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The definitive guide tothe 100 Best Global BrandsBestGlobalBrands2012
The Future is Human2Playing to Win on theDigital Frontier6Brand Humanity ofOlympic Proportions10The World’sToughest Brands...
The Future is HumanBy Jez FramptonIf 2011 was about upheaval and uncertainty, 2012 has been abouttransition. Last year, di...
fantasies, and dreams. They have the power to touch and change usprecisely because they are human creations, invented in r...
Digital is advertising’s new ecosystem, adicey frontier for most major businesses,a new medium for conversation, and atech...
operates under a different paradigm andreacts to the daily ups and downs, whichonly makes it harder for young companiesto r...
Every four years the Olympic Gamesprovide not only the world’s greatest stagefor athletes, but a tremendous oppor-tunity f...
research showed that the brand’s effortsaligned well with Olympic values when com–pared with other players, such as Dow and...
The Best Global Brands list rewards out-comes. The more economic value you candrive through your brand over time, thehighe...
Unrelentingly relevantEveryone’s on the bus, but is it headed in theright direction? This is a particularly trickyquestion...
The markets in which brands operate areincreasingly transparent and fast-moving,with greater public visibility into corpor...
and—crucial for countering the PR effect—the authenticity of corporate claims ofenvironmentalism.A negative gap occurs when...
physical spaces and places, internal cultureand communications. Companies like Applehave already set customer expectations...
BestGlobalBrands201201Coca-Cola+8%77,839 $mCoca-Cola. A name that is more universallyrecognized than any other in the worl...
Top risers of 2012While opinions are mixed on Google+ and Google’sother various innovations, overall, the searchgiant has ...
For Intel, the last year has been filled with change,big bets, and the continued quest to remain at theforefront of the ce...
There may be no other vehicle that exudes classand luxury quite like Mercedes-Benz. In theminds of many people, it is stil...
For Gillette, being“the best a man can get” isn’tjust a tagline, it’s a brand promise. Owned byProcter & Gamble, Gillette ...
As Nokia tries to reinvent itself, its brand valuecontinues to decline. This year, Nokia lost itsposition as the world’s l...
With an ever-increasing number of competitorsgaining traction globally and more big retailersstepping into low-cost fast f...
Holding steady at #27, UPS saw its brand valuerise slightly this year. Slow growth in the USeconomy and an overall decreas...
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  1. 1. The definitive guide tothe 100 Best Global BrandsBestGlobalBrands2012
  2. 2. The Future is Human2Playing to Win on theDigital Frontier6Brand Humanity ofOlympic Proportions10The World’sToughest Brands14Citizens All: The NewRules of CorporateCitizenship18The Future of BrandBuilding22Best Global Brands 201224Sector Overviews72Criteria, Methodology,and Brand Strength134Contributors142Table of Contents
  3. 3. The Future is HumanBy Jez FramptonIf 2011 was about upheaval and uncertainty, 2012 has been abouttransition. Last year, dissent was in the air as protestors took tothe streets from Tahrir Square to New York City, a nuclear crisisin Fukushima reignited a worldwide energy debate, and ongoingissues in the banking industry have brought—and continue tobring—deficiencies to the fore. Like it or not, we are entering anew world. Connected, networked, hyper-aware, and fraught withcontradictions, this new world is complex and confusing, but rich,intimate, and alive. It is, for brands, full of promise and bound-less possibility—if organizations can learn how to tap into thisvast intelligence. The inexorable rise of digital consumers, furtheraccelerated by the mobile and tablet revolution, is radically shift-ing the dynamics of the marketplace. Facebook, which has foreveraltered the way we communicate and relate, went public this year.The London Olympics was not only the greenest Olympic eventever staged, but the most digital to date. Welcome to the future.Information has leveled the playing field, but has also compli-cated it. Though data—and lots of it—is available to all, thatdoesn’t mean everyone understands which bits of informationare important or how they can be strategically applied. Today’scustomers are skeptical, vocal, savvy—and have everyone compet-ing for their attention. Any brand that becomes fixated only onthe data, and forgets that those numbers are really people, willbe punished swiftly. Big data facilitates personalization, not areturn to broadcast. Only brands that stay transparent, activelyengaged, and true to their promises will manage to capture heartsand minds, earn trust and loyalty, and command a premium.Today’s best brands are in touch with their own humanity andthe humanity of others. They listen to consumers, employees,and investors alike and respond to the messages they receive.They want to know how people really feel about their com-pany, they gather input and use it to drive innovation, andthey realize that there is a lot to be learned from the wisdomof crowds. The challenge for brands is to respond quickly andwith sincerity, or they risk compromising the relationship.After all, brands evoke emotion. They are personal. They fulfill anddelight us. They are reliable, familiar, exciting, surprising, andever in the fabric of our lives. They are woven into our memories,/ The Future is HumanBest Global Brands 2012
  4. 4. fantasies, and dreams. They have the power to touch and change usprecisely because they are human creations, invented in response toboth our deepest and most practical needs.The principles that build and maintain strong brands still hold true,but sometimes we forget that people are really at the center of it all.Resonant symbols, cultural images, emotional attractors, behaviordefiners—brands are all this and more. They are living businessassets: a concept, a feeling, a differentiating promise that grows,evolves, and will never die as long as a brand is kept alive in theminds of people. In order to succeed, brand owners must becomemore sensitive to the needs and desires of informed and discerningcustomers who demand high degrees of engagement—and consis-tency. And increasingly, the capacity of brands to deepen existingrelationships and develop new ones relies on their ability to leveragenew technology in service of the human connection.Those who manage the Best Global Brands 2012 understand the rolethey play in peoples’ lives, and respond accordingly—building onsuccesses and making up for mistakes. They are constantly nurturingtheir brands to keep pace in a rapidly changing world; they know thatevery market is different, every interaction counts, and every indi-vidual matters. Quite an achievement in such turbulent times. Thesestrong, highly innovative brands have earned the loyalty of manyindividuals who, collectively, contribute to their power and prosperity.They have also earned our respect and admiration, along with a placein our report.Jez FramptonGlobal Chief ExecutiveInterbrand4
  5. 5. Digital is advertising’s new ecosystem, adicey frontier for most major businesses,a new medium for conversation, and atechnological wonder that has connectedthe world. It’s also among the most misun-derstood phenomena in business today.We are only just beginning to discover itspotential to enhance business and, so far,investing in digital companies has provento be a gamble. With a billion users onFacebook and 500 million on Twitter,there is no doubt that social media isflourishing. A huge captive audience, andthe promise of transforming “likes” intosales, has piqued the interest of investorsand companies who want to build theirbrands and turn key groups of peopleinto paying customers. However, severalcompanies that appeared to be pavingthe way to the profitable new digital agehave faltered, shaking the confidence ofinvestors and resurrecting the ghost ofthe dot-com bust of 2000.Heralded with hype, Facebook, Zynga, andGroupon were all heavily promoted andseemed poised to deliver. Facebook’s IPO onMay 18, 2012 was a milestone in Silicon Valleyand internet business history. On the morn-ing of the 18th, the media clamor reached feverpitch: The Street predicted the stock could riseto $60, $70, even $80 USD; trading broke stockvolume records, and the market saw the stockpeak at $45 USD. That left the company with ahigher market capitalization ($104 billion USD)than all but a few of the largest US corpora-tions. For the moment a winner, CEO MarkZuckerberg’s personal stock was valued at$19 billion USD. A few days later, Mark evenmarried his girlfriend of nine years—and letthe world know by updating his relationshipstatus. It was a perfect Hollywood ending.Unfortunately, cracks appeared and the stockkept sliding. The share price dropped over 30%in the first 20 days. Regulators are now inves-tigating the IPO, and more than 40 lawsuitshave been filed. A $100 billion USD companyjust prior to its debut, Facebook is now a $65USD billion company, beset with problems,and the stock continues to fall. With the IPOa distant memory and the stock value roughlyhalved, the Facebook brand has taken a hitand the effects on the market, the sector, andthe company itself, are likely to last a while.Another digital company that has fallenfar short of expectations is Zynga. UsingFacebook as a platform, Zynga is best knownfor interactive games like FarmVille andCityVille, and has grown rapidly since itemerged on the social network scene. Gamesand apps have exploded in popularity inthe past few years, an outgrowth of socialmedia and the transition to mobile devices.Cheap to produce but often lucrative, Zyngahas successfully capitalized on this trend.However, since the company’s December IPO,its shares have dropped 70%; investors worryabout the long-term viability of its businessmodel, its dependence on Facebook, and itsability to keep making money from the peoplewho play its digital games.And then there’s Groupon. Relying heavily onmarketing to acquire new customers, Grouponturns a profit by offering consumers dealson local goods and services, and splittingthe discount proceeds with the participat-ing merchant. Though questions later aroseabout Groupon’s business model, namely therelationship between marketing spend andits growth rate, Groupon CEO Andrew Masoninitially assured investors of his business’enormous profit potential. However, with aninability to compete with larger discounterslike Amazon, the company has shifted fromhypergrowth to stagnation, which has left itsstock at a fraction of its recent worth.Is this the beginning of the end for socialmedia, FarmVille-esque games, and internetdaily deals? Haven’t we all heard and seen itbefore with once-hot internet companies likeNetscape, Napster, LimeWire, MySpace, orFriendster? They all dominated the market atone time, then quickly got trumped. It couldbe that this is just the nature of the digitalPlaying to Win on the Digital FrontierBy Simon Smith and Erica Velis6 /Best Global Brands 2012 Playing to Win on the Digital Frontier
