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Leading global brand consultancy, Interbrand, has again teamed up with BusinessWeek to publish their annual ranking of the Best Global Brands by brand value. Now in its sixth year, the Best Global Brands report identifies the top 100 global brands that have managed to create and sustain strong performance in today’s competitive market.

American brands occupy 7 of the top 10 ranks. Finland's Nokia is in 6th place, Japan's Toyota has a 7th ranking and Germany's Mercedes-Benz a 10th place. It is surprising that no airline makes the top 100 rankings. Singapore Airlines for example, is the world's second biggest airline by stock market value, at more than $10bn, ranking behind only Southwest Airlines of the United States. Ireland's Ryanair is one of the world's most profitable airlines.

"In the majority of cases, those who made the ranking are proactively managing their businesses through a brand lens. They have recognized that their brand should be the central organizing principle given the incredible value they represent," said Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand. "The need to measure and manage brand performance continues to be a critical priority for senior management as evidenced by the incredible interest shown in this ranking."

Brand values were determined using the method Interbrand pioneered nearly 20 years ago and has since used to value more than 4,000 brands. Brand value is calculated as the net present value of the earnings the brand is expected to generate and secure in the future for the time frame from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. To be considered the brands must have a minimum brand value of US$2.7 billion, achieve about one third of their earnings outside of their home country, have publicly available marketing and financial data, and have a wider public profile beyond their direct customer base.

The ranking has produced many insights this year, chief among them, the turnaround performance of certain brands and some dramatic declines. "The results from this year’s ranking clearly demonstrate if brand owners do no positively and proactively manage their brand, the market will do it for them, leaving them in a vulnerable situation", said Jeff Swystun, "Those who have turned around their performance or generally climbed in the ranking have employed specific strategies to leverage and grow the value of their brands."

2006 Best Global Brands Highlights

Turnaround Performances: After year over year decline from 2000 to 2004, Nokia (#6) has regained its leadership position in the mobile telecom industry with growth in both the high and low ends of the market. Nokia’s scale has always made it competitive in the rapidly growing low priced segment, but a resurgence in design and a concentration on desirable features has meant that Nokia is now able to maintain its average selling price and reinvigorate its brand image with the high end consumer.

Likewise, Motorola (#69) has historically struggled in the high end of the market…until the Razr. A hero product, it has in recent years helped the brand maintain its solid number two position in the category.

Top Gainers: The top gainer with a brand value increase of 46%, Google (#24) creates growth under with the strategy of "do no evil" positioning itself at the opposite end of the spectrum from the more corporate Microsoft. Overall growth of Internet commerce has perpetuated consumers’ acceptance of purchasing goods and services online enabling eBay (#47) to skyrocket in value up 18% and the third highest gainer this year.

In the second spot with a value increase of 20%, Starbucks (#91) has found financial success by leveraging the brand with a premium fast food and extending its product offering into music and publishing.

Top Decliners:  The growth of mass retailers has taken market share from traditional apparel brands such as Gap (#52). Losing the most brand value with a decline of -22%, Gap has been unable to clarify its brand image and with a less distinct positioning the brand has been less effective at selling clothing causing reduced long-term stability.

Ford (#30) continues to lose money on every car sold – and brand value year after year. Down -16% this year, Ford’s American heritage is an insufficient brand attribute to hold off growing competition from Japanese and German automakers.

Down -12% this year, Kodak (#70) has made valiant strides to catch up with the digital world, however the reality is that competition is fierce and profitability is thin compared to Kodak’s film business and thus the brand’s value continues to decline.

