Untouchables: Best Global Brands of 2012

Written by Janice Rudkowski

Interbrand recently released its’ Best Global Brands 2012, which is a list that quantifies the top 100 most valuable brands from around the world. In the marketing and advertising world, this list is widely anticipated and studied carefully. Snatching a coveted spot on Interbrand’s Top 100 list means a brand has truly arrived at its desired destination: mass appeal and awareness. Now, if you haven’t taken a close look at this year’s list it’s worth a gander. Here are my 5 key observations:

  1. Coke is still number one on the top 100 brand list, even after 13 years. It’s really no surprise. Their campaigns continue to innovate, surprise and delight. The product is the same old thing, but the brand is as interesting, aspirational, modern and young as ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M2NgNpijk8
  2. The number 20th brand spot belongs to Amazon. Interestingly, without other brands Amazon could not exist. With the recent “showroomer” trends, Amazon becomes the ultimate purchasing destination after the consumer has “shopped” the bricks and mortar stores and “showrooms” to compare prices and do a little touch and feel of the products IRL. E-commerce has made the task of shopping convenient, and thanks to Amazon a very engaging and satisfying experience.
  3. With over 16 industry sectors represented including: telecommunications, media, retail, sporting goods, technology, hospitality, food/beverage, healthcare, financial services, digital, energy, consumer packaged goods, business services, apparel and airlines, the list proves that “branding” does not solely reside within a “marketing department”! The companies’ brands that populate this list are not ones who have relegated branding to one department. These companies have integrated their brands across and throughout their organizations. You don’t get on the top 100 list without a clear brand vision that is embraced at all levels within an organization.
  4. Yes, I still use a Blackberry, but my brand only ranked #93, down from 56th the year before. Yikes. I remember attending an event a few years ago where Jim Balsillie was the keynote speaker. An astute audience member asked him what the difference was between the RIM and Blackberry brands. He replied, “They are the same.” I gasped, but tried to remain calm. “Brands don’t die overnight,” used to be a popular saying throughout the marketing and advertising academia circles. Well, in the world today, brand differentiation is really important and unfortunately, in the case of Blackberry this brand might not die overnight but it looks like it is well on its way.
  5. That leads me to my next and final observation, the top risers. Two notable top risers this year are Apple and Samsung. These two companies have a lot in common and they are primarily responsible for stealing market share away from RIM’s Blackberry. Well, may the best brand win as they say. With both brands in the top 10, Apple at number 2 spot and Samsung at number 9, they are poised for world domination. So much for the long tail theory.  

This leads me to my next topic and blog post, “Marketing is not a Department”! Stay tuned…

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