  6. 6. operates under a different paradigm andreacts to the daily ups and downs, whichonly makes it harder for young companiesto regain their luster once Wall Street’sattitude toward them sours.Wall Street’s minute-by-minute changing ofposition is out of step with Silicon Valley’sapproach to moneymaking. Wall Street wantsinstant results and Silicon Valley takes alonger-term view. Technological innovationtakes time to develop and some attemptsfail—that’s part of the process. In SiliconValley, where some of the brightest havehad multiple start-ups and risen from fail-ure—it’s the price of success. On Wall Street,failure is not an option.In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Dan Rose,Facebook’s Vice President of Partnerships, issaid to have put the company’s situation inperspective at a company meeting in earlyAugust. In an attempt to assuage employeeswho were worried about the stock price, heshared a story from his time at Amazon. Thecompany stock had tanked and, as a fatherwith two young children, Rose became espe-cially concerned about his ability to providefor his family. Facing a tough decision withno obvious answer, he asked himself,“Dowe have the right people in place and is ourmission worthwhile?” He believed the answerwas yes; rode the situation out, and is,presumably, better off for it. He asked himselfthe same question about Facebook and isconvinced the answer is yes. In the end, itis our collective confidence in a companythat keeps it going—which is why brandmanagement, essentially the managementof perception, is so incredibly important.Is the bubble about to burst?It’s true, there are parallels between now andthe dot-com days. Back then, the stock pricesof internet companies soared to dizzyingheights and, as a result, those companiesmoved faster and with insufficient caution.Market confidence in these companies washigh, as was the promise of future profits.Many companies were grossly overvalued.Today, things are different—we have thebenefit of hindsight.If the fundamental need to be connected tofriends, get daily deals, and play silly gamesonline is still in place, there is hope for Face-book, Groupon, and Zynga, no matter whatthings look like now. The pressure to pleaseinvestors will always be there, but whetheror not a company survives really depends onhow well it pleases the people who use theirproducts or services. When we at Interbrandsay brands have the power to change theworld, we mean that they have the power tochange people’s lives—making life easier,more meaningful, more enjoyable, moreconvenient and productive. When a branddelivers that, consistently—people love themfor it—and everyone, including investors,gets exactly what they hoped for.If anything, we need a reality check. Noteveryone is running away from Facebook’sstock. Investors are not overlooking traditionalmetrics. Silicon Valley is still rich with invest-ment opportunities. And some people aremaking a lot of money right now, even asFacebook, Groupon, and some other recentinternet IPOs continue to struggle. Theinternet, today, is no longer a novelty. In fact,the number of people connected to the Webis mind-boggling. So, despite the forebodingcomparisons, 2012 is vastly different from thedot-com era. There is no reason to lose faith.We’re simply in transition.— Simon Smith is Interbrand’sDigital Director of Europe, theMiddle East, Africa & Latin AmericaErica Velis is the Content Editor forInterbrand’s Global Marketing &Communications teamera. The price of entry is low, the growth isquick, and the fall to near-oblivion is swiftand hard. Or, could it be, at least in the caseof Facebook, that we have a true digital mega-company that will survive the growing pains,find its balance, mature as a brand, andbecome a leader of the digital frontier?What all three of these companies havein common is no guarantee of long-termgrowth and a business model that relies on“unproven” sources of revenue. Furthermore,they all went public at too high a value,propped up by late-stage money—part of arecent Silicon Valley trend in which promi-nent investors jump into young companiesjust before their IPOs. Unprepared for thescrutiny and expectations of Wall Street,issues with the“fundamentals” of all of thesecompanies came to light as soon as the firstearnings reports were released. Challengedby the transition to mobile, as well as thefact that their main sources of revenue aredependent on something that doesn’t feeldurable and concrete (“likes” on Facebook),it will be hard for such companies to securethe confidence of investors.Clash of the titans:Silicon Valley vs. Wall StreetClearly, Wall Street wants to see results—asin swift growth in revenue. Silicon Valleyventure capitalists, however, are focused onthe long term. They take the ups and downsof the stock market with a grain of salt anddetermine the value of an investment basedon what it might be worth in a few years, notnext quarter. They expect volatility after acompany goes public and believe, especiallyin the case of Facebook, that the downwardslide in public valuations, while it may havean effect on private valuations, will ultimatelybe manageable.However, with Facebook and Groupon hittingnew lows, concerns about these companiesin terms of durability and their ability togrow their business are intensifying—notleast of all because of the lock-up expirationon many of the shares that were not on theopen market during the IPO. Concerns areeven greater for Groupon, not only due toskepticism over its business model, but alsoowing to the fact that there are more stocksout there, which is hurting the stock price andspooking investors.When it comes to Facebook, many arewondering if its CEO has the chops and matu-rity to grow the social media giant beyonddisplay ads and master the mobile segment.Lured by the size of Facebook’s user base,which has allowed Facebook Inc. to builda $3 billion-a-year USD advertising busi-ness, ad spending has increased. However,because of that, companies are becomingmore interested in measuring the results ofsocial media advertisements, which can behard to quantify. There are also concerns thatFacebook’s advertising methods are untestedor unproven. For brands, social media is akey part of marketing, a way to build brandawareness. But for investors, the questionis: How does all of this translate directlyinto revenue?Under similar pressure are Groupon andZynga. Both companies are losing customers.Zynga, for instance, expected to make justhalf of what it hoped this year; the companydevelops games that have little depth, andwhile people may become obsessed in theshort-term, the novelty soon wears off andthey move on. Also, more gamers want toplay on the go, and Zynga’s mobile gamesaren’t big hits as of yet. To make mattersworse, the brand spends disproportionatelyon R&D and SG&A (selling, general, andadmin), all of which use up much of whatprofit the company does make, leaving littlefor shareholders.One of the difficulties with investing in techcompanies is the sheer pace of their develop-ment. Because they grow so quickly, thestart-ups’ initial burst generates excitement,which makes investors want to cash in. Butthese businesses can also reach saturationin their markets extremely fast. It’s hardto figure out when the growth might beginto slow down, as it inevitably will. SiliconValley, with its risk-taking, start-up culture,is more accustomed to the volatility—evenexpects it—and is, therefore, willing to ridethings out. Wall Street, on the other hand,8 /Best Global Brands 2012 Playing to Win on the Digital Frontier
  7. 7. Every four years the Olympic Gamesprovide not only the world’s greatest stagefor athletes, but a tremendous oppor-tunity for brands to flex their musclesagainst their rivals too. When it comes toOlympic sponsorship deals, brands investan enormous amount of time, resources,and billions of dollars. In return in Londonthis year, sponsoring brands gained accessto a global audience of 4.8 billion people.Now that the Games have ended, marketersare focused on the tangible benefits brandsexperienced. What we should examine arenot just immediate, measureable returns,but also what we’ve gained and learned fromthe Games in 2012 —and the implications forbrands going forward.Firstly, it’s true to say that the idea of celebrat–ing the human spirit has permeated all aspectsof the Olympics. This touched London deeplyand radiated out to the rest of the world. Theperformance of sponsoring brands must beseen in this unique context. A staggering 48%of the population of London attended anOlympic event, including many of us in Inter-brand’s London office—and the atmospherewas indeed inspiring. The feeling of seeingone’s nation win medals in real time is trulyincomparable. We were also moved by theimmense generosity of spirit from the likes ofthe 70,000“Games Makers,” the volunteerswho so generously gave their time at thegames. Amazingly, at the Closing Ceremony,it was these ordinary people who received thegreatest cheers of support, perhaps more sothan the athletes themselves. The mood trans–formed in London, especially on the Under-ground, where normally even the slightest eyecontact is avoided. Yet, during the Olympics,we let down our guard. Strangers casuallystruck up conversation around their plans forthe day ahead—certainly a rarity until wecaught the fever of 2012. Somehow, the super-human nature of the Olympic Games put usback in touch with our own humanity.It only seems fitting, given the atmo-sphere, that brands embraced this samehumanity—and did so with positive impact.In fact, the notion of“brand humanity” wasthe overriding theme at the Olympics, andit’s a theme worth exploring. Global personalcare giant, Proctor & Gamble, for instance,took brand humanity to new heightswith their“Thank You, Mom” campaign.Celebrating the role that mothers play inraising Olympians, the campaign taps intouniversal sentiment by honing in on thecontribution that mothers make in raisingsuccessful, well-rounded children. Launched100 days before the Opening Ceremony, P&G’sbiggest campaign in the 175-year history ofthe company was a huge success, with thesupporting brand films garnering almost 15.5million views around the world. There’s nota product brand in sight, yet its emotionalpower is unprecedented. The real success ofthis campaign, of course, is that, withoutexplicitly promoting itself, P&G has accom-plished what most marketing efforts fall farshort of: inextricably linking the corporatebrand with universal human values likefamily cohesion, mutual love and support,and the dreams of greatness we all have forourselves and our loved ones. Proving thepower of this approach, Interbrand studiedconsumer associations with this year’s spon-sors in the period leading up to the Games andfound that P&G enjoyed the greatest increasein brand strength—specifically around valuessuch as credibility and authenticity.In another example, the official oil and gassponsor, British Petroleum (BP), initiallykicked off its communications effort byfocusing on its functional involvement in theGames, such as fueling the Olympic fleet.Interestingly, BP promptly switched to anemotional strategy just four weeks before theOpening Ceremony, when the brand launchedits“Here’s to the Home Team” campaign inthe UK, spotlighting all those involved inthe behind-the-scenes activity—from thegroundsmen and organizers to the athletesand other sponsors. Through this campaignwe once again witnessed a brand celebratingthe human engine that made the Gamesa reality. Despite BP’s troubled past, ourBrand Humanity of Olympic ProportionsBy Lizzy Stallard/ Brand Humanity of Olympic ProportionsBest Global Brands 2012
