I love reviewing Interbrand’s yearly list of the best global brands. I think it paints an accurate picture of what’s going on in the economy, how certain industries are affected, and how and why some companies have continued to thrive despite harsh conditions.
First off, the top 10 brands of 2008 were also the top 10 brands of 2007, with the exception of Google (who jumped from the 20th position to replace Mercedes Benz).
The complete list of the top 100 brands can be found here.
The credit market affects financial institutions differently
Citi and Merrill Lynch both fell significantly from 2007 to 2008 (22nd position to 34th position and 11th position to 19th position, respectively). However, Visa’s and American Express’ brand values rose due to their trusted brands. I believe this has a lot to do with how consumers see these companies. For the most part, consumers saw the credit market debacle as a fault of the lending institutions. Credit card companies were able to maintain brand value, not only through continued brand communication, but because of the physical relationship consumers have with their credit cards. What’s in your wallet right now? – Mastercard, Visa or American Express? We love to use credit cards and the convenience they give us.
Sustainability leads and valued brands
Companies that are on the forefront of sustainable initiatives held strong on Interbrand’s list. Honda was the only car manufacture to report better sales in June 2008, than it did last year. GE and BP increased their brand value over 2007 by investing in sustainable business practices. BP has invested heavily both in internal processes and direct consumer communication.
Companies that are delivering green products and sustainable business practices will continue to increase brand value in the future because that is what the market demands.
These are the two aspects that caught my eye when reviewing Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands. A couple points small and medium-size businesses we can learn from this are:
- Perception is reality. If people have an inaccurate perception of you – you must work to change your brand. For example, financial institutions like Merrill Lynch need to transcend the “financial lending” market and position themselves to better relate to consumers and to expand their value. Pro-active marketing to address head-on the brand challenges is a great way to fend off negative brand perceptions.
- What is good for the environment is good for your business. Innovative products and citizenship holds great value with consumers.
Now is the time to re-position your company so that your customers see the value in choosing you. Brand Iron can help you with brand positioning and communicating what you do. You have the power to influence the decisions your customers make. Make sure your brand is putting you in the best light possible and is creating a good and memorable customer experience.
Written by Josh Barker