Coca-Cola, IBM and Microsoft are the most valuable brands in the world, according to a new report, suggesting that start-ups can learn from their branding tactics.
An annual survey by international brand consultancy Interbrand identifies Coca-Cola as the world’s most valuable brand, trumping tech giant Apple by seven spots.
Interbrand sources its figures directly from each brand’s financial reports. The study only includes companies that generate at least 30% of their revenue outside of their home country.
The report reveals Coke’s brand value rose 2% to $US71.8 billion in 2011, while IBM came in second with a brand value of $US69.9 billion.
Microsoft, Google and GE rounded out the top five, while Apple was in eight place with a brand value of $33.4 billion.
Damian Borchok, chief executive of Interbrand Australia and New Zealand, says the proximity of long-established brands at the top of the list shows the importance of generating long-term value for a brand.
“These are brands that have had many years of substance behind them. As a consequence, they do not react to the heat and volatility of the market,” he says.
While the list is dominated by big-name brands, several have impressive start-up journeys.
StartupSmart provides a rundown on some of the standouts:
13. Cisco, $25.3 billion
Based in California, Cisco Systems designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, and communications technology and services.
It was founded in 1984 by husband-and-wife team Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, along with Richard Troiano. The name “Cisco” was derived from the company’s birthplace, San Francisco.
As part of a massive rebranding effort in 2006, Cisco Systems adopted “Cisco” as its preferred name, designed to make the company a household brand for future consumer products.
20. Oracle, $17.2 billion
The Oracle Database, commonly referred to simply as Oracle, is an object-relational database management system, produced and marketed by Oracle Corporation.
In 1977, Larry Ellison and two of his former co-workers started consultancy firm Software Development Laboratories, which developed the original version of the Oracle software.
Oracle Database software comes in 63 languages, while Oracle Corporation provides database developers with tools and mechanisms for producing internationalised database applications, ensuring its status as a global company.
29. Budweiser, $12.1 billion
Budweiser is an American-style lager, available in more than 80 markets and introduced in 1876 by Adolphus Busch, who went into business with his father-in-law.
The Budweiser brand is heavily aligned with sport, namely motorsports and soccer. In 2010, the company launched Bud United, which initially centred around the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The brand also launched an online reality TV series called Bud House, which followed the lives of 32 international football fans living together in a house in South Africa.
52. Danone, $6.9 billion
Groupe Danone is a French food products corporation, claiming world leadership in fresh dairy products, namely yoghurt. The company also owns high-profile water brands including Evian.
The original company was founded in 1919 by Isaac Carasso, who opened a small factory in Barcelona that produced yoghurt. The first French factory was built 10 years later.
Among the company’s marketing efforts was an advertising campaign for fat-free yoghurt in Spain, using the slogan “cuerpo Danone”, which translates into “Danone body”.
It has since become a slang term for slender figures, ensuring the brand remains at the forefront of consumer’s minds.
65. Avon, $5.3 billion
Avon Products is a New York-based cosmetics, perfume and toy retailer, with markets in more than 140 countries. It was founded in 1886 by David McConnell.
Avon uses door-to-door salespeople and home-delivered brochures to promote its products, quite literally making it a household name.
In addition to its corporate pursuits, Avon is also involved in philanthropic causes. The Avon Foundation for Women is the largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy for women in the world.
85. 3M, $3.9 billion
3M Company is a Minnesota-based multinational conglomerate corporation, producing more than 55,000 products including dental and medical products, adhesives, abrasives and laminates.
It was founded in 1902 by Danley Budd, Henry Bryan, Hermon Cable, John Dwan and William McGonagle. 3M’s corporate image is built on its innovative and unique products, including Scotch Tape and Post-it Notes.
91. Heineken, $3.8 billion
Heineken is a Dutch beer, developed by the Heineken family in 1864 when Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought a brewery in the heart of Amsterdam.
The company’s foundations as a family business have contributed greatly to its homegrown appeal. Over the past 140 years, three generations of the Heineken family have built up the brand in Europe and around the world.
97. John Deere, $3.6 billion
Deere & Company, better known for its brand name John Deere, is the leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the world.
Based in Illinois, the company was founded in 1837 by John Deere, who opened a blacksmith shop in the tiny township of Grand Detour. The shop is now part of a historical site dedicated to John Deere.
The company’s products are easily recognisable by their distinct shade of green, accompanied by the yellow silhouette of a deer. The company’s slogan, “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, is an obvious yet clever pun.