Key Sector Highlights
Leading automotive brands continue to rethink the future of mobility. A combined focus on energy-efficient products and integrated technology is helping leading auto brands drive brand loyalty and value.
This year, the collective brand value of the automotive brands appearing on the Best Global Brands ranking increased 14.6 percent. All 14 automotive brands collectively make up a combined brand value of USD $211.9 billion. With three out of the five Top Risers hailing from the automotive sector, the past year proved to be a record-breaking one. This year’s top 14 automotive brands include: Toyota (#8, +20%), Mercedes-Benz (#10, +8%), BMW (#11, +7%), Honda (#20, +17%), Volkswagen (#31, +23%), Ford (#39, +18%), Hyundai (#40, +16%), Audi (#45, +27%), Nissan (#56, +23%), Porsche (#60, +11%), Kia (#74, +15%), Chevrolet (#82, +10%), Harley-Davidson (#87, +13%), and Land Rover (#91, NEW). Toyota, which has been the most valuable automotive brand on the Best Global Brands ranking since 2004, continues to be a leader in green technology development. Since the launch of its first-generation Prius 17 years ago, Toyota has sold a total 3.2 million units of the vehicle globally. Toyota has also expanded its hybrid range to a total of 25 vehicles, including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. Toyota plans to spend USD $7 billion on environmental technology in the fiscal year ending March 2014, an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. With the era of the connected car rapidly approaching, the sector’s Top Risers—Audi, Volkswagen, and Nissan—are working to redefine the essence of the driving experience and build stronger emotional ties with their customers.
The technology sector leads as the most valuable category overall. Legacy and one-time leading brands struggle to evolve at the pace of change.
Out of this year’s top 100 brands, 13 hail from the tech sector. The category as a whole grew 11.3 percent year-over-year, and collectively is worth USD $493.2 billion in brand value. While Facebook (#29, +86%), Apple (#1, +21%), and Google (#2, +15%) represent this year’s fastest growing brands, a number of one-time leading brands experienced the steepest decline in brand value. Finnish communications and information technology provider Nokia (#98, -44%) experienced the largest decline in value among the top 100 brands, dropping from its #57 position in 2013 to #98 this year. Once a dominant player in the cell phone industry, it has seen its market share decline steadily since 2010, struggling to compete against rivals Apple and Samsung. Microsoft (#5, +3%) acquired the Finnish brand’s consumer products in April this year, and despite changes in leadership and operational structure, it remains unclear how Microsoft will use the brand and how it will evolve in the future. Japanese consumer electronics company Nintendo (#100, -33%), had another difficult year. The brand fell 33 places this year to take the #100 position, with a brand value of USD $4.1 billion. The company has acknowledged its woes in the hardware space, and CEO Satoru Iwata also publicly stated that the company must evaluate other opportunities, including those in the mobile market. Earlier this year, he announced that the company has plans to start a new health-related business by March 2016.
Against the backdrop of global economic recovery, financial services brands experience growth in brand value.
The value of financial services brands has experienced steady growth in recent years. All 11 financial services brands appearing on this year’s Best Global Brands ranking increased in brand value: American Express (#23, +11%), HSBC (#33, +8%), J.P. Morgan (#35, +9%), Goldman Sachs (#47, +3%), Citi (#48, +10%), AXA (#53, +14%), Allianz (#55, +15%), Morgan Stanley (#63, +11%), Visa (#69, +10%), Santander (#75, +16%), and MasterCard (#88, +13%). On the whole, companies within the financial services industry are continuing to build brand value by engaging with their customers and providing more seamless, convenient, and fully integrated experiences. Many financial services organizations have increased investments in mobile marketing, social media, online video, and more—and such efforts, as evidenced by this year’s Best Global Brands ranking, are paying off.
Leading luxury brands continue to embrace digital platforms. A new era of exclusivity is paving the way for personalization and curated brand experiences.
While luxury brands have been slower to embrace online channels, the rise of digital sales, online browsing, and brand consideration is forcing them to reimagine their respective customer experiences. As reported by Luxury Interactive and ShopIgniter, 65 percent of luxury marketers expect digital marketing to be the most important form of marketing for their brand.