The Brand Finance Global 500 is an annual study conducted by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The world’s biggest brands are put to the test and evaluated to determine which are the most powerful and most valuable.
Ferrari is the world’s most powerful brand. The legendary Italian carmaker scores highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index, from desirability, loyalty and consumer sentiment to visual identity, online presence and employee satisfaction. Ferrari is one of only eleven brands (including Google, Hermès, Coca-Cola, Disney, Rolex and F1 racing rivals Red Bull) to be awarded an AAA+ brand rating and has the highest overall score.
Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh stated, “The prancing horse on a yellow badge is instantly recognizable the world over, even where paved roads have yet to reach. In its home country and among its many admirers worldwide Ferrari inspires more than just brand loyalty, more of a cultish, even quasi-religious devotion, its brand power is indisputable.”
Though Ferrari is the world’s most powerful brand, being a niche, luxury brand with an officially capped production, it is perhaps unsurprising that it is some way off being the world’s most valuable. Its US$4 billion brand value puts it 350th in brand value terms. David Haigh continues, “Apple also has a powerful brand, rated AAA by Brand Finance. However what sets it apart is its ability to monetize that brand. For example, though tablets were in use before the iPad, it was the application of the Apple brand to the concept that captured the public imagination and allowed it to take off as a commercial reality.” This is just one of the factors responsible for its US$105 billion brand value; it is the world’s most valuable brand for the third year in a row.
Samsung Closing In On Apple’s Brand Value Crown
Apple’s dominance is being challenged by Samsung however. The Korean giant’s improving reputation for reliability, a faster pace of innovation and wider range of devices are among many factors that have seen its brand value increase by US$20 billion to US$79 billion this year. Other tech successes include Netflix, which has nearly doubled its brand value to appear in the Brand Finance Global 500 for the first time. Its value has grown 93% in a year to US$3.2 billion, to make Netflix the 468th most valuable brand. Still operating only in the Americas, Scandinavia and the British Isles, there is huge potential for further growth. Facebook meanwhile has recovered from its problematic IPO, which saw its reputation suffer and its brand value plunge in 2013. This year it has rebounded, adding 76% to its brand value to bring the total to US$9.8 billion, putting it 122nd. Investor confidence in its long term prospects has returned as revenues from mobile advertising have grown.
Tech brands in general have tightened their grip on the Brand Finance Global 500. Walmart is the only non-tech brand remaining in the top 10. Once the world’s most valuable brand, it now sits in 9th having been overtaken by Amazon. The usurpation of the world’s biggest retail brand by the biggest online retailer represents yet another coup for tech brands over ‘real-world’ businesses.
Sinking Nokia Takes Finland Down With It
US brands continue to dominate the Brand Finance’s list, occupying 185 brands of the 500 spots. Japan is second. Despite 7 Japanese brands having dropped out of the table, the total for the country as a whole is up thanks to brand value increases of over 30% from Japan’s three biggest brands; Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. President Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ programme has begun to pay off and global demand for Japanese goods is improving. Germany, France and the UK complete the top 5. Despite China’s status as the world’s second biggest economy, it is 6th in terms of total brand value as its brands are still developing. Huawei and Baidu have both increased their brand values by over 50%. While controversial for their close associations with the Chinese government, both are likely to exert increasing influence around the world in the next few years.
Nations that have not fared so well include Finland. The country’s only brand, Nokia, has finally been squeezed out of the table after years of slow decline. Nokia has continued to hemorrhage brand value as a result of its inability to effectively counter the challenge Apple and Samsung. Falling out of the Brand Finance Global 500, it follows Blackberry, which dropped out of the top 500 last year. The BRIC nations of Russia, India and in particular Brazil have also fared relatively poorly. The number of Brazilian brands in the table is down from 9 to 5 and those that remain have all lost over 20% of their brand value. One Indian brand has dropped out of the table and several of those that remain have fallen further down the rankings. Tata, India’s flagship brand is the exception however, climbing to 34th worldwide with a brand value of US$21.1 billion.
Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.
Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.
Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671, and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.
Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.
Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.
Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.
Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.
The steps in this process are as follows:
1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.
2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.
3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.
4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.
5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.
7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.
Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.
The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.