Apple, Coca-Cola successfully use mobile to drive brand value: study
By Chantal Tode
May 24, 2012
In a sign of the growing importance of mobile for large corporations' efforts to connect with consumers and drive sales, seven of the top 10 brands in a new ranking of the world’s most valuable brands are technology companies and telecommunications providers.
Following a year in which it lost it well-liked leader, Apple held onto its spot as the world’s most valuable brand in Millward Browns’ BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012 report with a value of $182.9 billion, up 19 percent. Overall, mobile played a key role in how companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Visa are driving growth.
“Technology companies and communication providers account for seven of the top 10 brands,” said Pierre Dupreele, senior vice president at Millward Brown Optimor, New York. “Their growth reflects the continued global adoption of technology, and in particular that ‘mobile’ is more important and more relevant than ever.
“Beyond telecoms, some of the most successful brands in the ranking – from Coca-Cola to Visa– have used mobile platforms and marketing strategies to ignite growth,” he said.
The future is mobile
Google, which has seen its cost-per-click rates drop recently, lost 3 percent of its brand value in the past year for a total of $107.8 billion, and dropped one spot on the list to third place.
Other notable changes in brand valuations include Facebook, which saw its brand value gain 74 percent for a total of $33.2 billion and jump ahead 16 spots to land in 19th place in terms of brand value. This was before the company’s recent initial public offering, which valued the company significantly higher.
Mobile is helping to drive Coca-Cola's brand value.
“The study reinforces the notion that the future is mobile, regardless of category,” Mr. Dupreele said.
“And while we saw consumers cut back in many areas during the recession, they continued to invest in mobile services and devices,” he said. “This was clear across all markets: U.S.-based Verizon entered the top 10; China Mobile is number 10 globally; and South African mobile company MTN at number 88 is Africa’s first brand to appear in the ranking.
“The democratization of technology is undeniable, and those brands that best leverage insights and empathy to meet the unique needs of emerging markets will thrive.”
iPhone boosts Verizon’s value
Telecommunications companies play a prominent role on the list, with AT&T, Verizon and China Mobile all making the top ten most valuable brands.
Overall, AT&T dropped one spot to eighth place and lost 1 percent of its brand value to $68.9 billion.
However, in the communications provider category, AT&T held onto the number one spot.
Overall, the communications providers sector declined by 7 percent, with all but three of the big companies in the category reporting a fall in value.
The biggest gains in the communications providers sector were made by Verizon, whose value gained 15 percent for a total of $49.2 billion.
Verizon's brand value increase was driven by it becoming the second carrier in the United States to offer Apple's iPhone. Verizon also formed a partnership with Vodafone to serve the needs of its multinational enterprise clients.
These moves helped propel Verizon ahead four spots to the number ninth spot on the overall list and placing it in second position in the communications provider sector, ahead of China Mobile in third place and Vodafone in fourth.
Japan's NTTDoCoMo reported a 3 percent rise in brand value, putting it in the number seven spot.
Samsung’s ranking jumps
The report also points to the jockeying for position that has been taking place among handset manufacturers.
Samsung’s brand value increased by 16 percent in the past year while it moved ahead 12 spots to land in the 55th spot on the list.
The brand is worth more than $14.1 billion thanks in part to the success of its Galaxy handsets.
In six out of the 21 markets where Millward Brown measures brands, Samsung is ahead of Apple and that number is expected to grow.
“Those companies that continue to innovate and keep pace with changes in the way people are consuming content will likely thrive,” Mr. Dupreele said. “As with any brand, those that credibly and successfully extend themselves into new categories – or even create new ones – will be the most successful.”
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