Omnicon Group, world’s largest advertising, marketing and corporate communication company recently released much awaited Global Brands report. And just like every other time this report brought great surprises and moreover great consumer insights and where this world of branding is heading.
First thing first and biggest news that this report has generated is that Apple, World’s largest technology company and No.2 of last year, replaced Coca-cola as Most Valuable Brand and ended 13 year run of beverage giant as leader of the list. Not only apple but Google brand valuation also surpassed that of Coke and it secured number 2 while Coca-cola moved to number 3.
List of Top Gainers (Increase of >= 20%) has 5 Technology companies out of total 13. While Top losers (Decrease <= 10%) has 3 Technology companies, led by Nokia, out of total 6. Top gainers are Apple, Google, Amazon and Prada while Top losers are Nokia and Morgan Stanley. This clearly shows that people are valuing those companies more which have changed out lives, not just with their products but with their ethos. These brands have embraced “New Normal” or became a creator of new normal, the way we do stuff have not remained same as we used to do it before 10 years and these brands have pioneered that ‘New Normal”. And I think that is the reason we have 14 automobile, 12 FMCG and 12 technology companies in top 100 while there are 1 Energy, 1 Home furnishing and 1 transportation company.
This list also raises long unanswered questions that is Are brands created in America only???
As you can see, 57% of top brand are from USA while only 10 brands belong to Asia Pacific region that also 3 brands from South Korea (Samsung, Kia & Hyundai) and 7 brands from Japan.
If you see brand value evolution of these brands, then it becomes even more visible that these brand started growing in terms of valuation once they aggressively started promoting brand in US or attacked Top US brands.
This leads to question, what Asian brands need to do to achieve great heights like that of Apple of Google?
Answering this, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Leslie Butterfield, said that
- Leaders Lead, they don’t follow: Most of Asian brands are born out of imitation of that of their western counterpart. If brands want to achieve success they need to find their way to innovate and sound strategy
- Leaders listen: Big data is not the problem if you know how to handle it. Brands need to listen to their customer, what they think about brand, research customer needs, track what they are doing and get important cues to strategize and deliver values.
- Leaders are responsive: It is utmost important to keep brand relevant with the time. Brand leaders and marketing teams need to understand how their brand is perceived and how they can influence the way the market views their organization
- Great brands start from within: Employees are among the most significant assets of a corporate brand, as they are the ones who interact with customers and really bring the service-profit chain to life.
- Great brands combine scale and intimacy: Chinese companies have created great scale but scale only can’t take brands far. Brands need to focus more on creating intimacy—recognizing and responding to emotional needs
- Digital must be front and center: With widespread penetration of mobile and internet, brand strategy that doesn’t embrace digital is not a smart strategy. Digital is changing the consumer choices, behavior, experience and thus relevance of brand depends how brands react to and relate to customers.