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Vodafone makes first 20 on Top 100 Global Brands list

By Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona|Adom Business

Vodafone was ranked 17th on this year's Millward Brown Optimor Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, even though its brand value declined 8% from last year to US$39.7 billion.

This makes Vodafone the only telco in Ghana to have made the top 20 category of the list of 100.

MTN also made the list at the 79th position with a brand value of growth of 23% to US$11.45 billion. Even though Vodafone was ranked higher than MTN, the latter was the only African brand to have made the global list.

Airtel also made the list at 89th position with 13% decline in brand value to US$10.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Apple remains the top of the list with one percent growth in brand value to a little over US$185 billion.

“Despite a more competitive marketplace and other challengers nipping at its heels, Apple's ability to maintain its number one position demonstrates the value that having a strong brand brings to business. People still love the brand regardless of its stock price,” said Nick Cooper, Managing Director of Millward Brown Optimor.

Apple's chief rival, Samsung grew 51% to reach US$21.4 billion, but could not make the top 20 category; Samsung finished at the 30th position.

“Vying for leadership in the smartphone market, Samsung fuelled its huge increase in brand value by balancing a remarkable period of innovation with growing market share – it spent $1.6 billion more on advertising in the last year,” Cooper observed.

Google is still a serious challenger for the number one spot, reversing last year's decline to grow 5% in brand value this year. Google is number two in the ranking with a value of almost $114 billion.

IBM came in third in the ranking with a brand value decline of 3% to $112 billion.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, is now in its eighth year. It is the only ranking that uses the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, alongside financial data, to calculate its value.

The combined value of the Top100 has grown by 77% since 2006. They are now worth $2.6 trillion.

Meanwhile Vodafone and Airtel also made the list. Vodafone came in at the 17th position with an 8% decline in brand value to US$39.7 billion, while Airtel recorded a 13% decline in brand value to reach US$10.1 billion at the 89th position.

Those which made the top 20 are Apple, Google, IBM, McDonalds, US$90.3 billion; Coca-Cola, US$78.4 billion; AT&T, US$75.5 billion; Microsoft, US$69.8 billion; Marlboro, US$69.4 billion; Visa Card, US$56.1 billion and China Mobile, US$55.4 billion.

The rest are General Electric - US$55.36 billon; Verizon - US$53 billion; Well Fargo - US$47.75 billion; Amazon - US$45.7 billion; UPS – US$42.75 billion; ICBC – US$41.1 billion; Vodafone – US$39.7 billion; Walmart – US$36.2 billion; SAP – US$34.4 billion; and MasterCard – US$27.3 billion.

CEO of The Store at WPP, David Roth said: “This year's ranking highlights the return on investment that brands give businesses. It shows that strong brands bring market share growth, increased profits from being able to command a price premium and greater shareholder returns.”

Global CEO of Millward Brown Optimor Eileen Campbell added: “Brand valuation and other measures that show return on marketing investment give marketers a stronger voice in the boardroom by ensuring that marketing is better understood and accounted for as a key driver of financial and business success.”

Key findings highlighted in this year's research report include:

• Top risers provide meaningful differentiation: The Top 10 brand value growth risers score significantly higher than average on the BrandZ™ equity measures of Meaningful, Different and Salient. Prada grew the most in brand value, by +63%. Outstripping the performance of all other luxury brands it is now no.4 in the luxury category (95 globally) and worth $9.5 billion.

• Brewers experienced a rapid rise: The world's most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, beer, was the highest growth category in the rankings this year. The Top 10 beer brands grew by +36% and are now worth a combined $63 billion. The sector has benefited from growing sales in Latin America and China. Global brewer Heineken is the third largest beer brand worth $8 billion, and profited from publicity around the James Bond Skyfall movie. Brazil's Brahma beer grew by +61% in the last year and is worth $4 billion.

• High value brands provide faster growth: An analysis of the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands as a 'stock portfolio' over the last eight years shows a highly favorable performance compared to a current stock market index, the S&P500. While the value of the companies in the S&P500 index grew by 23%, the BrandZ™ portfolio grew by 58%, proving that companies with strong brands are able to deliver better value to their shareholders. A graphic is available here.

• As technology brands continue to dominate the ranking the sun rises on digital China: Technology and telecoms brands continue to dominate the ranking with 29 brands in the global BrandZ™ Top100, worth 43% of the total value of the Top 100, more than $1 trillion. Growth in this sector remains flat. In contrast to a decline in Facebook's brand value, its Chinese equivalent, Tencent, rose 52%, making it one of the Top 10 risers in the ranking with almost 800 million active users. Yahoo also joins the ranking after the appointment of a new CEO from Google lifted expectations and share price which drove the appreciation of brand value.