Even sans Steve Jobs, consumers' emotional connection to his brand remains stronger than ever: Apple has gained six rungs in the ranks of Interbrand's 13th annual Best Global Brands report to take second place behind reigning champion Coca-Cola.
James Bickford, managing director for Interbrand NZ, says the future of brands is human.
“The 2012 Best Global Brands report shows us that the world’s best brands are playing to win on the digital frontier, engaging with brand humanity and recognising the new rules of corporate citizenship," he says.
“New Zealand needs to catch up with the new rules of corporate responsibility. The relationship between companies and their target audiences is less and less one of broadcast and image control, and increasingly about engagement and participation. The barrier between brands and consumers is increasingly transparent.
“The 'wisdom of the crowd' is applied to everything. Corporate responsibility trends will only accelerate in the years ahead: to interactivity, to consumer participation, to instantaneous reaction and real-time multi-platform dialogue between brands and their audiences."
Tech brands continued to perform well with four of the five top risers hailing from the sector (Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Oracle). In fact, five of this year’s Top 10 brands come from within the technology sector (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung, the latter of which became the global leader for smartphone shipments in 2011 ahead of Apple and Nokia).
Facebook also debuted on the Best Global Brands chart after making headlines as the third-largest IPO in US history (although its subsequent performance remains the elephant in the room). Other new entrants were Pampers, Prada, Kia, Ralph Lauren (which dropped out of the top 100 after 2009), and MasterCard.
Interbrand publishes its Best Global Brands report of the world’s 100 most valuable brands on an annual basis, which examines the three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value: the financial performance of the branded products or service; the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice; and the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.
“As global competition increases and many competitive advantages, like technology, become more short-lived, a brand’s contribution to shareholder value will only increase,” notes Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s global CEO. “The world’s 100 most valuable brands are leading the way by listening to consumers, employees, and investors alike and delivering a seamless and holistic brand experience across an ever-evolving range of touchpoints.”