Business Week August 7th 2006 Issue on Brands

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Change in
 1  1 Coca-Cola U.S.  67,000  67,525 -1% Flagging appetite for soda has cut demand for Coke, but the beverage giant has a raft of new products in the pipeline that could reverse its recent slide.
 2  2 Microsoft U.S.  56,926  59,941 -5% Threats from Google and Apple haven't yet offset the power of its Windows and Office monopolies.
 3  3 IBM U.S.  56,201  53,376 5% Having off-loaded its low-profit PC business to Lenovo, IBM is marketing on the strategic level to corporate leaders.
 4  4 GE U.S.  48,907  46,996 4% The brand Edison built has extended its reach from ovens to credit cards, and the "Ecomagination" push is making GE look like a protector of the planet.
 5  5 Intel U.S.  32,319  35,588 -9% Profits and market share weren't the only things slammed by rival AMD. Intel's brand value tumbled 9%, as it loss business from high-profile customers.
 6  6 Nokia Finland  30,131  26,452 14% Fashionable designs and low-cost models for the developing world enabled the mobile phone maker to regain ground against competitors.
 7  9 Toyota Japan  27,941  24,837 12% Toyota is closing in on GM to become the world's biggest automaker. A slated 10% increase in U.S. sales this year will help even more.
 8  7 Disney U.S.  27,848  26,441 5% New CEO Robert Iger expanded the brand by buying animation hit-maker Pixar and beefing up digital distribution of TV shows through the Internet and iPods.
 9  8 McDonald’s U.S.  27,501  26,014 6% A new healthy-living marketing campaign—and the premium-priced sandwiches and salads that came with it—have led to a fourth year of sales gains.
 10  11 Mercedes-Benz Germany  21,795  20,006 9% The new S-Class sedan and M-Class SUV are helping repair a tarnished quality reputation. High costs and weak margins will take longer to fix.
 11  12 Citi U.S.  21,458  19,967 7% Already the biggest U.S. bank, Citigroup's quest to generate more revenues from world markets has it introducing its brand to new emerging markets.
 12  10 Marlboro U.S.  21,350  21,189 1% Marlboro remains firmly in the saddle, particularly outside the U.S., as it expands into developing markets.
 13  13 Hewlett-Packard U.S.  20,458  18,866 8% Under CEO Mark Hurd, HP is skipping glitzy image ads to push specific products. Improving profits and a 40% stock price increase haven't hurt.
 14  14 American Express U.S.  19,641  18,559 6% A preeminent financial-services brand among high-end customers, the company is recasting itself as hip to broaden its appeal to a younger set.
 15  16 BMW Germany  19,617  17,126 15% BMW continues to churn out hot models that buyers love to drive and Japanese automakers can't seem to replicate.
 16  15 Gillette U.S.  19,579  17,534 12% Gillette's new six-bladed Fusion razor met with ridicule when it was introduced. But with Fusion sales soaring, Gillette is still king.
 17  18 Louis Vuitton France  17,606  16,077 10% With a glitzy new flagship on the Champs Elys�es, the world's richest luxury brand celebrates yet another year of robust growth.
 18  17 Cisco U.S.  17,532  16,592 6% Cisco's decision to lead with its Linksys brand for consumers hasn't made the company a household name yet, but it's helping.
 19  19 Honda Japan  17,049  15,788 8% As gas prices rise, Honda's gas sippers are helping the Japanese carmaker gnaw into the Big Three's market share.
 20  20 Samsung S. Korea  16,169  14,956 8% Samsung is rolling out hot LCD TVs and ever more powerful memory chips. But it is missing in action with low-end handsets, hurting market share.
 21  25 Merrill Lynch U.S.  13,001  12,018 8% Merrill Lynch has made a dramatic transformation from a sleepy, stable brokerage to a lean and mean investment bank.
 22  23 Pepsi U.S.  12,690  12,399 2% It tapped a growing obsession with obesity by shifting marketing dollars to Diet Pepsi. Another boost? Rival Coke's move to copy Pepsi Max with Coke Zero.
 23  24 Nescafe Switzerland  12,507  12,241 2% Sales of instant coffee are piping hot in emerging markets, while flavored coffees and new products have boosted appeal in the U.S. and Europe.
 24  38 Google U.S.  12,376  8,461 46% Its recent inclusion as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary confirms what competitors feared: Google means search to an army of Web users.