  8. 8. research showed that the brand’s effortsaligned well with Olympic values when com–pared with other players, such as Dow and GE.In a similar vein, McDonald’s celebratedpeople with their“We All Make the Games”campaign. Personal stories captured viaguerilla film crews throughout the Park andthe wider city center focused on the emotionat the heart of the Olympics. The multichan-nel campaign allowed spectators to uploadphotos of themselves getting into the spiritof the Games—McDonald’s received 20,000submissions leading up to the OpeningCeremony. McDonald’s is also making heroesof ordinary people across other touchpoints,including in-restaurant. If you’ve walked pasta McDonald’s recently, you’ll have noticedtheir mosaic window displays, capturingportrait photographs of the real people thatmake the brand—from suppliers to employeesto customers. By capturing, replaying anddisplaying the moments and emotionalresponses that make the Olympics so movingand special, McDonald’s celebrated human-ity at its best. However, while the brandultimately succeeded in eliciting a positiveresponse, the appropriateness of McDonald’srole as an Olympic sponsor has been ques-tioned. Our research revealed that 25% of thosesurveyed felt that the brand was a poor fit withOlympic values. The mixed opinions indicatethat many consumers want and expect to seebetter alignment between the values of spon-soring brands and notions associated with theOlympics, like health and fitness.EDF Energy also played into the human side,but in a slightly different way. The brandcapitalized on conversations that undoubt-edly occurred worldwide as people fantasizedabout what it takes to become an Olympicathlete:“What would it be like?”;“Whatif?”;“How long would it take me?”. In EDF’splayful UK campaign, two eager technicians“test” the equipment ahead of the OpeningCeremony, by taking to the hurdles in thestadium, swimming a length of the Olympicpool, and trying out various other Olympicevents. We’d all love to have a go, and thisclever, yet simple, piece taps into the desireor intrigue that all of us non-Olympians havefelt at one time or another during the Games.This year also saw the greatest investmentfrom Visa in its 25-year history as an Olympicsponsor. The“Go World” campaign was Visa’smost social ever and put customers firmlyat the center, allowing them to cheer on theathletes through social channels. This is asubtle shift from the Beijing Olympic Gamesin 2008 where the brand demonstrated itssupport for the athletes. However, in 2012,Visa celebrated the athletes along with itscardholders. The more inclusive strategyseems to have paid off —to date, 59 million“cheers” have been posted through socialchannels, and the Go World YouTube channelhas received 47 million views. In hindsight,the level of engagement Visa achievedthroughout the Olympics is impressive giventhe significantly high negative sentimentsurrounding the brand at the start of theGames. According to our Brand Playback™tool, which assessed online sentiment,the exclusivity rights around Visa use werethe main contributor to the dissatisfactionmany consumers felt.Those of us from Interbrand’s London officedid, of course, see some brands continue topush spine-tingling messaging that focusedon the might of the athletes in action—suchas the adidas“Take the Stage” campaign,as well as Omega’s“Start Me Up.” However,when we think about the brands that actuallycut through in 2012, the most successful werethose that resonated with audiences at a fardeeper level, celebrating the human spirit,not exceptional human powers.At this year’s Games, those brands that forgeda connection with their customers did so withhumanity, acknowledging the participationand accomplishments of everyday people—notjust Olympians. Brands that successfullyfostered an environment to create customerconversation took home the gold.A true celebration of the human spirit, it’sno surprise that some are calling the 2012Olympics“The People’s Games.” The success-ful brands couldnt have better tapped intothat ethos.— Lizzy Stallard is the Directorof New Business & Marketing,Interbrand London12
  9. 9. The Best Global Brands list rewards out-comes. The more economic value you candrive through your brand over time, thehigher the valuation. It’s “show me themoney,” and the top 100 brands do just that.But behind the list lies a secret. While allbrands are judged by the same criteria, somebrands have it harder than others. Andservices brands may have it hardest of all.These disadvantaged brands live in a categorywithout tangible products. They have lowadvertising-to-revenue ratios. They often arerun by executives who lack marketing exper-tise. The responsibility for building cultureand insuring consistent delivery is distributedover sprawling organizations of hard-driving,independent-minded talent. In the land ofbrand building, services businesses mustthrive in rocky soil.So when a strong service brand emerges fromthese hostile conditions, we take notice,because in their hard-wrought success lies thegenetic code of the world’s toughest brands.One such success story is the business andtechnology services company, Cognizant.Since its founding in 1994, the companyhas been on a roll. With more than 140,000employees and operations in 24 countries, it isone of the fastest-growing technology compa-nies of all time. To help us unpack the story,we interviewed Robert Painter, Cognizant VPof Corporate Marketing. His insight revealshow Cognizant is building a brand with deeproots, an unrelenting vision and a hard-edgedaccountability—traits shared by the world’stoughest services brands.Deep roots in authentic soilThere is a conundrum in business servicesbranding: As the business grows, the brandweakens. We call it the Partner Paradox. Themore partners (or senior talent in general)that join the firm, the greater the businessgrowth. But leaders have strong personalitiesand independent minds. They don’t“do”homogeneity or naturally subvert their ownpoint of view in the interest of a sharedvision. That’s the paradox: while brandsthrive on clarity and consistency, the thrivingbusiness services company actively acquiresassets (i.e., people) that, by their very nature,reject common thinking.Great brands overcome the paradox andsubsequently scale the brand globally througha rigorous attention to culture. Accenture’sculture was founded in St. Charles, Illinois,where every new college graduate hire spentthe first weeks of their career learning tocode while being steeped in Accenture’scultural DNA. IBM is another example. Itsmuch lauded“Smarter Planet” strategyhas its roots in an internal engagementexercise: its 400,000 plus employees alignedto a single strategy that places them—“I’m anIBMer”—in the center of the frame.Cognizant’s approach is to ground the culturein the founding energy of its leaders.“I joinedCognizant because of the passion of the lead-ership,” explains Painter.“When I met withthe management for the first time, I realizedit was a team that has been here since dayone. They’ve experienced remarkable growth.Yet, the only thing they were talking aboutwas the next five years: how to grow, how toexpand the brand, how to serve clients better.They all had the same passion.”The roots of every strong brand are anchoredin its culture. This is where Cognizant’s storybegins: with a passionate leadership team,galvanized around a shared vision for growthand committed to culture. It’s the same forAccenture, IBM, and the other big servicesbrands. It’s textbook stuff really, but for busi-ness services firms, particularly those that aregrowing quickly globally, it’s a very rare anddifficult thing.The World’s Toughest Brands: Service brands are someof the hardest to build. Yet greatness is still possible.By Josh Feldmeth/ The World’s Toughest BrandsBest Global Brands 201214
  10. 10. Unrelentingly relevantEveryone’s on the bus, but is it headed in theright direction? This is a particularly trickyquestion in the world of technology. How doesthe brand ensure that its enduring vision willconsistently win in a constantly evolving sec–tor? Cognizant’s answer is simple: be relevant.Again, Painter:“Branding in technologyservices is one of the most challengingmarketing jobs that you can imagine. It allcomes down to a simple term: relevance.We don’t wake up and say,‘How do we makethe brand better?’ We say,‘Are we being asrelevant to our clients as possible?’”The most relevant brand will always win.It will be chosen more frequently, given apremium, and recommended to others.Yet in the world of technology, what isrelevant today may not be relevant tomorrow.Cognizant’s response is a brand propositionthat doesn’t anchor on something that isrelevant—smartest consultants, best price,most flexible, most global, etc. Rather, theyaim simply to be the most relevant.It’s a positioning masterstroke. It’s simple,memorable, and animating for the organiza-tion. It’s guaranteed to drive revenue andprofit. And it demands the best from theculture: vigilance to client needs, flexibility,open-mindedness and restlessness for futurework. This is strategy in action; a living brandpositioning that exists in the client experience,not in the brand strategy presentation.SAP is the classic example of the case. Since2000, the brand has been anchored to thepurpose of “turning businesses into best-runbusinesses.” For a company selling software,nothing could be more relevant. And theyhaven’t wavered, continuing to build arounda core proposition year after year. In anindustry where“what’s hot” changes by thehour, these brands are unrelentingly focusedon what will be relevant for clients, forever.The freedom of accountabilityI used to work for a large managementconsultancy, and I loved it. We were calledin when the problems became too difficultfor the client’s management teams. Wepresented to the C-suite. We had the factsand all the confidence in the world.It’s not surprising, then, that thoseresponsible for building brands within high-performing services organizations often shyaway from accountability. They often don’thave the data they want, and the managementto which they report are experts in businessstrategy and financial engineering. It can bedaunting. But where others may see a debili-tating need for accountability, the world’stoughest services brands see liberation.Painter says,“I sometimes feel my job is onthe easier side. I’m blessed with managementand a board that is clear about the strategicdirection, and how we are going to be rele-vant for our clients. As a marketing executive,this is a real luxury.”Painter may feel his job has relative advan-tages, but he certainly hasn’t taken theeasy path.He’s documented a brand journey, a step-by-step road map for building the brandbetween now and 2015. Each milestonecan be measured quantitatively. And whileother brands have similar road maps, what’sunique about the Cognizant brand team istheir insistence on being held accountable bythe organization.Painter finds this accountability liberating.“These aren’t metrics we keep within corpo-rate marketing. We go to great lengths toshare our goals and performance againstthem with the management team and theboard. Quantitative measures are the key. Itmakes the conversation with the CFO easierwith quarterly return on investment. Wehave nowhere to hide, which I findvery reassuring.”— Josh Feldmeth is Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Interbrand New York16
