Coca-Cola dries up

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For the first time in 13 years, Apple has usurped Coca-Cola to top an Interbrand list of the world’s most valuable brands. This list measures the BRAND VALUE of organisations.

​​Brand value is about the entire experience customers have with a company and its products or services. It’s basically the extra revenue a company can make solely because of its brand name.

In the latest list, released today, Coca-Cola was also beaten by Google which now sits just behind Apple in second place.

Here's the top 20 in full:

1. Apple
2. Google
3. Coca-Cola
4. IBM
5. Microsoft
6. General Electric
7. McDonald's
8. Samsung
9. Intel
10. Toyota
11. Mercedes-Benz
12. BMW
13. Cisco
14. Disney
15. Hewlett-Packard
16. Gillette
17. Louis Vuitton
18. Oracle
19. Amazon
20. Honda

So - what gives these brands such value?

There are five notable qualities that leading brands share.

1. A compelling idea.
Behind every brand is a great idea, which captures customers’ attention and ensures their loyalty by satisfying a need or desire.

2. A core goal and purpose.
For example, for BMW, the brand communications reiterate the phrase “the ultimate driving machine”, whatever model is being promoted. The target audience for each BMW model differs but the core goal stays the same: “to be the world's leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.”

3. A brand proposition which permeates the business.
The brand position, purpose and values are used at every level to guide decision-making. Once staff understand what the brand is all about, it gives direction to the whole business. It guides what products they make, what images will look like, what copy will sound like, even how they answer the phone.

4. Understanding the importance of their brand.
Most leading brands recognise that to succeed in business they need to differentiate themselves in ways that can't be copied by other companies. They protect the brand, strive to
increase its value and measure its performance as they would any other business asset.

5. Staying relevant.
Leading brands endeavour to remain relevant to their customers, and different from the competition. One way in which this can be achieved is through innovation, both of products and business processes. Blackberry for example is struggling to stay relevant as it loses ground to Apple and other smartphone brands, especially in the business market where it once held a near monopoly.

OK... so those five points are all well and good if you're a top 20 global brand. But smaller businesses can also learn from their successes. Start to incorporate brand-building into your business plan, and make increasing your brand value one of your business objectives.

Once you have defined your organisation's unique brand you can look at ways of portraying it, which will add to its value. That's where Public can help, for example with your logo and corporate image. We'll help you decide what colours, fonts and design will appeal to your potential customers and create a highly successful brand image for you.

And if you build on this image by delivering a high-quality product or service, your customers will keep coming back and your brand value will grow.

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