NZ edges closer in global brands index

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Apple and Google maintain their #1 and #2 positions and each exceed USD $100 billion in brand value; Huawei makes Best Global Brands history as the first Chinese brand to enter the report – and Interbrand NZ says at least two Kiwi brands are not far away from featuring in the global report.

For the second year in a row, Apple and Google claim the top positions on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking, released in NZ on Friday. Valued at US$118.9 billion, Apple (#1) increased its brand value by 21 percent. Google (#2), valued at $107.43 billion, increased its brand value by 15 percent.

For the first time in the history of Best Global Brands two global brands – not just one – have each earned a brand value that exceeds USD $100 billion.

“Yet again, Interbrand’s Best Global Brands Report delivers interesting insights for New Zealand businesses wanting to increase their value,” commented Interbrand NZ GM Karen Jones.

“One key learning is that to be successful, brands need ongoing investment and management, just like any other business asset. Companies in the Interbrand top 100 most valuable brands are uniformly committed to sustained innovation, put people – both employees and customers – at the heart of their higher purpose and are embracing technology, such as cloud and mobile, to deliver their products and services.

“Closer to home, Air NZ and Z Energy are good examples of New Zealand companies that have clear and long term brand strategies intrinsically linked to their business strategies. They believe brand is a valuable and living asset, one that is shared and communicated throughout their respective organisations and delivered through innovative and world class customer experiences. By doing this they are ultimately delivering value back to the brand and to the shareholders.

“Whether the target market is a local or international one, our challenge to Kiwi companies is measure where your brand is now, determine your road map and strategically manage your brand journey – there is no reason why a New Zealand brand might not one day be represented as one of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands.”

Huawei (#94), the Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider, also makes Best Global Brands history as the first Chinese company to appear on Interbrand’s ranking. With 65 percent of its revenue coming from outside of China and with its earnings continuing to climb both domestically and across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Huawei is quickly becoming one of the largest telecommunications equipment makers in the world. The company is currently the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world—just behind Samsung and Apple. The Chinese brand is one of five new entrants to enter the Best Global Brands ranking this year—the others being DHL (#81), Land Rover (#91), FedEx (#92), and Hugo Boss (#97).

“Apple and Google’s meteoric rise to more than $100 billion is truly a testament to the power of brand building,” said Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer. “These leading brands have reached new pinnacles—in terms of both their growth and in the history of Best Global Brands—by creating experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”

Interbrand’s Best Global Brands methodology is ISO-certified, and analyses the many ways a brand benefits an organisation—from delivering on customer expectations to driving economic value.

When determining the top 100 most valuable brands each year, Interbrand examines three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value:

  1. The financial performance of the branded product and service
  2. The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice
  3. The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company

2014 Overview: Brands Moving from the Age of Experience to the Age of You

In addition to identifying the top 100 most valuable brands, this year’s Best Global Brands report also examines three pivotal ages in brand history that have reshaped business for the better: the Age of Identity, the Age of Value, and the Age of Experience. Interbrand contends that a new, emerging era is upon the global business world: the Age of You.

“As consumers and devices become more connected and integrated, the data being generated is creating value for consumers, for brands, and for the world at large,” said Frampton. “As a result, brands from all categories and sectors will get smarter – with products and devices working in concert with one another, across supply chains, and in tandem with our own individual data sets.

“Brands that seek to lead in the forthcoming Age of You will have to create truly personalised and curated experiences, or what we call Mecosystems, around each and every one of us. Such brands will have to rehumanise the data, uncover genuine insights, and deliver against individual wants, needs, and desires.”

Key Report Highlights 

2014 TOP RISERS: Facebook (#29, +86%), Audi (#45, +27%), Amazon (#15, +25%), Volkswagen (#31, +23%), and Nissan (#56, +23%)

Facebook (#29, +86%): The world’s largest social network, Facebook continues to exceed expectations. Reported on its Q2 earnings call, income from its operations was a staggering USD $1.4 billion. One year prior it was US$562 million. Facebook’s ad business on mobile phones has been particularly strong. For the first time in its history, the company reported that revenue from advertising on mobile phones exceeded half (53 percent) of all its advertising for the quarter. Facebook’s acquisitions of messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion and Oculus VR for $2 billion signal a new strategy unfolding. The company is building a vast product portfolio, brimming with competing services and apps.

Audi (#45, +27%): Audi is the top-rising automotive brand in this year’s Best Global Brands report. It was a record-breaking year for the brand, having sold the greatest amount of cars in its history, and having achieved an operating profit of more than $6 billion. The company also awed audiences at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada with its A7 self-driving car. Audi also plans to introduce 17 new or revamped models this year and will move forward with the production of an electric version of the R8 sports car in a push to gain momentum on rival BMW (#11). The company also plans to invest more than $30 billion through 2018 in new products, technology, and production sites. Earlier this year, it also announced a partnership with Google, which will allow Audi drivers and passengers to use an Android-powered entertainment and information system that will run on the car’s hardware.