 25  21 Dell U.S.  12,256  13,231 -7% The king of the inexpensive PC is trying to regain trust with a campaign to bolster customer service and technical support.
 26  28 Sony Japan  11,695  10,754 9% Sony CEO Howard Stringer has fixed the TV biz, but other electronics products are struggling. He's betting PlayStation 3 can help turn things around.    
 27  26 Budweiser U.S.  11,662  11,878 -2% A price war and changing tastes left the No.1 beer maker with a nasty hangover. The drop in profits for 2005 was its first in a decade.
 28  29 HSBC Britain  11,622  10,429 11% With retail, private, and investment banking operations in 76 countries, the world's local bank is fast becoming a major force in financial services.
 29  27 Oracle U.S.  11,459  10,887 5% Last year, Oracle bought another major software brand, Siebel Systems. This year it will have to sew it together and keep its customers happy.
 30  22 Ford U.S.  11,056  13,159 -16% The iconic auto brand has declined in every measure. Weak marketing, bad press, shallow product portfolio, and a bottomed-out U.S. stock price hurt value.
 31  30 Nike U.S.  10,897  10,114 8% Nike won in both the casual fashion and hard-core athletic markets with innovative new products, marketing, and partnerships.
 32  32 UPS U.S.  10,712  9,923 8% China-to-U.S. routes are paying off handsomely, while a big contract to consolidate shipments for Dell is providing a boost back at home.
 33  34 JPMorgan U.S.  10,205  9,455 8% Unlike other big banks selling money management units, JPMorgan is building a brand in the business, as merger integration efforts continue.
 34  36 SAP Germany  10,007  9,006 11% New software aimed at smaller businesses helped SAP extend its customer base beyond blue chips.
 35  35 Canon Japan  9,968  9,044 10% Digital cameras and copiers helped Canon become one of Japan's most profitable companies. New boss Tsuneji Uchida brings technological knowhow.
 36  33 Morgan Stanley U.S.  9,762  9,777 0% CEO John J. Mack is overhauling the firm, and its brand, to restore its former reputation as the top investment bank.
 37  37 Goldman Sachs U.S.  9,640  8,495 13% Goldman's repeated blockbuster trading results have made it Wall Street's most profitable money machine.
 38  31 Pfizer U.S.  9,591  9,981 -4% Sold its over-the-counter unit to focus on developing new prescription drugs—a smart move as powerhouse brands such as Lipitor face generic competition.
 39  41 Apple U.S.  9,130  7,985 14% Apple continues to be the style master with its expanded family of iPods and Mac PCs. Its latest hit: the MacBook line of laptops.
 40  39 Kellogg’s U.S.  8,776  8,306 6% The cereal maker is striking an effective balance between healthy products like Special K and sugary treats like Pop Tarts to attract both moms and kids.
 41  42 Ikea Sweden  8,763  7,817 12% Its affordable Scandinavian designs have helped the Swedish retailer become a household name from San Diego to Shanghai.
 42  44 UBS Switzerland  8,734  7,565 15% Melding private banking and investment banking continues to pay off big-time, especially in Europe and Asia.
 43  43 Novartis Switzerland  7,880  7,746 2% The Swiss pharmaceutical giant is expanding across everything from prescription drugs to generic medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics.
 44  45 Siemens Germany  7,828  7,507 4% New CEO Klaus Kleinfeld has disposed of poor-performing telecom units, allowing Siemens to focus on businesses such as medical equipment.
 45  46 Harley-Davidson U.S.  7,739  7,346 5% Still the king of the hogs. Growing sales to women augment the loyal customer base of baby boomers and hard-core bikers.
 46  49 Gucci Italy  7,158  6,619 8% Designer Frida Giannini still can't match predecessor Tom Ford's star power. But sales of apparel and leather accessories are growing nicely.
 47  55 eBay U.S.  6,755  5,701 18% Investors may not like increasing competition from the likes of Google, but TV ads keep boosting the online marketplace's brand appeal.
 48  53 Philips Netherlands  6,730  5,901 14% Buoyed by the success of its medical equipment and high-tech consumer gadgets, Philip's focus on cutting-edge, easy-to-use products is paying off.
 49  51 Accenture Bermuda  6,728  6,142 10% Bundling consulting and outsourcing gigs is helping Accenture stay fierce. Last year, sales grew by more than twice the rate of other tech-services firms.
