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Danish toymaker Lego has raced past Italy’s super sports car manufacturer Ferrari to snatch the title of the world’s most powerful brand, a report has revealed.
Apple, meanwhile, takes pride of place as the world’s most valuable brand with a brand value of $128 billion, while Twitter has tweeted its way to becoming the fastest-growing brand with a value of $4.4 billion, according to the Global 500 study from Brand Finance.
Every year, the leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test and evaluates them to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
In its study on brand values for 2015, the consultancy noted that “everything is awesome for Lego as the world’s most powerful brand, with a brand value of $3.8 billion”.
“It scores highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation,” the report said.
“Lego is a uniquely creative and immersive toy; children love the ability to construct their own worlds that it provides. In a tech-saturated world, parents approve of the back-to-basics creativity it encourages and have a lingering nostalgia for the brand long after their own childhoods.
“The Lego Movie perfectly captured this cross-generational appeal. It was a critical and commercial success, taking nearly $500 million since its release a year ago. It has helped propel Lego from a well-loved, strong brand to the world’s most powerful.”
Last year’s most powerful brand Ferrari remains a very strong brand but “its power is slowly diminishing, the report said, pointing out that “it has now gone several years without an F1 title and last season struggled even to mount a challenge” and that the sheen of glory from its 1990s golden era is “beginning to wear thin”.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh comments, “Ferrari is still in a strong position and its brand value has actually increased 18 per cent this year to $4.7 billion. The new strategy to capitalise on the brand will certainly drive short term value but over-exploitation risks lasting damage.”
AN APPLE A DAY
The power of a brand is just one component of Brand Finance’s analysis. The company combines the information on a brand’s strength with financial data, to calculate its commercial value.
When brand values are calculated, Apple comes out on top.
“Though not quite on a par with Ferrari or Lego in terms of brand strength, Apple still has a very powerful brand. What sets it apart is ability to monetize that brand,” the report noted.
“Apple has a remarkable knack for using its brand to popularise and hence monetize existing technology, as it did so successfully first with the mp3 player, smart phone and later the tablet. Critics have been silenced by the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Consumers have snapped latest models in their droves, helping Apple set records for quarterly profits ($18 billion) and company value ($710 billion).
Haigh continues: “The Apple brand is worth $128 billion. That value is huge not just in its own terms but also as a proportion of Apple’s record-breaking corporate valuation. It goes to show how valuable brands are as business assets and how important it is to manage them well.”
TWEETING TO A RECORD
Twitter was rated as the fastest growing brand, tripling its brand value in a year, increasing from $1.5 billion in early 2014 to $4.4 billion now.
Fellow tech giants Baidu and Facebook have also grown strongly, by 161 per cent and 146 per cent respectively.
“The three appear to be more effectively managing the transition to mobile advertising than other tech players such as Google, boosting expectations of the financial potential of their brands,” the report noted.
“Chipotle stands out among the many successes from the tech and telecoms sectors this year. Its brand value is up 124 per cent. It is eating into McDonalds’ market share by positioning itself as a healthier, tastier and more ethical alternative,” it said pointing out the McDonalds’ iconic brand has lost $4 billion in value this year.
In the Brand Finance Global 500 report, 2015 brand values were calculated in US dollars with a valuation date of 1/1/15.
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