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22 September 2008

The battle of the brands 2: new global brand survey just more deck shuffling.



There's nothing very surprising in BusinessWeek's annual survey of the 100 Best Global Brands, just that Google isn't already closer to the top of the pack and that it pre-empts the rapid decline of some world's major financial brands.

In its latest and eigth iteration, the brand rankings compiled from data from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, see little shift in the dominance of global brands with the exception of Disney's failure to grow, Mercedes-Benz departure (down to 11) replaced by Google's (10) much anticipated entry into the top ten.

What's most interesting in this list is the fact that $157 billion Google hasn't already surpassed Microsoft (ranked 3) and that Swedish megaclothing retailer H&M is rocketing up the charts(22) while Thomson Reuters (44), Blackberry (73), Ferrari (93), Armani (94), FedEx (99) and Visa (100) are all marked as new entrants to the pantheon.

Behind Google, Apple (24, up from 33), Sap (31, from 34), Nintendo (40, from 44) and Amazon (50, up 62) all signalled significant growth off the back of strong sales and increasingly focussed efforts of true and marked differentiation via technology.

In what must have anticipated the seismic shocks in financial markets, big value declines were posted by Merril Lynch (-12%) Citi (-14%) and Morgan Stanley (-16%), while old school brands such as Ford (-12%), Gap (-20%) and Motorola (-10%) all struggled to hold onto their market and customer relevance.

Outside of the financial giants, Ford, Gap and Motorola have all been characterised as so bogged down in moribund cultures that their ability to innovate has had significant effects on their share price and caused subsequent declines in brand value.

Indeed for Ford, Gap and Motorola it must signal that lessons can be learnt, not from big ticket investing in advertising but in building cultures that are imbued by technological and design innovation, which big risers Google, H&M, Amazon and Zara already know.

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