Lego Overtakes Ferrari as the World’s Most Powerful Brand
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
‘Everything is Awesome’ for Lego
Lego is the World’s most powerful brand. It scores highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. Lego is a uniquely creative and immersive toy; children love the ability to construct their own worlds that it provides. In a tech-saturated world, parents approve of the back-to-basics creativity it encourages and have a lingering nostalgia for the brand long after their own childhoods. The Lego Movie perfectly captured this cross-generational appeal. It was a critical and commercial success, taking nearly US$500m since its release a year ago. It has helped propel Lego from a well-loved, strong brand to the World’s most powerful.
Lego has overtaken Ferrari, last year’s most powerful brand. Ferrari remains a very strong brand but its power is slowly diminishing. It has now gone several years without an F1 title and last season struggled even to mount a challenge. The sheen of glory from its 1990s golden era is beginning to wear thin. Meanwhile the departure of Luca di Montezemolo heralds a slight change in strategy at Ferrari’s road car division. Montezemolo kept a strict cap on production to maintain the exclusivity of the brand. Since his departure, Chairman Sergio Marchionne has suggested that this policy will be relaxed to boost revenues.
Many Ferrari owners and aspiring owners are extremely brand-conscious, making the loss of the ‘world’s most powerful brand’ accolade, which Ferrari has held for several years, a particularly heavy blow. Brand Finance CEO David Haigh comments, “Ferrari is still in a strong position and its brand value has actually increased 18% this year to $4.7 billion. The new strategy to capitalise on the brand will certainly drive short term value but over-exploitation risks lasting damage.”
Apple Sets Another Record
The power of a brand is just one component of Brand Finance’s analysis. The company combines the information on a brand’s strength with financial data, to calculate its commercial value. When brand values are calculated, Apple comes out on top. Though not quite on a par with Ferrari or Lego in terms of brand strength, Apple still has a very powerful brand. What sets it apart is ability to monetize that brand. Apple has a remarkable knack for using its brand to popularise and hence monetize existing technology, as it did so successfully first with the mp3 player, smart phone and later the tablet. Critics have been silenced by the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Consumers have snapped latest models in their droves, helping Apple set records for quarterly profits ($18bn) and company value ($710bn).
David Haigh continues, “The Apple brand is worth US$128 billion. That value is huge not just in its own terms but also as a proportion of Apple’s record-breaking corporate valuation. It goes to show how valuable brands are as business assets and how important it is to manage them well.”
Twitter is the fastest growing brand; it has almost tripled its brand value in a year, increasing from $1.5 billion in early 2014 to $4.4 billion now. Fellow tech giants Baidu and Facebook have also grown strongly, by 161% and 146% respectively. The three appear to be more effectively managing the transition to mobile advertising than other tech players such as Google, boosting expectations of the financial potential of their brands.
Chipotle stands out among the many successes from the restaurants sector this year. Its brand value is up 124%. It is eating into McDonalds’ market share by positioning itself as a healthier, tastier and more ethical alternative. McDonalds’ iconic brand has lost $4bn in value this year.
Brand values for hundreds of the world’s top brands from all industries can be found on Brand Finance’s website. The full Global 500 table can be found here and infographics, further insight and analysis in the Brand Finance Global 500 report.
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.