  11. 11. The markets in which brands operate areincreasingly transparent and fast-moving,with greater public visibility into corporatepractices and robust platforms for publicreaction. The relationship between compa-nies and their target audiences is less andless one of broadcast and image control,and increasingly about engagement andparticipation. “The wisdom of the crowd”is applied to everything from such brandstaples as naming and logo design tobusiness basics like product development.Clay Shirky aptly titled his influential 2008tome on the digital revolution Here ComesEverybody. Just four years later, it’s safeto say that when it comes to the life ofcorporate brands, everybody is, by now,very much here.And everybody isn’t just passively watching,of course. Consumers are expecting to seenot just great products and services from thebrands they choose; they also want to feelthat the brands they love are, in fact, worthyof that love. Brands are strong presences inour lives, deeply ingrained and abiding partsof our emotional, mental, and physical expe-rience and environment. So while the newinteractive dynamic between brands andconsumers is inherently filled with perils forbrands, it is also replete with unprecedentedopportunities to fulfill people’s desires —andeven create some in the process.This is why Corporate Citizenship is at theforefront of the life of brands as never before.How brands negotiate this razor’s edge of riskand reward in the new crowd-driven, digital,everything-at-once world will determine theirstrength, health, and wealth.A tale of two brandsCase in point: British Petroleum (BP) is notamong Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2012.No surprise there; this marks BP’s thirdstraight year in brand rehab following the 2010Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulfof Mexico. The three prior years, from 2007through 2009, however, BP held down respect-able spots in the ranking as its brand strengthgrew in large part on the increasing credibilityof the company’s“Beyond Petroleum” claimsto green, which had helped them make deepand highly visible inroads into Americanmarkets. Its continuing, lengthy, and decisivefall from brand grace should not merely beseen as an inevitable by-product of the spill. Itstems much more from the ethos and valuesof the BP culture, and its failure to performunder the disaster’s scrutiny. The bottom linefor BP was that it was seen as dissembling,deflecting blame, and deceiving; it delayed anddeferred taking responsibility, and it allowedothers to drive the story. BP’s response in themedia—including social media—stands asa case study in how a PR disaster can quicklyturn into a lasting brand disaster.So what’s a brand to do in the interest of build-ing customer relationships and earning therespect, trust—and love—of its audiences?Contrast BP with Nike (#26 in our report).Once a poster child for sweatshops and atarget of international labor and human rightsactivists, Nike has completely averted branddisaster and is enjoying its sixth consecu-tive year on Corporate Responsibility magazine’sannual ranking of the best corporate citizens,receiving high marks for its transparency, itsenvironmental policies, and—most impor-tantly—its human rights performance. Inthe decade since Nike became, fairly or not,a symbol of all that is wrong with globaloutsourcing, one is more likely to see anactivist wearing Nikes than bashing them.Why the turnaround?Nike did two things: It simply owned itsbehavior, and then it got to work changingit for the better.This tale of two brands—one an annual fixturein our survey, the other still reeling from itsmishandling of a bad situation—is instruc-tive of the new role of corporate citizenship.Today’s corporations face a stark choice inCitizens All: The New Rules of Corporate CitizenshipBy Tom Zara and Peter Cenedella/ Citizens AllBest Global Brands 2012
  12. 12. and—crucial for countering the PR effect—the authenticity of corporate claims ofenvironmentalism.A negative gap occurs when a brand fails to getcredit in perception for its performance. Thesebrands are not seeing the full return on theirCorporate Citizenship investment. That’s whyit’s critical that companies find ways to tellthe story of who they are, why they choose toengage as they do, and how they are having animpact in doing so.A positive gap occurs when a brand receives toomuch credit for its performance. These brandsrun the risk of losing the valuable credibilitythey have gained with consumers. It’s criticalthat the story a brand tells across platformsabout its social engagement is not a PR job ora brandwash. The story needs to show in everyfacet of its narrative that engagement is rootedin the brand’s business, its sense of purpose asan organization; rather than an add-on,corporate citizenship efforts need to checkthe box of authenticity.This is a net positive, because it frees brands topursue social engagement in ways that boostthe bottom line by aligning so clearly withtheir business mission and values.One of the best current exemplars of thisapproach is Western Union and its“OurWorld Our Family” program, which helpsimmigrants and their families worldwide.Much of the company’s profits come fromits money transfer payments business, andmuch of that business consists of immigrantsin the US, many of them from Latin America,wiring money home to assist family membersin need. As Luella Chavez D’Angelo, WesternUnion’s Senior Vice President for GlobalCorporate Responsibility, puts it:“We takethis audience and consumer base very seri-ously. We know we have a responsibility notonly to watch after their cash as a leader inglobal payment services, but we’re movingthat money for very important, impactfulreasons: to get food on the table, to buy schoolsupplies, to pay the bill that maybe is muchharder for them than for you and I to pay.”From the C-suite down, Western Union evolvedits traditional philanthropic efforts to alignits foundation’s focus with the company’score business. Not without risk to the shareprice, the company’s CEO committed to theapproach, culminating in an address on behalfof immigrant concerns to the United NationsGeneral Assembly. No half measures there.With a footprint in 200 countries and whatChavez D’Angelo calls“some understandingof marketing and an understanding of workingwith various cultures,” Western Unionhas aligned its business-side policies and itsfoundation’s efforts.The trends will only accelerate in the yearsahead: to interactivity, to consumer participa-tion, to instantaneous reaction, and real-timemulti-platform dialogue between brands andtheir audiences. Companies seeking a marketedge need to compete not only in the arena ofproducts and services, but also in the widerworld. Your social engagement could be a keydeterminant of where you rank in the comingeditions of the Best Global Brands.—Tom Zara is Executive Directorof Strategy, Interbrand New York &Global Practice Leader ofCorporate CitizenshipPeter Cenedella is Creative CopyDirector, Interbrand New Yorkthese increasingly transparent times: developand implement strategies to carve out a mean-ingful presence as a corporate citizen in anengaged world, or run the risk of seeing yourbrand value erode and your business suffer.Billions of dollars of brand value are tied tovarious forms of corporate social responsi-bility —Coca-Cola, IBM and Microsoft aloneroutinely have close to USD $4 billion engagedin social programming among them.Interbrand has focused on advising our clientshow to ensure that their citizenship dollars arewell spent. And the short answer is: It’s aboutmore than the spend. It’s about the credibilityof a company’s culture of citizenship.The changing face ofcorporate citizenshipCorporate citizenship goes deeper and isfundamentally different than older notions ofcorporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR tradi-tionally implied a separate body nominallywithin, but functioning apart from, the coreorganization, such as a foundation, that tookaction in the social arena and may have bornelittle discernible relation to the company’slarger sense of itself and its reasons for being inbusiness. CSR too often smacked of doing theright thing out of duty, reducing risk of non-compliance, sundered from the bottom line,separate from the profit motive, unrelated toan organization’s fundamental raison d’etre.If doing good for the sake of a PR bump or tokeep the regulator at bay was the hallmark ofCSR in recent times, then the new opportunityfor companies may be summed up in a simpleequation: Doing good by doing what youdo best yields greater value. Great corporatecitizens leverage their expertise in the market-place to solve the world’s challenges whilegaining credibility and driving consumers tochoose them over the competition.Corporate citizenship, then, is the perceptionpeople have of a company’s positive contribu-tion to society, which is a key component ofthat company’s standing in the market andits brand value. Such perception also hasa tremendous impact on the HR function,hiring, and retention. Millennials, for exam-ple, have come of working age with a level ofhigh tech that blurs the traditional work/lifebalance. They therefore feel entitled to demandthat companies reflect their own values. Torecruit the best of this generation, firms arefinding they must be responsive to Millennials’desire to work for those companies that notonly produce a better widget, but also dosomething more positive for the world.Metrically speaking, Corporate Citizenship, inour view, can be ranked as a measurement ofhow a company interacts strategically with sixcritical constituents that depend upon it, andupon which it is dependent: its employees, itscustomers, its suppliers, the government(s)responsible for both regulating and assistingit, the communities in which it does business,and the larger environment it shares with thewhole planet.In both our research and our client work, wehave found that, first, consumer perceptionof a brand’s performance in any one of thesesix dimensions has a positive impact — ahalo effect, if you will — on the other fivedimensions. This is good news: it givescompanies license to laser-focus on an aspectof social engagement that suits their brandidentity, and they can expect to see returns inperception as a result. Second, we have seenthat the ROI on this approach is real, and tendsto trend higher long-term than the ROI on themore traditional CSR approach.Closing the gapThere’s a potential sinkhole in the market,waiting to suck value away from brands. It’sthe gap that can open up between a company’sactual corporate citizenship performance onthe one hand, and the public perception ofthat citizenship, on the other.This year Interbrand, in partnership withDeloitte, measured the Best Global GreenBrands—in part by assessing the gap—posi-tive or negative. To gauge performance wemeasured six elements of sustainability:governance, operations, transportation andlogistics, stakeholder engagement, supplychain, and products and services. For percep-tion, we examined differentiation, presence,relevance, consistency, understanding,20 / Citizens AllBest Global Brands 2012
  13. 13. physical spaces and places, internal cultureand communications. Companies like Applehave already set customer expectations and itdoesn’t matter if you are a bank, a businessconsultancy, a retailer, or a hotel chain, themessage is simple: Join up!Whilst the solution may seem simple, sadly,the barriers frequently come from within: silomentalities and politics. The opportunity is todeliver seamless experiences across the silos,combined with creative curation to ensurehigh quality and innovative expression. Therole of digital experiences within this holisticworld cannot be underestimated, and it seemsclear that the potential of digital to augment,extend, and create whole new interactions willcontinue to shape companies.The primary role for digital is to act as theglue, both joining together the many frag-mented elements of an experience chain,and providing a basis for on-going commu-nications and interactions with customers.Despite the fact that digital should becomecentral to building relationships withcustomers, many businesses still treat it as apromotional or idea-generating tool, ratherthan a means to enhance, augment or createnew ways to interact.Digital permissionSeth Godin pioneered“Permission Market-ing,” a shorthand for understanding theboundaries for brands in a world wherecustomers are in control. We believe the nextstep along this curve will be the notion ofdigital permission: the granting of rights bycustomers within the digital world.Remarkably, Levi’s saw this coming a full13 years ago. They created a fitting processinvolving a laser body-scan to create personal-ized jeans. The core idea, however gimmickythe execution, was groundbreaking: thatone could have a truly digital self. My digitalme: a perfect scan of my physical being fusedwith attitudes, purchasing behavior, likes,dislikes, interests, even connected to my ever-expanding social network.These aggregated images (made possible bybig data, superfast networks and artificialintelligence) could create a whole new world ofmarketing for us to explore, where my digitalme would browse for me, bring things for meto see, explore social opportunities, and saveme from ever having to go and buy socks again.This may well still be a leap, but the cost/benefits are worth considering. Consumertrends point to greater reliance on the Web,and we all have busy lives nowadays! Whynot delegate a little (or a lot) to a digital self?The technology is already in existence andthe possibilities for marketing are endless.Certainly all of the above trends and conjec-tures point to incredible opportunities forthose building brands, through communica-tions or otherwise. They also pose significantthreats: can brand owners change their struc-tures and behavior towards faster, flexible,more holistic ways of working, reducing silosand increasing innovation? Can agencies andconsultancies adapt their skills to personal-ized, dynamic demand management, with aheavy emphasis on digital, crowdsourcing,and creative curation?One thing is certain: within this complexworld, the focus provided by a well-definedand executed brand will become ever moreimportant as internal/external beacons ofdirection, purpose, value-creations, andexperience.