Even though some would like to believe that Apple has lost some of its sweetness, the brand is the top name in the world in terms of brand value. In fact, four of the top brands are names that are based in Silicon Valley and they are: Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM. Apple took the top spot through the sales of iPhones last year that gave the firm a 43 per cent increase in market value.
In a Best Global Brand report, Apple and Google have been taking the first two positions consistently for two years. A New York-based organisation, Interbrand, rates companies for their brand power. It is a great achievement if a company takes any of the first 100 places. Chinese computer maker, Lenovo, made it to the list for the first time this year. Huawei from China is at the 100th place. While Paypal made it to the list this time, Nokia, Pizza Hut and Duracell made quiet exits from the list this time. Facebook ranks 23rd.
Other than the U.S, the iPhone is much sought after in China and the Philippines where people give a lot of importance to brand power. In any market, it is not enough if you have a good product. You also need brand power that has been carefully nurtured with a lot of investment. That is the reason why a local cola brand cannot expect to beat Pepsi or Coke even if the local brand has better qualities. Local entrepreneurs cannot withstand the competition from big companies who spend crores on enhancing their image. That is perhaps the reason why as soon as Coca Cola and others launched products into India, Parle Group sold off Limca and Thumps Up. Chairman Chauhan found greener pastures in Bisleri and Frooti.
Other global top brands in the list include Coca Cola at position three and Toyota in the sixth place. Samsung is at seventh place, General Electric in the eighth, McDonalds at number nine and Amazon takes the last place. It is interesting to note that eight of the top 10 are American firms the other two being South Korea's Samsung and Japan's Toyota.
It is very interesting that those who blame the U.S for all the good and wrong reasons are the ones who purchase their goods the most. Brand is a feeling and is associated with a set of qualities, often unsaid and undeclared. When more and more people share that belief, brands start to achieve a snob value. For example, if you make a phone as good as Apple, maybe call it Grapes, and then offer it for Rs 5000, none would buy it. That is because people associate belief with a brand and that belief stays put for a long time. Will you buy Amal butter or Amul butter? That is the brand power that Dr Kurian built in Gujarat.
There is no Indian company in the list of 100 brands and our own startups are vying with each other to get there.