 50  48 MTV U.S.  6,627  6,647 0% Now 25, MTV is pushing into broadband with the MTV Overdrive site, where it faces competition with MySpace and YouTube for teens' attention.
 51  50 Nintendo Japan  6,559  6,470 1% Nintendo is No.1 in portable video-game consoles, but the unconventional new Wii console machine due out this autumn could be a harder sell.  
 52  40 Gap U.S.  6,416  8,195 -22% Still searching for its fashion identity, the clothier's sales are fraying as it struggles to dress the twentysomething crowd for both work and weekend.
 53  52 L’Oreal France  6,392  6,005 6% This French cosmetics maker's finances are looking prettier, thanks to a rebound in sluggish European sales.
 54  47 Heinz U.S.  6,223  6,932 -10% Slimming its portfolio and adding products like Lea & Perrins hasn't been enough for Heinz to compete with retailers' in-house brands.
 55  58 Yahoo! U.S.  6,056  5,256 15% The company risks looking like an also-ran next to Google, but Yahoo is mining for hits in new areas like social networking and digital content.
 56  56 Volkswagen Germany  6,032  5,617 7% Maybe the most resilient brand in its industry. VW is solving its quality and financial issues, and customers are coming back.
 57  54 Xerox U.S.  5,918  5,705 4% Xerox' stable of color copiers is bringing in a good supply of cash, but it has yet to make its mark in the digital world.
 58  60 Colgate U.S.  5,633  5,186 9% Well into a four-year restructuring, Colgate now has something to smile about with new launches such as Luminous toothpaste finding strong demand.
 59  57 Wrigley’s U.S.  5,449  5,543 -2% With new players chewing away at market share, Wrigley's has been expanding into areas like candy and mints with brand extensions and acquisitions.
 60  61 KFC U.S.  5,350  5,112 5% Avian flu fears in early 2006 slowed KFC's growth in China, the chain's hottest market, but KFC sales are rebounding.
 61  65 Chanel France  5,156  4,778 8% Fresh-faced Keira Knightly is replacing bad-girl Kate Moss as the face of Coco Mademoiselle perfume.
 62  59 Avon U.S.  5,040  5,213 -3% Avon ladies have been struggling. Poor results in many markets, including Eastern Europe, forced CEO Andrea Jung to launch a restructuring this year.
 63  66 Nestle Switzerland  4,932  4,744 4% Best known for chocolate, Nestl� posts stronger growth from other products, such as Nestl� Aquarel bottled water.
 64  64 Kleenex U.S.  4,842  4,922 -2% A mature brand that's working to fend off commodity status. Emotional advertising is helping buoy its image against private labels.
 65  68 Amazon.com U.S.  4,707  4,248 11% Heavy spending on technology for digital media initiatives has depressed the stock, but free shipping and reliability keep customers happy.
 66  63 Pizza Hut U.S.  4,694  4,963 -5% Pizza Hut sales have been drooping as Americans turn increasingly to sandwiches and Mexican fare.
 67  67 Danone France  4,638  4,513 3% A growing global appetite for yogurt keeps the French food and beverage giant in good health.
 68  70 Caterpillar U.S.  4,580  4,085 12% Demand for Caterpillar's rugged machines and engines has never been stronger. Cat is on track to top $40 billion in sales this year.
 69  73 Motorola U.S.  4,569  3,877 18% New products like the RAZR and SLVR have been a hit, and a hip marketing campaign behind them is adding luster to the Moto brand.
 70  62 Kodak U.S.  4,406  4,979 -12% Kodak has defied skeptics by becoming a major player in digital photography and printing, but profits remain disappointing.
 71  71 adidas Germany  4,290  4,033 6% The World Cup was a bonanza for the sports-apparel maker. Securing the sponsorship helped keep archrival Nike at bay before the world's largest audience.
 72  72 Rolex Switzerland  4,237  3,906 8% Rolex remains the ultimate luxury brand worldwide, and with strong sales in China, its appeal continues to spread.
 73  77 Zara Spain  4,235  3,730 14% With its focus on high fashion at low prices, Europe's biggest clothing retailer is so popular that it's opening more than a store a day in 2006.
 74  79 Audi Germany  4,165  3,686 13% Eye-catching design, hot technology, and a new American-size SUV called the Q7 are transforming Audi into a serious global rival to BMW and Mercedes.
 75  84 Hyundai S. Korea  4,078  3,480 17% Fast shedding its image as a cheap automaker. In the latest J.D. Power quality survey of new car owners, Hyundai was No.3, behind Porsche and Lexus.