—Jez Frampton is Interbrand’s GlobalChief Executive OfficerThe last five years have been marked byeconomic crises, sending businesses runningfor cover and searching for answers. Theimmediate response for many was to attackthe“supply-side”: trim the supply chain,seek internal efficiency, and attack costs. Butthe brutal truth is that in recessionary timescompetition becomes even more intense, andthis strategy has diminishing returns. Fiveyears in, the mantra is shifting towards thedemand side of the equation.Driven by ever more demanding customers,pushed by emerging market competitors, andinspired by companies like Apple, many busi-nesses are re-discovering the power of cre-ativity and design, increasing investment ininnovation, and trying to better understandhow brands drive their business. In short, weare entering a new age of demand; no longerabout latent, passive consumption, but aboutdynamic, connected, and active markets thatdrive competition and, ultimately, success.Given this, we believe brands will play anincreasingly important role. Over a decadeago, The Financial Times classed brands as theultimate source of sustainable, competitiveadvantage. This August, The Economist statedthat branded businesses enjoy margins doublethat of their counterparts, with greater levelsof loyalty. It’s clear that in this increasinglycompetitive world, well managed brandsdrive profits, so it’s logical to expect greaterdegrees of innovation, sophistication,creativity, understanding, and, of course,accountability to a forensic level of sensitivity.The rise of the conversationOne of the biggest challenges facing themarketing world over the next 10 years willbe the increasing importance of the conversa-tion. The Cluetrain Manifesto (Levine, Locke,Searls & Weinberger, 2000) defined marketsas conversations between companies andcustomers—a conversation that has sinceexpanded between customers.At Interbrand, we see interactivity amongcustomers and business shifting B2B andB2C toward B&B and B&C. This presentsnew possibilities for brand building viainnovation, interactive experiences, andcommunication inside and out.The rise of social truly changes communi-cations—more dynamic, and one-on-onecustomer interactions are becoming possibleby combining“big data” with key develop-ments in artificial intelligence (AI). Thisaccelerates the dynamic nature of adver-tising on the Web; conversations are now“managed” via a combination of AI andhuman inputs.But do all these conversations mean the endof image building? Recently, a high profiletech CMO asked me if we needed brand posi-tioning in a world where opinion shifted fromminute to minute. My answer pointed to theimportance of context. Every message froma brand is viewed in the context of that brand:its market position, personality, values,competitive stance, etc. In other words, itshapes the way we interpret the message, andin a world where our communication withbrands is increasing exponentially, a clearlydefined brand becomes even more important.Choice is changingRecent papers published by McKinsey in theHarvard Business Review, and by Interbrand inFast Company, illustrate that the two key driv-ers of brand value, choice (role of brand) andloyalty (brand strength), are both significantlyaffected by the post-digital world. Purchasedecisions are becoming more fluid, betterinformed, and dynamic. There is always some-one a“step ahead” of you, and easy access toother user experiences and long-term opinionsaffects the assumptions of loyalty. Both ofthese trends provide significant opportunitiesfor marketers, and brand experience holds thekey to maximizing the opportunities.Holistic — the new mantraWe believe that great brands are“businessstrategy brought to life” delivering a seam-less experience across product and service,The Future of Brand BuildingBy Jez Frampton/ The Future of Brand BuildingBest Global Brands 201222
  14. 14. BestGlobalBrands201201Coca-Cola+8%77,839 $mCoca-Cola. A name that is more universallyrecognized than any other in the world. That’sthe power of Coca-Cola’s brand. Some will say it’sthe flavor, but for millions, it’s the way Coca-Colamakes them feel. A brand that’s always evolving,Coke’s brand promise of fun, freedom, andrefreshment resonates nearly everywhere. Thecompany excels at keeping the brand fresh whilemaintaining a powerful sense of nostalgia thatunites generations of Coke lovers and reinforcesconsumers’ deep connections to the brand. Itsedgy campaigns continue to push boundaries,and Coca-Cola reinforced its values throughcelebratory promotions relating to its 125th-yearanniversary (“Sharing Happiness”) and theLondon Olympics (“Move to the beat”).Though Coca-Cola sold millions of beverages onthe Olympic grounds in London this year, thebrand’s real returns have come from globalviewership. According to a survey released in Julyby Research Now, Coca-Cola scored over 90% inbrand awareness among respondents from theUS, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Australia.One of the few marketing platforms that arerelevant to a global audience, the Olympics haveallowed Coca-Cola to solidify a powerfulassociation in the minds of billions. Through itsconsistent presence at the Games, Coke, asponsor since 1928, continues to build its brandstrength, reach, and impact every time theOlympic torch is lit.Yet, despite its enormous size, Coca-Cola hasproven to be nimble, flexible, and innovative,adapting to local markets and new eras withoutdiminishing its legacy. The brand continues toembrace digital, expanding its impressive onlinepresence and engaging with consumers via its“Coca-Cola Music” promotion. Also progressingin the area of corporate citizenship, Coca-Colagained accolades for its advanced water recoverysystem this year and received high ratings foremployee diversity and sound workplace policiesfor LGBT associates. In a bold collaborative movewith musical artist will.i.am, Coca-Cola has alsolaunched the EKOCYCLE brand, a stand-aloneinitiative that encourages recycling and sustain-ability among consumers through lifestyleproducts made in part from recycled material.Coca-Cola may be 126 years old, but with morethan 50 million fans on Facebook, 1.8 billion Cokeproducts consumed daily and 3,500 beverages inits diverse portfolio—Coke’s still got it.24 Best Global Brands 2012
  15. 15. Top risers of 2012While opinions are mixed on Google+ and Google’sother various innovations, overall, the searchgiant has had a productive year. With minimalroom for growth in search engine market share,Google continues to transform itself into a broaderIT company. New products and services includethe Project Glass augmented-reality head-mount-ed display, Google TV, as well as Google Drive, acloud computing service, not to be confused withits efforts to build a self-driving car. The company,known for making bold bets, acquired MotorolaMobility, along with a slew of its patents, whichcould help Android fight off companies withcompeting mobile operating systems. Still, Googlefaces stiff competition from the likes of Appleand Microsoft. Google+ has failed to muscle inon Facebook, and Google Buzz was closed. Thecompany also needs to build trust among consum-ers following online privacy concerns, Oracle’sallegations of copyright infringement, and theEU’s antitrust lawsuits. Despite these challenges,Google’s revenue has soared this year. Thepromising Motorola Mobility acquisition and thestrength of new and improved products havefueled an impressive 26% increase in brand value,on top of a similar increase last year.IBM, the US-based multinational technologycompany, has consistently ranked as one of theworld’s most innovative, profitable, and sustain-able brands—and it is still operating at full speed.IBM continues to reinvent itself to meet ever-changing marketplace needs, turning its attentionto emerging markets, big data analytics, andcloud computing. Smarter Planet, IBM’s ground-breaking business strategy, continues to drive newproduct and service development, employeeengagement, and corporate citizenship. It remainsa textbook example of how to create, build, anddeliver a world-leading business-to-businessbrand. This year, among other innovations, IBMresearchers developed low-cost photovoltaic cellsmade from natural materials that have set theworld record for PV solar-to-electric powerconversion efficiency. Despite effective brandperformance in the past year, revenue in thesecond quarter of 2012 was weak, especially inbusiness services. Consequently, investor concernsarose when profits goals were met via cost-cut-ting. However, it is expected that the brand willmore than deliver in the third and fourth quarters,much as it did in the first quarter of 2012. Thoughperceived as leading edge compared to its competi-tors, to stay ahead, IBM must make sure itcontinues to deliver big, thought-provokinginnovations and maintains its rich legacy ofworld-changing technological advancement.03IBM+8%75,532 $m04Google+26%69,726 $m02Apple+129%76,568 $mtopriserFew companies have captured our imagination,inspired such devotion, and revolutionized theway we live quite like Apple. While we mayassume it’s the products that define Apple, it’sreally a certain kind of thinking, a certain set ofvalues, and an unmistakable human touch thatpervades everything Apple does—which is whyour connections to the brand transcend commerce.The response to Steve Jobs’ death last year provedhow deeply millions connect with Apple on anemotional level. In a world where consumers areoftentimes overwhelmed with information, therole a brand plays in people’s lives has become allthe more important to ensuring a business’overarching success. Nobody understood thisbetter than Steve Jobs. He simplified the complex,democratized technology that was once out ofreach, and built a brand so powerful that it foreverchanged the way consumers think of brands.Jobs recognized that a brand is so much morethan a logo. He instinctively knew that hiscustomers needed to feel a certain way when theypicked up an Apple product, when they enteredan Apple store, or when they visited the Applewebsite. He knew that a strong brand shouldenvelop the entire business strategy and posi-tively influence the entire employee base. He alsorecognized that a brand is what connects abusiness with the hearts and minds of consum-ers. Simply put, Steve Jobs understood that abrand is uniquely capable of humanizing abusiness—and that is precisely why so many ofus are Apple ambassadors today.Steve Jobs also understood the importance of asmooth transfer of power, which is why Applemaintained its momentum throughout 2011.After launching the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, bothwent on to crush even the most optimisticexpectations. This year, earnings again reachedrecord highs across developed and emergingmarkets and, not surprisingly, Apple enjoys thisyear’s biggest increase in brand value—anastounding 129%. Increasingly associated withthe luxury sector, Apple now produces items thatconsumers feel they must own to fit in socially. Afeat once pulled off by Nike, transforming thesneaker into a coveted object with a high pricetag, Apple’s iPhone and iPad have achievedsimilar status. The Nike model—a golden age ofdominance, before relaxing into a complexmarket sector—may signal the future of Apple, ifit’s not careful. The market may move on ifApple’s products cease being a differentiator ofclass, taste, or cool, but that doesn’t appear to behappening any time soon.Despite the fact that he was terminally ill, Jobsreportedly worked for more than a year on theproducts he believed would safeguard thecompany’s future. Not only was he overseeingthe development of the iCloud project andmasterminding updated versions of the iPod,iPad, iPhone, and MacBooks, but Apple sourceshave divulged that he also ensured at least fouryears worth of products were in the pipeline.Additionally, the historic patent battle betweenApple and Samsung has recently come to an end,with the verdict largely favoring Apple. A decisionthat’s likely to ripple across the entire smart-phone industry, the verdict has strengthenedApple’s design identity and will presumably sendcopycat competitors back to the drawing board toavoid a design infringement lawsuit.As Steve Jobs himself expressed when heregrettably stepped down as Apple’s CEO,“Ibelieve Apple’s brightest and most innovativedays are ahead of it.” And if the numbers, thelegacy, the potency of the brand, and recent strokesof fate are any indication—it may indeed be along time before the bloom wears off this Apple.Kia Ralph LaurenPampersFacebook PradaMastercardNEW ADDITIONSADJUSTED FOR LOOKSADJUSTED FOR LOOKSNEW ADDITIONSToyoMercedes-BenzBMW HondaFord HyundaiAudi PorscheNissanKiaHarley-DavidsonFerrari$17.2b $30.$5.1b$4.9b$4.0b$3.8b$3.7b$30.0b$29.0bAUTOMOTIVE$7.9b $7.4b$7.1bKia Ralph LaurenPampersFacebook PradaMastercard$11b$5b$4b $3b $4b $4b$11.2b $4.2b$3.8b$4.0b$5.4b $4.0bApple129%Amazon46%Samsung40%Nissan30%Oracle28%20122011TOP RISERS OF 201226 Best Global Brands 2012
