BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands 2014 – who’s on top?

21 May 2014|Added Value

The whole world’s talking about it. Google has officially overtaken reigning tech brand champion Apple to be crowned the world’s most valuable global brand in the 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands.

With arguably the most impressive year of innovation yet under its belt, Google has hit the headlines for Google Glass, the £400m acquisition of an Artificial Intelligence company and looking outside of smartphones to embed its Android operating system in other products such as cars. As Apple has slowed, Google is now worth US$159 billion with an increase of 40 percent year on year to Apple’s percent decline in brand value.

But let’s step away from the tech giants for a moment. Which brands are winning in the other categories? Our experts examine where the value lies in luxury and beer.

Luxury is back 

by Eleanor Sellar, Cultural Insight and luxury expert

BurberryAs we move out of the recession, the report points out that consumers have been purchasing luxury goods enthusiastically and without apology. The category brand value rose by 16 percent, a solid increase on the 6 percent in the previous year.

A key trend in the category is new ways to express brand experience. From Cartier’s fantasy leopard travelling the world movie to Burberry’s interactive ‘Kisses with Google’ campaign, it is clear that luxury brands are becoming more and more comfortable with tapping into social media to bring their brands to life. But an increased presence on social media comes with an increased risk of brand dilution.

How can luxury brands protect the exclusivity of their brands in the digital sphere? Many brands resolve this tension by using their online initiatives to invite people to experience and interact with the world of the brand. But they limit ecommerce. Take Burberry’s collaboration with Apple to bring its fashion shows to life through the iPhone, for example. This approach introduces the brand to new audiences but drives customers to physical stores.

Authentic brand story vital for beer 

by Anna Manago, Brand and beer expert 

whatwedo_casestudy_peroni_square_carouselThe report highlights a growing desire for choice in beer consumption, a category that has risen 14 percent in brand value. Global brewers AB InBev, SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg have all introduced varying flavoured and craft style beers. In a category where local brands are mostly owned by the four major global brewers, the report shows consumers are increasingly concerned with the authenticity of products traditionally brewed close to the market. And the brands have sat up and taken notice. SABMiller brews Italian brand Peroni in Italy and all Heineken brands sold in the US are brewed in the company’s home town, Amsterdam.

Knowing where a product has been produced gives consumers a sense of confidence around their choice. However, there is a tension between the two sides of this trend – localism and provenance. On the one hand, the desire to support and feel part of the community helps to drive the interest in beers brewed locally – such as craft beer or local national brands. On the other hand, the aspirational appeal to tasting something produced in another part of the world is boosting premium world beer portfolios. In both cases, authenticity around origins is vital as well as transparency.

The value of the Top 100 has almost doubled since its first ranking in 2006 with a combined brand value of $2.9 trillion, seemingly marking the end of the recession. Luxury brands are more daring than ever before, creating digital worlds for us to experience their brand. And beer brands are capturing us emotionally with their authentic local brand stories. It’s certainly an exciting time for the strongest brands in each category, but who will be on top next year?

Download the full BrandZ Top 100 Report here


Image credits: Business Insider, Burberry & Added Value

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