Amazon (#15, +25%): It was another banner year for Amazon, “Earth’s most customer-centric company.” Amazon’s commitment to responsiveness has become part of the brand’s mythos. It continues to grow its core business through services such as Amazon Prime, which, at one point, garnered more than a million subscribers in a single week. Expansions on previously popular product lines—the new Kindle Paperwhite and Fire Phone—brought more customers into the Amazon ecosystem, while a content licensing agreement with HBO helped it to make a bigger push into the entertainment sector.

Volkswagen (#31, +23%): Volkswagen, Europe’s leading automaker and one of this year’s top-rising Best Global Brands, is striving to become the world’s leading automaker by 2018. Its latest model, the XL Sport, recently debuted at the Paris Motor Show and served as yet another symbol of the innovative power, passion, and technical competence of the Volkswagen brand. Beyond its manufacturing and design capabilities, Volkswagen’s “Think Blue” concept continues to prove that ecological sustainability remains a top corporate objective.

Nissan (#56, +23%): Nissan continues to drive up the Best Global Brands ranking with improved financial and brand performance. Nissan’s leadership consistently pushes brand building as a major priority across the organization, clearly identifying the link between a strong brand and market share. Nissan’s recent car launches—Qashqai, Murano, and Rogue—have demonstrated how its “Innovation and Excitement for EVERYONE” brand positioning is shaping its product lineup.

2014 NEW ENTRANTS: DHL (#81), Land Rover (#91), FedEx (#92), Huawei (#94), and Hugo Boss (#97) 

DHL (#81): The burgeoning e-commerce market has opened a sea of opportunity for delivery and logistics companies. As international online shopping continues to grow—and is poised to grow 200 percent in the next five years—brands like DHL and FedEx have made strides in bolstering their e-commerce capabilities. The most valuable brand of the new entrants to this year’s Best Global Brands ranking, DHL announced recently announced a five-year strategy plan aimed at tapping emerging markets to grow its global market share. As part of its plan, its MAIL division will be renamed Post – eCommerce – Parcel to better reflect its character under the new strategy.

FedEx (#92): FedEx is also realigning its business to make the most of the booming e-commerce sector. Earlier this year, the company launched a new service designed to make it easier for customers to control when and where packages are delivered. The service is called FedEx Delivery Manager and is available through multiple digital platforms, including a free mobile app. Customers can request alerts via email, SMS text, or phone. FedEx has also developed a host of Web-based services to help brick-and-mortar retailers boost their online sales. Retailers can easily integrate FedEx’s Web Services platform into their own Web systems—allowing them to track shipment information. With FedEx’s Web Integration Wizard, its customers can track the shipments directly via the retailer’s home site.

Land Rover (#91): British carmaker Land Rover continues to refine its product lineup with fresh styling, high-tech platforms, and downsized engines. Since being acquired by Indian automobile company Tata Motors in 2008, Land Rover has witnessed double-digit growth each consecutive year. This past year, Land Rover’s unit sales rose 15 percent year-over-year to nearly 350,000.

Huawei (#94): As mentioned previously, Huawei is both a new entrant and the first Chinese brand to ever appear on the Best Global Brands ranking. In 2013, the Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider reported a net profit increase of 34.4 percent to CNY ¥21 billion (US$3.38 billion) up from CNY ¥15.6 billion in 2012. As companies, as well as entire industries, continue to shift from legacy storage and equipment to more agile products (cloud services, 3G routing, security solutions, etc.), Huawei is poised to dominate key areas of the IT market—from mobile phones to carrier-grade networks.

“Huawei’s rapid growth and long-term investments in its brand helped it earn a place among the world’s most valuable brands,” said Frampton. Despite its low brand awareness in the U.S., Huawei has gradually expanded its reach around the world. It continues to demonstrate its technological prowess in both its consumer products as well as in its enterprise solutions—and it remains well positioned to meet the needs of customers in both emerging and developed markets.”

Hugo Boss (#97): Hugo Boss, the German fashion house, was one of the strongest-performing apparel brands globally in the past year. The company saw revenue grow 10 percent in Europe, where it makes more than half its sales, while the Americas grew 7 percent, and Asia grew just 2 percent, largely due to China’s slowing economy. On the whole, Hugo Boss is moving away from selling through partners and starting to run its own stores, allowing it to have greater control over price points and the way the clothes are presented. This year, Hugo Boss celebrated its 20th anniversary with an exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London, a microsite, and a multichannel campaign. The microsite offered a look into the Saatchi Gallery exhibit by illustrating 20 iconic Hugo Boss items and 20 internationally acclaimed artists. Clicking on a product brought consumers directly to the e-commerce site where they could either purchase the product or find it in a store.

Detailed brand profiles, thought leadership articles, interactive charts, and interviews with brand leaders from around the world are available at

Click here to view Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands


About Interbrand

Interbrand is the world’s leading brand consultancy, with a network of 33 offices in 27 countries. Since it opened for business in 1974, it has changed the way the world sees branding: from just another word for “logo” to a business’ most valuable asset to business strategy brought to life. Publisher of the highly influential annual Best Global Brands ranking, Interbrand believes that brands have the power to change the world—and helps its clients achieve this goal every day. Interbrand’s combination of strategy, creativity, and technology delivers fresh ideas and insights, deep brand intelligence, clear business opportunities, and compelling brand experiences. Interbrand is part of the Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) network of agencies. For more information, please visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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