  16. 16. For Intel, the last year has been filled with change,big bets, and the continued quest to remain at theforefront of the ceaseless computing revolution.The rise of the smartphone, and the shift from“the era of computers to the era of computing,”has made it hard for the brand to stretch fromthe processors for PCs and servers for which it isknown, into a broader set of technology offer-ings. While marketing efforts like the CreatorsProject, staged in conjunction with Vice, and ahost of smaller, targeted marketing programsare making the brand more accessible to thenext generation of consumers, the drive towardsgreater relevance isn’t just a marketing one.Intel’s response has been to push consumerunderstanding into everything that it does—hiring new leaders, and promoting from withinto help bring a more user-centric attitude tohow it goes about defining and building thetechnology of the future. From putting ananthropologist in charge of the Interactionand Experience Research group, to bringing inexecutives from Apple and the BBC to guidetheir entry into smartphones, tablets and homeentertainment, Intel is shifting from a technol-ogy first mindset to one of user first. The resultsare already rolling in. After years of talking aboutentering the smartphone space, Intel finallycracked the market, launching Intel-poweredsmartphones around the world. Even in its PCand server markets, Intel is changing its tune,delivering a broader experience beyond justperformance. Time will tell whether Intel canremain ahead of the tide of change in computing,but if early success and internal changes are anyindication, Intel will be a brand to look to foryears to come.McDonald’s, the leading global foodserviceretailer, stands out because of its exceptionalbrand management, significant global presence,leadership in sustainable practices and admirableapproach to consumer engagement. McDonald’shas more than 33,500 restaurants in 119 countriesand the Golden Arches continue to expand, mostnotably in Asia. The company deftly managesits franchise model, delivering a remarkablyconsistent customer experience while stillallowing for locally relevant menu and servicevariations (such as home delivery in India andChina). The company is also working to respondto critics by increasing the number of healthymenu options and effectively communicating itssustainability efforts to both customers andemployees, building energy saving and wastereduction into staff incentives. Demonstrating itscommitment to brand development, McDonald’sis repositioning itself to appeal to a broaderaudience, particularly by redesigning its outletsand making them more modern, comfortable,and upscale. The McCafé experience is anotherexample of McDonald’s flexibility and its effortsto appeal to a broader group of customers. Onthe digital front, McDonald’s“Make Your OwnBurger” campaign in Germany and theNetherlands used crowdsourcing to generate newrecipes and promotions. The campaign createdsignificant digital buzz and positioned the brandas a digital innovator, helping to further buildthe brand’s strength.07McDonald’s+13%40,062 $m08Intel+12%39,385 $mAs was the case before the dot com bubble, thepromise of emergent technologies can sometimesfeel a bit vague. As the market swooned oversocial networks, the mobile media revolution,and the all-knowing cloud, GE pulled the ulti-mate trump card. In 2012, the brand launched GEWorks, an integrated communications platform.With gripping imagery and stories of meaningfulhuman outcomes, the campaign reasserted thebrand as the world’s maker of“real” things—from job creation in the manufacturing sector toadvanced healthcare technologies, GE’s focus hasbeen squarely on asserting its global leadershiprole. GE Works appears to be working. Growth inits energy infrastructure business, a healthyoutlook in industrials, and a revitalized GECapital demonstrate that the company can followup on its big bets in green technology (ecomagi-nation), healthcare (healthymagination), andthe industrial internet. GE also served as asponsor of the 2012 London Olympics. And assome of the“can’t-miss” tech brands start to looka little light, GE is reminding the world howimagination really works.Still one of the world’s most recognized technol-ogy brands, Microsoft has found itself in abit of a holding pattern in 2012, reportingsoft growth compared to Google and Apple.In particular, there has been weak computerdemand as consumers switch to tablets andtry out Windows 8, the newest version of thecompany’s flagship operating system (OS).Attempting to combat Apple’s lead in the tabletmarket, Microsoft has promised a revolutionaryOS that represents the convergence of technolo-gies along with a consistent, bold cross-platformlook and feel. The technology world has hadunprecedented access to the development ofWindows 8. Its success would catapult Microsoftforward and revitalize the entire PC ecosystem.In an effort to establish more of a humanrelationship with its current consumers andattract new ones in the process, Microsoft hasbeen making inroads into the healthcare market,serving 22 million users on Live@edu, andpushing Xbox (the number one selling gameconsole in the US). The software giant is alsofocusing on business users, an area where itscompetitors tend to be weak. Additionally,Microsoft worked hard to insulate itself againstthe economic slowdown while building key areasof its business, and, in August, the brandlaunched a refresh of its corporate identity.Microsoft also pushed into the hardware marketwith its own Surface tablets and into thecompetitive fray—the global market for con-verged software/hardware ecosystems. This movewill likely define the brand’s future.05Microsoft–2%57,853 $m06GE+2%43,682 $m28 Best Global Brands 2012
  17. 17. There may be no other vehicle that exudes classand luxury quite like Mercedes-Benz. In theminds of many people, it is still the brand thatsays,“I’ve arrived.” Its long heritage of excellencein engineering, performance, styling, and safetywas dramatically underscored in 2010 by theresurrection of founder Gottlieb Daimler’sguiding motto,“The Best or Nothing.” Laying thegroundwork for further growth, the strikingcampaign reached millions and gave sales asignificant boost. Building on that success, thisyear’s confident“A as in Attack” campaign is nowfanning the flames of desire for the new A-Classlineup. Together, with the new B-Class andfurther model variants based on the same vehiclearchitecture, the A-Class is expected to be animportant driver in the Mercedes-Benz growthstrategy going forward. A pioneering brand thathas been shaping the future of mobility for morethan 125 years, Mercedes-Benz continues torespond to a market that is quickly shiftingin favor of green technologies. Setting newefficiency benchmarks, Mercedes-Benz alsoboasts the most economical luxury class modelin the world: the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID.Mercedes-Benz’s commitment to innovationis also evident in the development of forward-looking technologies like its F125! concept car,essentially a blueprint for the future ofluxurious, emission-free vehicles. Additionally,Mercedes-Benz is increasingly leveraging itsAMG brand to add driving-performance creden-tials to the masterbrand. Constantly definingnew milestones in terms of vehicle drivesystems, safety, comfort, design, and sleekaesthetics, Mercedes-Benz continues to liveup to its promises of fascination, perfection,and responsibility.11Mercedes-Benz+10%30,097 $mSynonymous with class, performance and style,BMW remains a leading premium brand in theautomobile industry and continues to appeal to awide host of target groups around the world withover 11 million Facebook fans, more than mostother auto brands. The key success factors areBMW’s handling characteristics, design, andinnovative thrust of the brand. As the officialautomotive partner of the London 2012 SummerOlympics, BMW provided over 3,000 vehicles tothe games, successfully demonstrating itsmastery of global brand management and furtherunifying its positioning worldwide. BMW isdetermined to set new benchmarks in thedealership experience, opening brand stores inLondon and Paris this year as part of BMW’s“Future Retail” program. The stores represent thefirst step toward a new generation of brandexperiences. Never short on innovation, BMW isalso poised to introduce, the i series, whichpromises to bring new excitement and attentionto the electric vehicle market. Despite this stellarperformance, BMW, the best selling luxury car inthe US in 2011, is locked in a battle with Mercedes-Benz for the same honor in 2012. The muchanticipated addition of all wheel drive to theredesigned 3-series may prove to be the extra gearthat BMW needs to take the lead.12BMW+18%29,052 $mSamsung is one of the biggest successes of 2012,marked by a meteoric 40% rise in brand value.In a market competing to create convergentecosystems of internet-enabled householddevices, its smartphone sales have led the way toa strong position over competitors. With 19.1%market share, Samsung became the global leaderfor smartphone shipments in 2011 ahead of Appleand Nokia. From this bumper position, the nextyear holds promise of greater expansion. Samsunghas announced plans to sell its own MicrosoftWindows phone and a series of Windows 8computers, to sit alongside the new Galaxy SIIIand Note. This will help it further connectSamsung mobile devices with home devices, suchas TVs and washing machines, to create aconsistent user experience as the brand grows.Furthermore, Samsung’s sponsorship of theLondon 2012 Olympic Games, and in particularthe Torch Relay, has raised brand awareness,with 14 million people judged to have seen itsbranded bus in the UK. Online buzz was alsodriven by prominent roles of the Galaxy SIII andNote smartly integrated into the OpeningCeremony. Looking to the year ahead, Samsungcontinues to fulfill its corporate philosophy aswell as its vision—“Inspire the World, Create theFuture”—through its aspirational brandingproject and commitment to bringing“new andmeaningful innovations” to the global market-place. Despite setbacks around the recent patenttrial with Apple, the company goes into 2013 witha strong stance in the market and a determinedvision to become one of the top five brands by 2020.The resilience of the Toyota brand seems to haveclosed the chapter on sudden acceleration andhelped the carmaker in reclaiming its globalleadership position. Toyota’s Prius customerscontinue to deepen their connection to the Toyotaportfolio. At the same time, the Prius lineup iscreating an influx of new customers to the Toyotabrand. And thanks to the generous subsidies andreduced taxes on cleaner cars, hybrids are a cleardifferentiator for Toyota, so the Prius portfoliocontinues to grow. In addition to showing solidnumbers with repeat customers, Toyota isstrengthening its appeal with youngerconsumers. The brand has intensified itsincentives push and reduced its fleet sales. Thishelps customers find a good deal while alsoholding the line on the resale value of theirvehicle. While relying on incentives willundermine the brand, overall spending remainsamong the lowest in the industry. Europecontinues to be a challenge for the brand, but,overall, management will be focused on evolvingits messaging and communications whilereinventing a maturing brand with more stylishand better-looking vehicles.10Toyota+9%30,280 $mtopriser09Samsung+40%32,893 $m30 Best Global Brands 2012
