Woolworths is Australia’s most valuable brand, Lego is more powerful than Apple: Survey

Woolworths is Australia’s most valuable brand, Lego is more powerful than Apple: Survey

Chief executive officer of Lego, Joergen Vig Knudstorp, in front of a wall of Lego

The technology and telecommunications sectors dominate the world’s most valuable brands for 2015, with retailers and banks the most valuable in Australia, according to the Brand Finance Global 500 list for 2015.

As with last year, the US dominates the list of most valuable brands, with Apple once again claiming top spot from rivals Samsung, Google and Microsoft.

The report shows Apple’s brand value grew by 23% year-on-year and is now worth $128.3 billion, pulling away from South Korean conglomerate Samsung, which was worth a comparatively paltry $81.7 billion.

Seven Australian brands had a value in the top 500 along with BHP Billiton, which the report counted as a UK domiciled company.

Woolworths came in as Australia’s most valuable brand, with an estimated brand value of $8.964 billion. According to the list, Telstra is the second most valuable brand in the country, with an estimated value of $8.708 billion.

The four big Australian banks all feature in the list, as does Australia’s other supermarket giant Coles, with an estimated value of $5.828 billion.

Along with the list of most valuable brands, Brand Finance also publishes a list of the world’s 12 “strongest” brands based on the Brand Finance Brand Strength Index (BSI). This second measure takes into account factors such familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.

The 12 brands to achieve the top AAA+ ranking were Lego with a score of 93.4, followed by PwC (91.8), Red Bull (91.1), Unilever (90.1), McKinsey & Company (90.1), Burberry (89.7), Rolex (89.7), L’Oréal (89.7), Coca-Cola (89.6), Ferrari (89.6), Nike (89.6) and Disney (89.5).

Controversially, despite Apple being the world’s most valuable brand by quite a significant margin and significant brand recognition, it did not receive a AAA+ ranking.

Brand Finance said Lego’s “appeal spans generations; as well as the creative freedom it gives children, the brand appeals to the nostalgia of adults” as key reasons for the iconic toy maker’s high ranking.

“However, this year’s particularly strong performance is thanks to the Lego Movie. The film was both a critical and commercial success (it was the top grossing film of 2014 in the UK and Ireland), providing not just immediate revenue but also an unrivalled marketing tool. Amateur versions of the film’s stop-motion technique have proliferated online to the extent that Lego could be described as an artistic medium in its own right,” Brand Finance said.

Brand expert Michel Hogan told SmartCompany while these lists are an interesting curiosity, it is important for small business owners to focus on the key elements that make their brand valuable.

“Here’s the thing with these surveys – the algorithms they use to work them out is opaque. They tend to only look at publicly listed companies,” Hogan says.

“If you look at the top 20, there’s no surprise that car companies, fast food and tech dominate the list. It’s because they’re the companies that spend the most on marketing.”

Hogan says the real story in any survey such as this is in how you build a brand.

“A brand is not just built by size, and it’s not just about awareness. A brand is made up of a complex array of factors such as, internally, how staff feel about the brand, its products, its service, and how well those products make its customers of the things the brand values,” she says.

“So with a name like Apple, what it stands for is a very complex inter-relationship between its experience and design, and its relentless focus on those things is what makes its brand valuable.”

“If it stopped focusing on designs and making its products work seamlessly, you would find Apple’s brand value would dissipate very quickly.”

 

The world’s 10 most valuable brands:

 

2015 Rank

Brand name

Industry

Domicile

Brand value ($m) 2015

% YOY change

1

Apple

Technology

US

128,303

23%

2

Samsung

Conglomerate

South Korea

81,716

4%

3

Google

Technology

US

76,683

12%

4

Microsoft

Technology

US

67,060

7%

5

Verizon

Telecoms

US

59,843

12%

6

AT&T

Telecoms

US

58,820

30%

7

Amazon.com

Technology

US

56,124

24%

8

General Electric

Technology

US

48,019

-9%

9

China Mobile

Telecoms

China

47,916

50%

10

Walmart

Retail

US

46,737

4%

 

Australia’s most valuable brands:

 

2015 Rank

Brand name

Industry

Domicile

Value ($m) 2015

% YOY change

136

Woolworths

Retail

Australia

8,964

-17%

139

Telstra

Telecoms

Australia

8,708

5%

162

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Banks

Australia

7,520

37%

194

ANZ

Banks

Australia

6,664

12%

219

BHP Billiton

Mining

UK (Aus)

6,107

-7%

234

Coles

Retail

Australia

5,828

-8%

242

Westpac

Banks

Australia

5,673

16%

266

nab

Banks

Australia

5,139

3%

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