and the addiction has reached our lifeblood.

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