  18. 18. For Gillette, being“the best a man can get” isn’tjust a tagline, it’s a brand promise. Owned byProcter & Gamble, Gillette grew into the leadingmen’s shaving line because it, historically, hasspent more than any other company in R&D tomake its razors the best. Once again deliveringthe performance and innovation consumers havecome to expect, Gillette and Braun’s new GilletteFusion ProGlide Styler, a three-in-one facial hairtrimmer, shaver, and edger, won multipleawards and helped increase market share inemerging markets. In India, consumers preferGillette“seven to one” over traditional double-edge razors, a promising sign of the brand’sability to extend its global presence. Building onits sponsorship of the London Olympics, P&G hasannounced a 10-year agreement with theInternational Olympic Committee, which willlink the Gillette brand with top male athletes.Strengthening its leadership positioning thispast year, P&G has been testing (in the US only)the“Guy Aisle”; a dedicated in-store areadesigned to help men select their groomingproducts. Shipments of Gillette products haveincreased double-digit this year—no surprisewith 800 million people using Gillette productseach day. Gillette still reigns supreme in men’sgrooming, holding 70% of the global razors andblades market. However, with new value-pricedcompetitors arriving on the scene and retrostraight razors making a comeback, Gilletteneeds to keep reminding consumers why it’sworth paying more for the best.The turbulence HP experienced in late 2010extended through 2011, as the company madeanother CEO change late in the year. The internalinstability has resulted in the lack of a cohesivebusiness strategy or brand strategy, whichthreatens both financial results and HP’sreputation. HP has retreated from the mobiledevices and tablets that make up more and moreof end-consumers’ technology purchases. Lenovois predicted to hit the number one spot in thePC market, layering further pressure on theconsumer franchise. Meanwhile, HP’s shifttowards Enterprise-level services and softwarehas been perceived as slow with an inefficientacquisition strategy, while the company alsofaces an expanding, nimble base of competitors.With HP acknowledging that the organization isin the early stages of a turnaround, it will taketime, effort, and focus to resolve the brand issuesthat HP faces as it grapples with both internaltransformation and external improving customerperceptions. HP retains an incredible breadth ofproducts and services across the full technologyspectrum, and the recent“Make It Matter”campaign reflects a more centralized approachtowards brand expression, but HP faces numer-ous challenges as it attempts to restore itsreputation for innovation and foster momentumwithin the rapidly changing technology arena.15HP–8%26,087 $m16Gillette+4%24,898 $mThe world of entertainment has been steadilytransforming as audience behaviors evolve,content consumption habits change, and the oldgives way to the new. If one brand, however, hasdemonstrated an ability to remain resilient overthe years in the face of change, it is Disney. Thecompany that launched on the shoulders of onelittle mouse has expanded to include five keygroups: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts,Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products, andInteractive Media. While each division has seenits own share of turmoil, with executive shiftsand box office disappointments in the past year,Disney continues to march forward, albeitwithout a strong vision for its brand. Disney hasreported solid earnings this year, driven bygrowth across all divisions, but it’s worth notingthat while the Disney Channel is still a top-ratedcable network in the US, recently surpassingNickelodeon, it’s a small value contributoroverall. Disney’s performance in the filmbusiness has improved since last year, but wasdriven largely by the success of a single film:The Avengers. Disney is working to leverage thisfranchise, which includes plans for an Avengerssequel, and is also planning to launch 3D versionsof popular hits like Finding Nemo as well as a slewof films based on Marvel characters like Iron Manand Thor. Despite the slow economic recovery,Disney’s parks and resorts, which comprise alittle over 10% of Disney’s value, saw a rise inattendance and guest spending. Overall, Disneylooks healthy financially and shows signs offuture success in the movie business, but thestrength of the Disney brand itself seems to begradually eroding. Since the company’s anima-tion renaissance in the 1990s, the flow of originalcontent has ceased in favor of franchises andareas of business that do not originate fromDisney’s own creative fount. To thrive in the longterm, Disney must rediscover its core as a globalentertainment powerhouse—and reclaim itsstanding as one of the world’s great innovators.Few companies have a heritage so rich, meaning-ful and worthwhile to millions of people of allages and backgrounds around the world. That isnot something to be squandered; it is somethingto build upon.Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking, hascontinued to refocus its brand on the B2B marketafter pulling the reins in on a much-scrutinizedextension into consumer audiences. Cisco’s brandhas always been able to remain relevant in theswitching and router market, but that may notbe enough to maintain Cisco’s performance inthe future. The recent acquisition of NDS, aleading provider of video software and contentsecurity solutions, indicates that Cisco could belooking to gain a more solid foothold in software-based applications. As the market continues totrend towards mobility and cloud computing,strong and nimble international competitors,like the Chinese powerhouse Huawei, will bringnew challenges to Cisco’s reputation as aninnovator—especially outside the US. Cisco’scampaign,“The Human Network,” has been aconsistent presence, but the brand strategy willneed to adapt to the return of focus on the B2Bmarket. Cisco has continued to streamlineoperations to reduce costs and help protectcurrent margins, but multiple rounds of recentlayoffs mean that morale must be maintainedto develop the brand internally.14Cisco+7%27,197 $m13Disney–5%27,438 $m32 Best Global Brands 2012
  19. 19. As Nokia tries to reinvent itself, its brand valuecontinues to decline. This year, Nokia lost itsposition as the world’s largest mobile phonemanufacturer by volume and is losing thesmartphone battle. However, it is Samsung’shandset business that impacts Nokia most. Forconsumers, the role of the handset brand haschanged as their focus shifts towards theoperating system (OS) and the all-important appsthey support. As the decline of Nokia’s SymbianOS accelerates, all hopes are placed on theWindows Phone OS. The launch of the Lumiabrought Nokia to the world’s attention again, buthas yet to earn significant market share. In orderto regain its momentum and increase its brandvalue, Nokia must reconnect with consumers. Itmust also stay relevant as consumer attention isincreasingly drawn to software and less tohandsets. There is no doubt that the recentlaunch of the new Windows Phone 8 handset willbe crucial to the brand’s future.19Nokia–16%21,009 $mAmazon aims to be a place where consumers canfind anything they want to buy—online. Itdelivers on this aim by regularly expanding itsproducts and services and, in doing so, hasremained a leader in customer service. In the pastyear, Amazon sustained the success of its Kindlebrand, stretching it beyond its e-reader originsinto a legitimate iPad alternative, introducingboth the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in 175countries. The Kindle Fire now enjoys the world’ssecond-largest tablet market share. By taking ahit on Kindle product prices, Amazon hopes togain high-volume, ongoing revenue in e-bookand other content sales. This strategy appears tobe working. As the second-biggest climber inbrand value this year, Amazon has much tocelebrate. However, its unfriendly stance towardunions, hardball battles to evade sales taxes incertain parts of the US, and a highly publicizedstory about the harsh treatment of workers in aPennsylvania warehouse last year have put a dentin the company’s image. To leverage the fullpotential of its brand, Amazon needs to managethe reputation of its business and work to improveemployee relations.20Amazon+46%18,625 $mtopriserLouis Vuitton’s continued success can beattributed to consistently upholding its corevalues and remaining loyal to its travel-centricheritage. In addition to its partnership of the 2012America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton has also improvedits digital presence—from charting its history onFacebook to launching an app that enablescustomers to share travel experiences. The brandremains committed to engaging new markets,making it the top gift brand for the Chineseluxury consumer this year. The brand also madeits first foray into fragrance in decades with theannounced launch of a signature scent bylegendary perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud.Over time, this progressive expansion could proveto be a successful direction for the luxury brand,or it could be to the detriment of its exclusivityand perceived authenticity. If Louis Vuittonstrikes the right balance between scale anddesirability, however, there is no doubt that itsposition as one of the world’s premier luxurybrands will remain strong.17Louis Vuitton+2%23,577 $mOracle is one of our top risers with a 28% increasein brand value. The brand is committed tobranching out beyond database solutions in orderto stay ahead of competitors. The companycontinues to make strategic acquisitions, like SunMicrosystems, to grow its capabilities andofferings, especially in cloud computing. Oracle’ssuit against rival Google (over the use of Java codein Android software) could also be seen as a playto remain relevant. If Oracle prevails, it may beable to influence the development of Android,giving it a valuable foothold in mobile. Oracle hasalso placed significant emphasis on understand-ing its clients’ unique needs and providingsimplified solutions that reduce complexity andfoster innovation. This could help the marketbetter understand Oracle’s total value beyond itsproducts. However, with competitors Microsoft,VMWare, and Google already well-positioned inthe cloud, Oracle will need to keep pace anddevelop more emotional connections with itsconsumers in order to see itself into the future.18Oracle+28%22,126 $mtopriserFor Honda, 2011 was a year to forget. A strong yenand severe disruptions to its supply chainhampered supplies, sales, and profits. Segmentsthat Honda has dominated continue to intensifywith a growing field of competitors, while thesluggish performance in Europe and highlycritical reviews of the Civic took a toll on thebrand. Honda took the feedback seriously and isretooling the Civic. Although Honda lost marketshare, most of it can be attributed to theproduction shortfalls resulting from the 2011earthquake in Japan, and the Thai floods.Nevertheless, the brand’s strong track record ofcreating well-built cars and delivering good valuewill not suffice on word-of-mouth alone. Thegood news is that the brand seems to be turningthe corner. Honda is cranking up production anda number of anticipated launches should help getthe business back on the right track—shaking upthe more conservative label some consumers haveattached to the brand.21Honda–11%17,280 $m34 Best Global Brands 2012
