World's 2 most valuable brands: Coca-Cola, IBM

Consumers lost trust in brands this year as the recession deepened, according to an industry report released Thursday, although longtime staples Coca-Cola and IBM retained their spots as the world's two most valuable brands, Associated Press reported.

This is the first time the combined value of the world's top 100 brands as ranked by Interbrand, a branding agency, has fallen in the 10 years Interbrand has assessed them.

The list's total value, including brands like Google Inc., Nintendo and Sony, fell 4.6 percent to $1.15 trillion, Interbrand estimates.

"That says something about the environment that we're in, especially when you consider that brands are by nature less volatile than business valuations," said Interbrand CEO Jez Frampton, who called a company's brand its most valuable asset.

The environment - a recession the likes of which the world hasn't seen for decades - has eaten away at people's trust in specific brands, starting with financial companies, he said. Consumers even started to question retail brands as stores slashed prices to get sales, leading consumers to wonder about pricing, and why they had to pay so much before.

"All of these things lead you to re-evaluate the nature of the relationships that we have with brands and indeed how confident we feel in brands to live up to the promises they make," he said. "Brands are promises which we value and are prepared to pay for and if we feel those promises have been broken we're less likely to trust."

Brands are more than just names, colors or logos - think Coca-Cola's red or McDonald's golden arches. A brand includes all the elements of a product or service from its design, ingredients and manufacture to its marketing, advertising and logo.

A well-honed brand evokes in consumers an emotion and a promise of what it will deliver, without the consumer having to do much - if any - research, said Allen Adamson, managing director at branding firm Landor Associates. Brands are important for all businesses, and critical in categories that have direct consumer contact, like autos, he said.

"In a cluttered world where people are time-compressed, brands are short cuts to help them make decisions," he said.

Each year, Interbrand ranks companies by the amount of their revenue that is attributable to their brands, using a formula that takes into account the brand's future strength and its role in creating demand, whether among consumers or business customers or both.

The firm assigns a monetary value to each brand and measures annual growth, in this case from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.

Given the recession, it was not surprising to see financial companies posting the steepest decline in their brands' values this year, with drops by American Express (now number 22, down from 15) HSBC (now 32, down from 27), Citi (now 36, down from 19), and UBS (now 72, down from 41). Merrill Lynch and AIG both dropped off the list.

Automakers also dropped in the rankings as their sector's sales slumped in the recession. In addition, major U.S. automakers General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC received government aid to stay afloat, which generated negative feelings among consumers. Neither of those brands made the top 100 Interbrand list.

Even Toyota's brand - top-ranked among auto companies at number eight, down from 6 in 2008 - suffered, while BMW went from 13 to 15, and Ford was unchanged at 49. Honda edged up two slots to 18.

Despite the economic uncertainty, the top 10 brands this year stayed relatively stable, with Coca-Cola Co. in the first slot, a place it has held since the rankings started in 2000. The soft-drink maker retains its recognition around the world, Frampton said, and it has been releasing new products as it hopes to woo consumers shifting to healthier juices and teas.

Coca-Cola's brand value rose 3 percent in 2009 to $68.73 billion, while IBM's gained 2 percent to $60.21 billion.

The technology giant, often known as "Big Blue," also rolled out new products that increased the value of its brand in 2009, according to the report. The company - which sells computer servers, software and technical services to businesses - received more than 4,000 U.S. patents during the period, marking the 16th straight year it has received the most.

Rolling out new products keeps customers interested and spending, even in a recession, Frampton said. Companies can't be idle when times are tough, he warned.

"Innovation is the bedrock of any successful company in the future," he said. "Nobody can stand still nowadays."

The remaining brands in the top five all lost value but retained their ranks from last year. Microsoft's brand value fell 4 percent to $56.64 billion to take third, while General Electric's value fell 10 percent to $47.77 billion for fourth. Nokia lost 3 percent to place fifth at $34.86 billion.

The value of online giant Google's brand grew the fastest in the world again, rising 25 percent to $31.98 billion to place seventh, up from 10th place last year and 20th the year before. Frampton said the company's brand growth is "miraculous," though the report notes that as it gets bigger, "it has to deal with the inevitable mistrust and ugliness ascribed to being a very large, diversified and very profitable company."

But Deborah Mitchell, executive fellow at the Center for Brand and Product Management at Wisconsin School of Business, thinks Google already has found balance by earning consumers' trust even as it becomes nearly omnipresent in their lives.

That's partly due to Google's value statement - "Do no evil" - which resonates with consumers, especially in a downturn, she said. Mitchell said consumers are increasingly focusing on a company's values and don't want to associate with businesses whose values they question.

"There's been a shift in the focus on values and not just economics to consumers," she said. "They're looking more closely at who is selling them what."

