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Global Top 100 value rises 8%, despite the year’s turbulence

Ranking increases 152% over 12 years

 

Each time I write a welcome column for our annual BrandZ™ Global Top 100 Most Valuable Brands report, the year’s highlights typically fall into logical order. Not this time. In such an unusual year, where do you begin?

 

First, we Brits surprised the world with Brexit (don’t blame me I did not vote for it), then the Americans surprised themselves with Trump. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised Indians with demonetization, and soon after won a landslide election in Uttar Pradesh, home to about 200 million people, triple the population of the UK.

 

The political drama that roiled major Latin American economies was less shocking, as were China’s ongoing implementation of its “One Belt, One Road” vision for expanding economic presence abroad to balance slower growth at home. But all these developments raised the temperature for brand builders.

 

Since these are topsy-turvy times, I’ll begin with the bottom line:

 

  • The value of the Global Top 100 increased 8 percent year-on-year. That’s a big deal any year. But especially in the year we had; and
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  • Over the past 12 years—since just before the global recession, and during the economic climb since then—the value of the BrandZ™ Global Top 100 increased 152 percent in value; also
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  • The value of the BrandZ™ Strong Brands Portfolio increased 123.6 percent over those 12 years, outperforming both the S&P 500 and the MSCI World Index, demonstrating that valuable brands deliver superior shareholders returns.

 

All these results illustrate that although market volatility is inevitable, the impact on brands is not.

That’s why this report is so important. We tell you what happened, why it happened, and how the lessons of this disruptive year can help build and sustain brand value.

 

Think of this report as the definitive brand yearbook. It examines both consumer-facing and business-facing brands across 14 product categories, with the analysis of five geographic regions, and additional details about brands and consumer attitudes in China, India, Russia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

 

The report focuses primarily on the world’s most valuable brands, but not exclusively on those brands. Emerging brands are disrupting categories, challenging established brands, and enticing consumers in both the world’s mature and fast-growing markets. The report studies this phenomenon.

 

Building strong brands

You will not find this combination of market information, financial analysis, and insight anywhere else. Not to bore you with process, but I want to share the lengths we go to create and assemble this information, and make it useful.

 

We begin with data, our secret sauce, WPP’s proprietary BrandZ™ database, which includes information from over 3 million consumers about their attitudes about (and relationships with) 120,000 brands in 414 categories across 51 country markets. Using the BrandZ™ brand valuation

methodology of Kantar Millward Brown, this all produces 4.6 billion data points.

 

This data reveals the power of brand in the mind of the consumer that creates a disposition to buy and, most importantly, validates a positive correlation with sales performance. We combine this data with financial research to make BrandZ unique among brand valuation methodologies (Please see Methodology at the end of this report).

 

And we’re just getting started. Since we’re producing a global report, this is where it is advantageous to be WPP, with offices in 112 countries, and over 205,000 colleagues. We convene WPP operating company brand experts for two weeks of focus groups in London and New York, with extensive video conferencing to connect with our brand experts worldwide.

 

They come from all communications disciplines: market research, media management, futures, advertising, digital, promotion, public relations, public affairs, shopper marketing, content creation, and activation. Their analysis of the WPP proprietary data, in the context of diverse categories and country markets, leads to original insights that are only possible with this level of cross-cultural and cross-discipline exchange.

 

We call this leveraging of WPP brain power “horizontality.” I share these details about our intense research and analysis knowing that the process may seem a bit over-the-top and obsessive. We at WPP prefer to think of it as our passion.

 

Our passion knows no bounds. We have assembled an extensive library of brand reports and I invite to you access them with our compliments at BrandZ.com. Here are just some of the reports you will find there: the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands; the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands; the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands; and the BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Indonesian Brands. In addition, I recommend these recently published titles: Spotlight on Cuba, Spotlight on Myanmar, Spotlight on Mongolia, and Leaders in the Hot Seat: Behind the brands that shape lives and build value.

 

I fervently believe we have the data, knowledge, experience, insight, determination, and single-minded purpose to help you build valuable brands. To learn more about how to harness our passion to work for your brand, please contact any of the WPP companies that contributed expertise to this report. Turn to the resource section at the end of this report for summaries of each company and the contact details of key executives. Or feel free to contact me directly.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

David Roth

WPP

David.Roth@wpp.com

Twitter: davidrothlondon

Blog: www.davidroth.com