 76  75 BP Britain  4,010  3,802 5% Not even an Alaskan oil spill or an explosion at a Texas refinery has put a dent in BP's strong performance.
 77  78 Panasonic Japan  3,977  3,714 7% It's a force in flat-screen TVs, digital cameras, and chips but hasn't turned first-rate technology into better brand equity.
 78  74 Reuters Britain  3,961  3,866 2% The global news and financial information giant is moving into derivatives trading with a collaboration with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
 79  69 Kraft U.S.  3,943  4,238 -7% Fierce competition and rising commodity costs have dogged the U.S.'s largest foodmaker. Kraft's new CEO needs innovative new products to revive sales.
 80  76 Porsche Germany  3,927  3,777 4% ceo Wendelin Wiedeking extends his 10-year winning streak with perfect timing and precision execution on the Cayman.
 81  82 Hermes France  3,854  3,540 9% Best known for leather accessories and silk scarves, Hermes is riding high on the success of a new perfume, Un Jardin Sur le Nil.
 82  81 Tiffany & Co. U.S.  3,819  3,618 6% With sales sparkling in many markets, the retailer's focus on service and design has helped it battle a new set of discount online competitors.
 83  86 Hennessy France  3,576  3,201 12% As the brand gets a marketing assist from adoring hip hop artists in the U.S., the French cognac maker is pushing for growth in China and India.
 84  80 Duracell U.S.  3,576  3,679 -3% Duracell has been gaining share in the market for premium replaceable batteries, but will rechargeable batteries threaten the long-term outlook?
 85  87 ING Netherlands  3,474  3,177 9% ING continues its global expansion moving beyond its banking and insurance roots into the asset management business. 
 86  89 Cartier France  3,360  3,050 10% The popularity of Pasha timepieces and Caresse d'Orchid�es jewelry is putting a sparkle in Cartier sales.
 87  92 Moet & Chandon France  3,257  2,991 9% Global sales of Champagne are up 54% since 1990, and Moet's "Be Fabulous" campaign has cemented the brand in the center of the market.
 88  91 Johnson & Johnson U.S.  3,193  3,040 5% There's more than one way to grow, as J&J showed by paying $16.6 billion for Pfizer's consumer-products unit.
 89  90 Shell Britain  3,173  3,048 4% Despite pension problems and pipeline explosions, soaring oil prices fueled Shell to record 2005 profits of $23 billion.
 90  85 Nissan Japan  3,108  3,203 -3% Starved for new models, Nissan's sales have slipped. New launches, including a remodeled Altima, will be a timely boost for CEO Carlos Ghosn.
 91  99 Starbucks U.S.  3,099  2,576 20% Starbucks brings in customers with lifestyle marketing, pushing music, books, and lunch food to get them to stick around.
 92  NA  Lexus Japan  3,070  NA  NA Toyota's relatively young Lexus premium brand is No.1 in the U.S., but it's just getting started in Asia and Europe.
 93  88 Smirnoff Britain  3,032  3,097 -2% The vodka market continues to attract new entrants; Smirnoff needs to better define a sophisticated identity to stay ahead of the pack.
 94  97 LG S. Korea  3,010  2,645 14% This Korean electronics maker is emulating its crosstown rival, Samsung, boasting stylish handsets and digital TVs.
 95  94 Bulgari Italy  2,875  2,715 6% Italian jeweler Bulgari is powering growth with the help of a super-luxury hotel chain and customers like Madonna.
 96  93 Prada Italy  2,874  2,760 4% Anti-Establishment Italian fashionista Miuccia Prada keeps testing the frontiers of taste: Edgy clothing design, edgier store architecture.
 97  95 Armani Italy  2,783  2,677 4% Fashion icon Giorgio Armani proves his appeal extends beyond the closet, as he expands into everything from minimalist sofas to five-star resorts.
 98  NA  Burberry Britain  2,783  NA  NA Moving beyond its signature plaid, Burberry is beefing up its accessories line and expanding its retail profile in the U.S.
 99  98 Nivea Germany  2,692  2,576 4% In a bid to shed its austere image, the company is expanding into new products such as skin-firming lotion and men's eye cream.
 100  96 Levi’s U.S.  2,689  2,655 1% This iconic brand is fighting to stand out among such high-end names as Earnest Sewn and, at the mass level, discounters' private-label jeans.

Source: BusinessWeek


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