Kutaisi Int’l Airport receives first Wizz Air flight from Vilnius since start of pandemic
Kutaisi Int’l Airport receives first Wizz Air flight from Vilnius since start of pandemic
Immunization to be temporarily suspended over Easter holidays
Immunization to be temporarily suspended over Easter holidays
Georgian delegation to Participate in Spring Session of PACE
Georgian delegation to Participate in Spring Session of PACE
Loading Bars
Five diplomats to stay in Czech embassy inn Moscow - presidential office
NASA's Mars helicopter to attempt first flight Monday
Turkey extends condolences to Egypt over deadly train accident
Albania opens 2nd int'l airport
Four dead in light plane crash near Paris
Israel reports 130 new COVID-19 cases, 837,012 in total
Canada's Trudeau mobilizes federal workers to battle COVID-19 in Toronto and rest of Ontario
Rockets strike Iraqi military base hosting U.S. contractors, Iraqi military says
Number of COVID-19 cases across globe up by over 809,000 in past day
Iran intends to increase electricity exports
Africa's COVID-19 cases surpass 4.42 mln: Africa CDC
20 employees of Czech embassy in Moscow declared personae non grata
Uzbekistan may start producing coronavirus vaccines by year end
Iran, Serbia emphasize developing trade-industrial ties
Turkey's 1Q2021 export of ready-made clothes to Iran grows
Kutaisi Int’l Airport receives first Wizz Air flight from Vilnius since start of pandemic
Mexican president to propose extension of welfare programs to curb migration
Verstappen wins F1 thriller at Imola
97 passengers wounded in Egypt's train derailment: ministry
Czech ambassador summoned to Russian foreign ministry
UK records another 1,882 coronavirus cases, 10 deaths
Weekly review of main events of Azerbaijani financial market
Cuba's Raul Castro leaves the political stage
Azerbaijan increases silver production
Turkey develops innovative COVID-19 vaccine, minister volunteers
Uzbekistan to receive Sputnik V vaccine by late April
Immunization to be temporarily suspended over Easter holidays
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 19
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling
At least 16 killed in clashes in South Sudan's Lakes State
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Astara port surges
Sudan calls on African countries to support reaching comprehensive solutions on Nile dam
Japan’s PM to Visit India, Philippines to Strengthen Regional Ties
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,144 more COVID-19 cases, 1,923 recoveries
India stresses fulfilling commitments for developing Chabahar
EAM Jaishankar to visit Abu Dhabi on Sunday
Sri Lanka to receive Chinese Sinopharm vaccine tomorrow
Biden names 2 Indian-Americans to key jobs
Ambedkar remembered on birth anniversary in Dubai
Shortcomings of multilateral system laid bare by pandemic, says Shringla
Maldives Foreign Minister meets Jaishankar, discusses regional, international issues
Israeli business interested in expanding cooperation with Kazakhstan
Number of licenses issued for launch of enterprises in Iran spikes
Delegation of Azerbaijani parliament takes part in events within session of CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts take part in World Cup in Uzbekistan's Tashkent
Ford Otosan to suspend production due to supply issues
Georgian delegation to Participate in Spring Session of PACE
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 18
Azerbaijani hydroelectric power plants increase electricity production
China, U.S. agree on need for stronger climate commitments
Russia records over 8,600 daily COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan shares footage from Saybali village of Aghdam district (VİDEO)
Serbia - gateway to European market for Iran - Deputy Minister
France to impose 10-day quarantine for travellers coming from Brazil
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry to engage archiving services via tender
Kyrgyzstan adds 244 new COVID-19 cases
Israel raises import of clothes from Turkey
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 18
Capital of Bank Keshavarzi Iran to increase
Iran's trade turnover with Georgia decreases
Azerbaijan's MFA issues appeal on occasion of April 18 - International Day for Monuments and Historic Sites
Azerbaijan shares footage from Tarovlu village of the Gubadli region (VİDEO)
Slovak investors note potential in Georgia's energy sector
Czechs expel 18 Russian envoys, accuse Moscow over ammunition depot blast
Azerbaijan's State Treasury Agency to update information systems via tender
Earthquake hits Georgia
Iran, Serbia FMs meet in Tehran
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Japan
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 caseload up by 2,822
Iran's trade turnover with Pakistan shrinks
Brazil registers over 370,000 deaths from COVID-19
5.8-magnitude quake strikes off Japan's Miyagi Prefecture
Iraq reports 6,552 new COVID-19 cases, 970,987 in total
More than 805,000 COVID-19 infections detected worldwide over past 24 hours
5.1-magnitude quake hits 20 km S of Mandraki, Greece
Israel reports 142 new COVID-19 cases, 836,882 in total
Yemen's Houthi rebels say launch drone attack on Saudi air base
India's sports minister tests positive for COVID-19
Weekly review of highlights in Azerbaijan's transport sector
EU to hand over 30 vehicles to Georgia Border Police
Turkish scientist works on drug that can ‘kill COVID-19 in 2 days’
Uzbekistan may start production of its own vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year
Russia's Eastwind, Turkmenistan's Turkmensvyaz to sign contract
UK records another 2,206 coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Iranian official offers upbeat assessment of progress in nuclear talks
Volume of goods transported by Azerbaijan’s vehicles in 2021 disclosed
Indonesia reports 5,041 new COVID-19 cases, 132 new deaths
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 3 mln - Johns Hopkins University
Geostat reveals volume of Russian exports to Georgia
Solar panel station put into operation in Iran’s Razavi Khorasan Province
New auction to be held for Azerbaijani Finance Ministry's mid-term bonds
Georgia increases import of vehicles from Turkey
Kyrgyzstan imposes restrictive measures at airports
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Foreigners to pass simplified visa procedures for 2021 F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Serbian FM to visit Tehran today
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,148 more COVID-19 cases, 2,287 recoveries
Armenia falsified Caucasian Albania temples in Azerbaijan - rep of religious community
All news