  20. 20. With an ever-increasing number of competitorsgaining traction globally and more big retailersstepping into low-cost fast fashion, H&M, theSwedish multinational retail clothing company,has set its sights on finding new ways to maintainindustry leadership. H&M has weathered theeconomic downturn well. In June, it reportedforecast-beating quarterly profit growth. It hasalso increased market share in its main marketsand expects to open 275 stores over the course ofthe year—including H&M’s first in South Americain the first half of 2013. The secret recipe for H&Mcontinues to be partnering with big-namedesigners, celebrities, and high-profile supermod-els, and this strategy clearly resonates with theaspirations of its fashion savvy,pop-culture-following target customers. Thebrand also appeals to consumers by highlightingits dedication to using organic materials. H&Mwas recently named the world’s largest user oforganic cotton and it aims to improve upon thispractice by switching to 100% sustainable cotton by2020. The brand did have its share of disappoint-ments, failing to deliver on its promise of bringingan online shopping experience to US consumers.H&M’s digital presence, once a model for theindustry with its dressing room feature, is nowstruggling to establish consistent online experi-ences in all markets. The silver lining for H&M isthat although price discounts and tough economicconditions have kept margins decreasing, thebrand remains strong.23H&M+1%16,571 $mAmerican Express has spent the past yearlaunching a host of enhanced online servicesdesigned to improve customer experience,simplify account management and providemembers with personalized offers from itsfavorite merchants via social media platforms.Customers could not be more satisfied, which iswhy American Express has ranked as the top UScredit card company in customer service by J.D.Power and Associates since 2007. Offering varioustypes of charge cards for small businesses tomanage their expenses, and currently the largestprovider of corporate cards, American Express haslaunched the Open Forum to provide additionalsupport for this key market segment. A virtualspace for small business owners to makeconnections and share insights, AmericanExpress Open Works provides small businesseswith the knowledge they need to power their ownsuccess. The site offer numerous resources andeducational tools for members, which keeps thecommunity active and engaged, and solidifiesAmerican Express’ role as not just a credit cardcompany, but also an advisor, a friend, and thebeneficent presider over a vast tribe of smallbusinesses. Promoting events like the Big Breakcontest, which awards the lucky winners USD$25,000 to implement marketing makeovers; andSmall Business Saturday, which helps drive salesto small businesses on one of the busiest holidayshopping weekends of the year, American Expressshows, through so many offerings and gestures,that it is committed to supporting small busi-nesses. Clearly a leader in digital and socialmedia marketing, American Express none theless needs to work to ensure that its multipleonline platforms, seeming a bit like islands untothemselves, are more coordinated, connected,and easy to access.24American Express+8%15,702 $mHolding strong at #22, Pepsi has really upped itsgame in the past year. The brand developed itsfirst global positioning,“Capture the excitementof now,” which casts Pepsi as a youthful, funalternative to Coca-Cola and inspires Pepsi loversto live each moment to the fullest. Its first globalcampaign,“Live for Now,” meshes well withongoing consumer promotions relating to musicand its US partnership with the NFL. Alongsidethis, Pepsi has revamped its entire digitalexperience, PepsiPulse, to focus on user-generat-ed content and direct connections with consum-ers. Furthermore, the brand is addressing keyconsumer concerns, such as sugar content, viathe launch of Pepsi Next, as well as its environ-mental impact—Pepsi was awarded the 2012Stockholm Industry Water Award for reducing itswater consumption. Early indications suggestthese moves have been successful in bringingback lapsed customers. Additionally, newexecutives have been brought in to challenge thebrand and ensure a smooth leadership succes-sion. They have a tough role, as soft drinkdemand continues to fall while commodity pricesincrease, but by continuing to engage millions ofpeople around the world through one of their keypassion points—music—Pepsi just might winsome new fans.22Pepsi+14%16,594 $mSAP, the market and technology leader inbusiness management software, solutions, andservices, continues to perform well due to itsembrace of cloud computing and mobile businessapps. The German multinational softwarecorporation has an unusual challenge inadvertising—marketing complex businessproducts most often bought by IT managers andcorporate executives. In today’s economy,competition is fierce. To gain a competitive edge,many employees are bringing their work withthem, wherever they go. As a result, mobiledevices, apps, and mobile operating systems arein high demand. SAP anticipated this trend andremains a relevant brand in this new market.“Run Like Never Before,” a campaign aimed at allconsumers, not just IT professionals, focuses onthe speed with which SAP software can allow oneto operate a business better. The message of thecampaign echoes the needs of consumers aroundthe world: the need to generate and managebusiness on trains, baseball fields, in waitingrooms, taxis, or wherever life happens totake them.25SAP+8%15,641 $m36 Best Global Brands 2012
  21. 21. Holding steady at #27, UPS saw its brand valuerise slightly this year. Slow growth in the USeconomy and an overall decrease in internationalvolume, however, have stymied what might haveotherwise been a banner year for the renownedglobal logistics provider. Dedicated to furtherenabling worldwide commerce, UPS focused onstrategic acquisitions to bolster its capabilitiesand presence in both international markets andthe business-to-consumer sector. In fact, adefining milestone for the brand was theannounced acquisition of Netherlands-basedTNT, an international express and mail deliveryservices company. The acquisition would be thelargest in UPS’s 105-year history, and wouldprovide an integrated network that expands itspresence in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.Additionally, new services in the consumerspace, such as MyChoice in the US and alternatedelivery locations in other global markets, willposition UPS to extend its solutions beyond theenterprise and into the growing consumer area.Building upon its legacy in sustainability, UPSwas one of only 10 US corporations to achieve anA+ status for superior transparency in 2012. Thecompany also made significant progress inboosting its global fleet of 2,500 alternative fuelvehicles. Such efforts not only prove that UPS hassuccessfully aligned sustainability with its corebrand proposition of logistics, but have alsoearned it a spot (#43) in Interbrand’s 2012 BestGlobal Green Brands report. Additionally,brand-building improvements in the communi-ties it serves have helped UPS land among the toptier of companies creating positive social change.27UPS+4%13,088 $mProviding well-designed furniture at affordableprices, IKEA is the world’s largest furnitureretailer. In the past year, IKEA kept close tocustomers, furthered green business practices,and remained competitive in spite of risingmaterial costs. IKEA also doubled its Facebookand Twitter followers and created the SharedSpace website where customers can post picturesof rooms they’ve redecorated. IKEA is alsoenhancing customers’ brand experiences bydeveloping a take-back program for usedfurniture and innovating a new furniture linethat seamlessly integrates consumer electronics.The brand is also leveraging the credibility earnedfrom designing furniture for the urban dweller todesign and build entire urban neighborhoods,doing its part to solve the affordable housingshortage. Though IKEA was criticized this year forclear-cutting in old-growth forests, it has astrong sustainability record overall. IKEA now has17 stores powered by solar panels in the US, and awind turbine project currently underway inSweden will soon power all IKEA buildings andoperations in its native country.28IKEA+8%12,808 $mA global icon that transcends its category, Nikecontinually increases the power of its brandthrough innovation—its greatest strength. In2012, Nike delivered numerous game-changingproducts and slyly leveraged the London Olympicsto its advantage. An“ambush marketer” ratherthan an official Olympic sponsor, the brandattracted publicity, spotlighted new products andmanaged, as always, to link world-renownedathletes to its latest offerings. As part of itslong-term growth strategy, Nike announced itsintention to divest its Cole Haan and Umbrobusinesses, which will allow it to focus itsresources on driving growth in the Nike, Jordan,Converse, and Hurley brands. Nike is also usingsocial media skillfully to generate awareness andbuzz, while continuing to engage the publicthrough events and contests like The Chance, anathletic talent search. It is also expanding itsbreadth by incorporating technology platformsinto all of the work it does, which has kept Nikewell ahead of competitors. Though Nike isincreasingly seen as a sustainability leader, thecompany still needs to improve its supply chainand environmental record. In this regard,initiatives such as“Zero Discharge of HazardousChemicals” in manufacturing by 2020, are highlyrelevant for the brand.26Nike+4%15,126 $mCanon faced multiple difficulties this past year: astronger yen, Europe’s debt crisis, and sloweconomic recovery in the US. The brand hasresponded to these challenges by making productinnovation and corporate citizenship toppriorities. In 2012, current chairman and CEO,Fujio Mitarai, returned to the role of President andannounced his vision for Canon to achieve thenumber one position in all of its core businesses.This year, the company made its largest acquisi-tion in its history, purchasing Dutch print maker,Oce, for USD $1 billion. While the integration isstill underway, it should boost Canon’s productlineup beyond that of competitors like HP andEpson. Canon’s investment in R&D and strongcommitment to technology and innovation hascontributed to Canon’s slight rise in brand value.After a tough year in 2010, Kellogg’s has a newCEO at the helm and is ushering in change withnew product introductions like a Special Kcookbook and its first gluten-free cereal to the USmarket. While Kellogg’s has long had areputation for offering healthy, wholesome food,revelations that Kellogg’s contributed funds todefeat Proposition 37—a GMO-labeling initiativein California—has put a dent in the big K. With astrong brand identity, popular product lines, anda new focus on overseas growth, Kellogg’s willcontinue to be a strong force in the FMCGcategory. As consumers become more educated—and determined to avoid ingredients perceived asunhealthy—Kellogg’s will have to prioritizetransparency and take steps to transition awayfrom genetically modified ingredients. This isespecially important for a brand whose heritagerests on the promise of healthy food.30Canon+3%12,029 $m®29Kellogg’s+6%12,068 $m38 Best Global Brands 2012

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