Seven newcomers joined the BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands this year – three telecom providers, two retailers, a technology company and a regional bank.
Reflecting the ongoing shift in Brand Value from Europe and North America to Asia, three of the newcomer brands are Chinese, with one each from Australia, India, Japan and the US.
The telecom providers include the Australian Telstra, SoftBank from Japan and China Telecom. Their presence indicates the power and salience of telecom provider brands generally, along with developments specific to each brand.
Telstra increased in Brand Value based on the strength of the Australian market and opportunities in Asia. SoftBank owns the majority of telecom provider Sprint, which positions it to compete in the large US market. Having received government approval to operate 4G late in 2013, China Telecom spent much of 2014 installing its 4G network across China.
The Chinese business-to-business technology newcomer Huawei supplies telecoms with network infrastructure and increasingly focuses on providing the Internet and cloud infrastructure required for improved connectivity in e-commerce and other industries.
The contrast between the retailer newcomers – Alibaba and Costco – reflects two key drivers of retail growth today: e-commerce and brand experience.
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce brand, joins the list after its record-breaking IPO. It effectively links consumers and businesses online, broadens retail to include offerings like financial services, and keeps customers within its ecosystem on its own mobile payment system.
Costco is all about stores – big ones. It is a successful warehouse club at a time when consumers are looking for more edited assortments in smaller stores. Costco’s success cuts against these contemporary trends because it delivers a positive brand experience for customers, a strong bottom line for investors, and a progressive work environment for employees.
With 55 percent of its over 3,400 bank branches located outside India’s urban areas, HDFC was well-positioned to serve the expanding interests and wealth of customers living in rural India.