Google takes top spot in branding rankers


The third annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands ranking issued by market research and consulting firm, Millward Brown, proves that brands are becoming ever more valuable and powerful in driving business growth.

The top five brands, led by Google again this year with a brand value of 86.1 billion, included GE (71.4 billion), Microsoft (70.8 billion), Coca-Cola (58.2 billion) and China Mobile (57.2 billion). Eight of the Top 10 brands are based in the U.S.

The BrandZ Top 100 ranking, which identifies the world’s most powerful brands as measured by their dollar value, is produced by Millward Brown Optimor, the practice within Millward Brown dedicated to helping companies maximize returns from brand and marketing investments.

The combined value of all brands in the BrandZ Top 100 increased by 21% from 1.6 trillion in 2007 to 1.94 trillion in 2008, more than double the increase experienced the previous year.

In terms of year-on-year growth of brand value by category, Mobile Service Providers, Technology, Personal Care, Fast Food and Luxury products ranked highest. The three top risers by brand value were: BlackBerry (up 390%), Apple (up 123%) and Amazon (up 93%).

The most notable trends emerging from this year’s BrandZ ranking include:

1. Technology Boom — The technology sector (including mobile service providers), which accounted for 28 of the top 100 brands, outperformed all other categories in this year’s BrandZ ranking, with a brand value growth of 187.5 billion. This is more than half of the Top 100’s total increase.

2. Brands Based in Emerging Asian Markets Outperformed Those Based in Established Asia — Chinese brands continue to get stronger according to the new BrandZ ranking. Seven brands in this year’s Top 100 come from mature Asian economies: Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Their aggregate brand value increased by 7% in the last year (to 111 billion). In contrast, the value of the four Chinese brands that made this year’s BrandZ Top 100 increased by 51% (to 124 billion). China Mobile, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) are only just starting to expand beyond China so they have considerable potential for further growth.

3. Continued Rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) — Emerging markets play a key role in driving growth for international brands, for example Apple and Gucci. The new BrandZ ranking shows that domestic brands from emerging economies are gaining momentum. Chinese brands performed strongly and Russian-based mobile operator MTS entered the ranking at number 89. MTS is the first Russian brand to make the Top 100 list with a brand value of 8.1 billion. Other BRIC brands to watch in future brand rankings include Lukoil (851 million), a motor oil brand; Baltika (1.1 billion), a beer brand, both from Russia, and Brahma (944 million), a Brazilian beer.