According to this year’s BrandZ list of the top 100 most valuable brands in the world, the combined value of the top 100 brands is up 12% to nearly £1.8trn ($3trn). This represents a significant increase on the 7% growth experienced in 2013, and the 0.4% increase seen in 2012.
As well as combined value seeing high growth, there has also been some movement within the list, with Google now sitting in first place with a brand value of $157.8bn. Google’s rise to the top was helped by growth of 40% in brand value this year, overtaking Apple in second place who experienced a 20% decrease to $147.9bn.
The huge growth in combined brand value comes at a time when the economy is showing signs of recovery and consumer confidence is returning. Only 7 new brands made it on to the list this year, the lowest figure since 2006, and shows just how much effort brands are putting into connecting with their consumers. To get on the list, brands must connect with consumers in more meaningful ways than ever before while at the same time differentiating themselves from competitors.
Overall, only 18 brands suffered decreases in brand value this year, compared with an average of 31 since 2006. Price has had little effect on this year’s rankings, with brands across all price points seeing rises. For example, the fast food sector rose by 10% and the luxury goods sector experienced a rise of 16%.
These results emphasise the positive effect that can be had from consumer-centric strategies. The most successful brands, for example, owe a lot of success to gaining ‘share of life’. Essentially, this means making sure your brand exists in as many different aspects of people’s lives as possible. Brands such as Google, Microsoft and BT have seen increases in ‘share of life’ correspond with increases in brand value. Google and Microsoft (up 3%) have strengthened their position in the mobile market with the development of the Android operating system and Windows Phone platforms respectively, while BT (up 30%) has integrated sports broadcasting into its services with the launch of the BT Sport channels.
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