Which were the best global brands last year?

How do you succeed with global branding? Could you do it? Find out by watching this short video with Interbrand Global CEO Jez Frampton about the Best Global Brands 2013 and advice from experts:

The video speaks for itself and it comes as no surprise that Apple is considered the best global brand followed by Google and other leading companies that put the consumer in the driving seat.

The new rules of brand leadership

What does it take to lead a brand in today’s challenging global environment? Ann Glover, Allan Batey, Michael Zuna, Mark-Hans Richer, Tracy Yelensics, Jeff Hansen and Roel de Vries are in charge of branding top international companies. Do you agree with what they said in the video?

How to make people of all cultures buy your brand

Different cultures with contrasting values buy into Apple’s global branding. How is that possible? Simply because their branding is being done by professionals with global mindsets that can look at the world from an international perspective as opposed to a national one. Otherwise it would be essential to have a number of brands catering to customers in different cultures. Not an optimal choice in today’s global market.

Are you surprised that Apple is considered the best global brand? Do you agree that brands are the way we do business nowadays? Is branding how we stay ahead of our competition? Are traditional structures crumbling and the consumers’ voices carrying more weight than ever?  Have you got what it takes to develop a global brand? Did you ever work with global branding? If so, what’s your recipe for success? Or maybe you are of the opinion that branding is less important than the quality of your product or service?

Video: Interbrand – You Tube

24 thoughts on “Which were the best global brands last year?

  1. These companies are amazing in how they achieve this. They have the whole package.It is makes sense that the ones that are focused on the consumer as a whole (regardless of nationality and cultural differences) are leading the pack.
    My recent post Its ok to think about me

  2. I have to say I don't think anything fundamentally has changed. Although Jobs didn't do formal research he observed and found the consumer insights. This has always been the case, yet today people are writing that this is something new. When I worked for J&J in the 80s we did research and found the insights, changed things and grew global brands. Consumers have more say these days because of technology but as as I said the fundamentals have't changed

    Apple knows how to do branding correctly as every touch point, such as customer service and all elements, even the packaging reinforces the branding. The same goes for other successful companies such as the ones you mentioned like Ikea.

    My 2 cents Catarina.
    My recent post Do Your New Customers Have Selective Hearing?

    1. Good points, Susan. But what has changed with the internet is the importance of global branding. And keeping customers happy is even more essential as well. Angry consumers can cause more damage online than they could before.:-)

  3. It is so true that customers really do drive brand recognition as they invest in talking about the benefits of one brand versus another. No one from Apple is in a coffee shop making small talk about the upsides or downsides of the iPhone versus a Samsung product. It is the voice of the customer that drives the innovation which creates the dialogue of brands. Companies pay attention when people stop talking about their products from the small business, to the large international organization.

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!
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    1. Absolutely, Mark, consumers are in charge of a brand. So consumer service is essential. But when it comes to global brands global branding is also essential. And not to forget, having great products.

  4. Many people confuse brand with logo (I seem to recall you having an earlier post on this topic), whereas in reality a company's brand is everything that makes that company – products, service, attitude, employees, community/market perception, and so on. Traditional marketing forms a relatively small part of this whole. Successful companies are absolutely recognising this and branding for them is a key discussion in the C-Suite.

    I'm not surprised to see Apple leading this year – one only has to look at what has happened with the company in the past 5 years to understand how they have become such an integral part of the lives of so many people, and done so in a way that has grown a strong community of supporters and even evangelists.

    What the Internet is facilitating for branding is a far greater reach than ever before, and also a far more vociferous and immediate level of feedback – both being opportunities for companies to expand their brand and threats to the brand if they don't keep on top of what's being said about them. Brand management is truly a 24×7 activity today, and the companies that understand this will flourish.

  5. This is a mixed bag. A global perspective is needed for branding. Apple is where it is because they have great customer care and they have had the vision – in the past – to know what the customer wanted before they knew what they wanted themselves. Social media has changed this landscape and those who use it to their advantage will the successful ones.
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  6. Catarina I think the way we approach branding has to shift to reflect the new mosaic we all live in. Increasingly, in order to have a national focus on your brand you must have a strong international vision. My neighbours, colleagues and customers are not homogenous. I recently approached one of the professors of anthropology at a local university because I wanted to discuss branding in a multicultural context. I'll see where that takes me but I also think the top brands have a lot to teach.
    My recent post E-MAIL Versus Communications

    1. Glad we agree, Debra. Good points you make. The reason such huge companies succeeds with global branding is because a lot of people of different nationalities work on it. Global branding either has to be done like that or by a person with a global mind. If not it's national branding.

  7. It doesn't surprise me at all that Apple is #1. I've been a happy consumer of their products ever since the first iPod came out, though I have yet to make the switch to a Mac. Apple fills a need that surpasses cultural differences. Steve Jobs had the gift of insight into what people would covet and become attached to.
    My recent post Author Interview: Susan P. Cooper

  8. Catarina — for years Coca-Cola was the #1 brand. It just shows that technology now rules the world as Google follows Apple as the #2 brand. I don't know all the metrics that Interbrand uses to rank the companies but no doubt Apple filled a need (smart phones) that consumers didn't know they had. Steve Jobs famously didn't do market research because he said consumers didn't know what they wanted.
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    1. Maybe Jeannette. What Apple is exceptionally good at is taking care of their customers. Technology rules the world and so does branding. Noticed that two Swedish corportations were on the list of top 100 brands, IKEA and H&M. None of them are technology companies but they are good at global branding.

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