Our Top 3 Global Brands

We have previously mentioned that each year Interbrand conducts a survey to help identify the top global brands. The Top Global Brands survey offers insight into how these global organisations create and manage brand value. 2010’s top 30 is made up of some big household names including Toyota, BMW and Louis Vitton.

The top 30 featured many familiar faces but also threw up the odd surprise, however, an old favourite sat at the top of the pile, with Coca Cola shrugging off competition from powerhouse IT and technology brands to take top spot.

1. Coca Cola

Coca Cola’s accessible brand promise of fun, freedom, spirit and refreshment has allowed them to effectively take over the world. From the US to developing countries; you will always see the familiar face of the Coca Cola glass bottle.

Over the last few years Coca Cola has gained over 11 million fans on Facebook as well as 96,385 followers on Twitter. Coca Cola hasn’t always been in such a good position. On April 23, 1985, Coca-Cola, amid much publicity, attempted to change the formula of the drink with the idea of the “New Coke”. The company tried to move away from its existing unique selling point with negative results, the backlash led to the old formula being retained and the brand restored to its former glory.

When you think of Coca Cola, the word ‘health’ doesn’t really come to mind; however, Coca Cola want to change this. The global giant may face problems in the future from a growing health conscious society; however, Coca Cola are already formulating campaigns aggressively targeting new, fast developing markets, whilst promoting programs, such as ‘Healthy Active Living’, to reposition perception of their products. Like them or love them, you cannot fail but be impressed by the manner in which the marketers at Coca Cola continue to allow a fizzy drink manufacturer to dominate the global corporate landscape and translate their brand across numerous cultural, religious and economic boundaries.

At TLC Business, we believe that sometimes it’s best to stick with what your good at rather than change a great product. Yes Coca Cola isn’t the healthiest choice, but it seems to be the number one drink around world. Coca Cola has recognised that the growing health concerns of many consumers could be a huge barrier for the brand in the future, therefore, they are acting now to strengthen Coca Cola’s values for the impending shift in consumer behaviour. SMEs can learn from Coca Cola’s example. It is important to stay in touch with your client and target audience’s changing perceptions and opinions. By undertaking regular client surveys and research of your target market you will be ideally placed to stay relevant and competitive, pre-empting and responding to shifts in attitude amongst your target market.

11. Toyota

Toyota was a surprise entry in this year’s Top 30 global brands. 2008 saw Toyota scoop number one car manufacture of the year. However, since then, the reputation of Toyota has taken a beating over their much publicised product recalls in January 2010.

Toyota had previously established itself as a leader in reliability, safety and efficiency. The key values which helped them head off the competition in 2008, came back to haunt then in 2010.  The negative backlash associated with the massive safety recalls of its vehicles meant that credibility and sales naturally suffered.

But Toyota must have done something right to make it into the world’s top 30 brands, right?

In the wake of the product recalls, Toyota decided that the brand needed to get back on track and rebuild confidence amongst the general public. So how does a brand repair its image…Twitter?

Toyota adopted a branded channel on Tweetmeme, named ‘Toyota Conversations’, bringing together the top stories, news articles, press releases and videos from Toyota to engage with the public. This social media channel bypassed the media and allowed the brand to communicate directly with its consumers. This positive engagement overshadowed the media negativity and allowed Toyota to start rebuilding confidence in their damaged brand.

It is enlightening to see such a high profile company using twitter to repair its image after such negative media backlash. Toyota’s faith in utilising a relatively untested communication channel, social media, to rebuild its shattered reputation, illustrates the potential of new marketing methods, accessible to SMEs and corporates alike.

21. H&M

Technology brands continue to dominate within the top global brands.  Yes, Apple has had another great year after breaking yet more sales records; however, we thought we’d focus on the company that featured at 21st position, global retailer H&M, for our final comment. When thinking of the world’s top 30 brands, H&M doesn’t instantly come to mind; however, 2010 has been a great year for this Swedish retailer.

H&M mixes high fashion with low price points, delivering its consumers, celebrity and designer collaborations across its 2,000 stores in 37 different markets.

According to Interbrand: ‘H&M takes responsibility for the integrity of its operation chain, from employees to materials. Corporate citizenship investment includes a five-year collaboration with UNICEF, which protects children’s rights in a heavy cotton-producing area in India.’

In order to keep up with its fashion and image conscious consumer base, the retailer also engages with its different markets via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in order to drive traffic to its new e-commerce site and target consumers outside of its 2,000 global stores.

H&M provides the fashion conscious with fast, affordable fashion but also takes care of the people who start the whole process off, without them there would be no statement dress or must have accessory. This is a key value for H&M and a great statement to make within the much-criticised fashion industry.

These brands may make up the Top 30 Global Brands but that doesn’t mean your business can’t adopt some of their methods to achieve results within your target market.  Whether it’s the use of Twitter to gain positive coverage or a great USP, make sure you undertake the necessary research and planning prior to undertaking a campaign to ensure you get maximum results.

To download the full Top Global Brands report click here.

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