2014 BrandZ Top 100 marks 12% brand value increase across all the categories

The 2014 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand ranking reveals brands that managed to reach big in the past year. The 9th consecutive annual study completed by Millward Brown proves that the recession is officially over: the brand value of the world’s most important brands has increased by 12 percent to $2.9 trillion versus last year’s 7 percent improvement. Apparently, the global economy is stepping into a new positive stage of development.

Compared to 2013, Apple has swapped places with Google, in the very top of the chart—the iOS giant has had a 20 percent decline, while the leader of the ranking Google has increased 40%. Now, the top 10 includes Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa, AT&T, Malboro, and Amazon.com, with the value ranging from $158,843 m (Google) to $64,255 m (Amazon). The three top risers in 2014’s report are Chinese social network Tencent (97%), Facebook (68%) and IKEA (61%). The total value of the Top 100 brands, now worth $2.9 trillion, has nearly doubled since 2006 (+49%), the year when the report debuted.

Pic: Top 20 brands of 2014 BrandZ Top 100

As to the categories, the report demonstrates that all 14 categories were up, and 10 of them increased the value with double digits. While tech brands dominated in the top of the chart representing nearly a third of all brands, Apparel business apparently lead growth in overall with a 29% rise, followed by Cars (+17), Luxury and Technology (+16 each). The geography of the brands is quite diverse. Brand value of two thirds of brands originates in North America, all of top 10 brands are from the USA, still European brands increased 19 percent brand value in the past year, outperforming any other region, and brands from other regions like China, Russia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also getting strong.

The new brands on the list include Twitter, PayPal, Ford and LinkedIn among others. The team behind the report also measured brand contribution of the labels—this metric quantifies the strength of a brand exclusively, without any financial or other component. This impact was indicated with an index of 1 to 5—top performers here are Aguilla, Gucci, Hermes, Pampers, Chanel, Cocoa-Cola and Audi.

The report also reveals 13 cross-category trends that are now influencing the growing value of brands. These are:

Trust—brands are to keep their promises;
Share of life—to be present in more ways in a consumer’s life, making it simpler and easier;
Seamlessness—to make transition between physical and digital;
Personalization—celebration of a consumer’s uniqueness;
Customization—to enable consumers unleash their self-expression
Authenticity—selling goods in the regions where they originate from;
Convenience—to make shopping truly convenient;
Multi-functionality—adding extra benefit;
Healthiness—responding to consumer concern with health;
Localization—adjusting to local tastes and sourcing local ingredients;
Technology—adding a tech twist to just everything;
Payment options—diversity of payment methods, shifting to pay-as-you-use model;
Male shoppers—turning to male consumers in each of the categories.

The team behind the report has also revealed 10 “take aways”, insights for growing brand value. These include “standing for a purpose beyond profit,” “being meaningfully different,” “being agile,” and more.

For a detailed analysis, comments from experts and a deeper insight into the categories, markets (international and regional) and recourses, read the 72-page report here.