Google goes top

After my brief blogging respite while exploring the beautiful Copenhagen (no doubt a multitude of posts to follow about this), this post continues along the ‘world is global’ theme- by examining the world’s top brands, a list compiled recently by Brand Finance.

In this annual survey, Google grabs the crown from Microsoft with a brand valuation of $44.3bn (£27.3bn), in comparison to the “measily” $42.8bn (£26.3bn) of Microsoft. I’m obviously joking when I use the word “measily”, as frankly the high valuations of these brands staggered me- with the top 23 global brands all being valued over $20bn, which to put into context, is a higher valuation than the GDPs of Estonia, Bolivia, Jamaica and many more countries. Moreover, many of these brands values in 2011 show a decrease from the previous year- with the main exception being Apple, whose position shot from 20 (valued at 19.829bn in 2010) to 8 (currently valued at 29.543bn) in the course of the year. So much kudos to the iPad then.

Another notable feature of the list is the overwhelming presence of US brands. 13 of the top 20 brands are American-owned, in comparison to just the three British ones- Vodafone, HSBC and Tesco. Of these, Vodafone is viewed as the world’s largest telecoms brand and the fifth-biggest brand overall, with a valuation of $30.7 (£18.9bn). This again surprised me as in a British context, I generally see Vodafone as trailing behind Orange and O2 in terms of numbers of customers. But with Coca-Cola voted outside of the top 10 (at 16th place)- apparently due to a revised methodology in measuring brand value, it is clear that the brand’s popularity among consumers may not equate directly to massively high brand value.

As David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance comments-

“From a global perspective, five of the top 10’s largest growers are technology-related companies, reinforcing the importance of embracing technological innovation to give a seamless, value-enhancing brand experience.

“We have found that, across many leading companies, senior management are increasingly using brand valuation dashboards to monitor the health of their brands throughout the year, in order to make better informed strategic marketing decisions.

“This trend is likely to continue as the sheer size of these brand values becomes impossible to ignore.”

And with myself nodding in agreement (who exactly could ignore the daily presence of these brands in our lives?!), here is the top 10 global brands-

1) Google (climbed from 2nd place in 2010)
2) Microsoft (climbed from 5th place in 2010)
3) Wal-Mart (dropped from 1st place in 2010)
4) IBM (stayed the same)
5) Vodafone (climbed from 7th place in 2010)
6) Bank of America (climbed from 12th place in 2010)
7) General Electric (dropped from 6th place in 2010)
8 ) Apple (climbed from 20th place in 2010)
9) Wells Fargo (climbed from 15th place in 2010)
10) AT&T (climbed from 11th place in 2010)

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