· The total brand value of the table is $2.8 trillion
· Skechers, the US’ fastest growing brand, nearly doubles in brand value
· Apple retains its status as the nation and the world’s most valuable brand
· Disney is the US’ 14th most valuable brand and the world’s most powerful brand
· Health concerns create conflict with the Coca-Cola 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 by country, by industry and against all other brands worldwide. America’s 500 most valuable brands, which have a total value of US$2.8 trillion, are ranked in the Brand Finance US 500.
37 states are home to brands large enough to make the table. California is the state with the most brands in the table, suppling 72 brands. The state with the second most brands is New York, supplying marginally less than California with 68 brands. Despite the slight difference, Californian brands have a total value of $638 billion, far higher than New York’s total of $452 billion. Silicon Valley’s status as the home of vast tech brands such as Apple, Google and Facebook is largely responsible for California’s dominance.
Skechers is the fastest growing brand this year, nearly doubling in value from 2015 to 2016. Skechers’ is seen as more easy-going and inclusive than Nike and Adidas, which in contrast focus on technical performance and competitiveness. Its shoes are also more diverse, with lines for work, sport, casual fashion, kids and casual fashion. However the key to Skechers’ recent success has been its recognition of the importance of brand value and marketing investment. Marketrealist.com has commented that Skechers “competes on the basis of comfort, quality, and the creation of brand value for its products.” It is clearly achieving that aim; brand value is up 93% from 2015 to $2.6 billion. Investment has been key to delivering this impressive growth; marketing expenditure rose at an annual rate of 12.1% from 2011 to 2015, growing from $119 million to $188 million. A mix of media have been employed including print, TV, outdoor and promotional events as part of a strategy that is slightly more traditional than competitors in its relative sparing use of digital and social media. Endorsement deals with celebrities such Demi Lovato and Megan Trainor have reinforced its down to earth image, resonating particularly with younger, female consumers in particular.
Apple maintains its dominance at the summit of the Brand Finance US 500. Despite annual predictions of a plateau or fall from grace, it has proved a continuous source of success with 2015/16 proving no exception and it remains the most valuable brand in both the US and the world.
Disney is the country’s 14th most valuable brand this year, with a brand value of $32 billion, however it is the most powerful brand worldwide, with a brand value of US$32 billion. Brand Power (also known as brand strength) is the initial part of Brand Finance’s analysis that measures factors such as preference, satisfaction, recommendation, awareness and future potential before revenues are applied in the brand value calculation. Disney’s strength is founded on its rich history and original creations, however its now dominant position is the result of its many acquisitions and the powerful brands it has brought under its control. Perhaps Disney’s most important acquisition of all has been Lucasfilm, and thus, Star Wars. Brand Finance has estimated the value of the Star Wars brand to be US$10 billion, dwarfing the US$4.05 billion Disney paid for Lucasfilm in 2012.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh comments, “The growth of Skechers’ brand this year demonstrates that tech isn’t the only sector where rapid economic gains can be made. Skechers’ focus on brand shows that with the right strategy and investment, even firms in well-established, competitive industries can grow brand value to boost revenues and most importantly profitability.”
Coca-Cola is another iconic brand that is beginning to falter; its brand value is down 5% (by US$1.6 billion) to US$34.2 billion, dropping to 11th place this year. Coca-Cola was America and the world’s most valuable brand across all industries in 2007, with a brand value of $43.1bn. Increasing concerns over the links between carbonated drinks and obesity have begun to undermine what the Coca-Cola brand has represented for over one hundred years.