Google got the headlines in Millward Brown’s second global BRANDZ top 100 report with the news that it had dumped Microsoft off the top spot (Microsoft ended up in third place, also behind GE, which may also be a sign of the times). And of course the whole exercise is a masterpiece of the art of the best guess, despite interviewing squillions of consumers and combining this with financial analysis. But the trends identified in the survey are also worth noting.

  1. Several companies (BMW, L’Oreal, and Zara) prospered in the survey because of their ability to hit the right balance between being a global company and having a credible local presence in the larger emerging markets. Maybe not a coincidence that all three are European.
  2. Much brand extension in the technology space (Apple and Orange are identified). Not worth making a poor joke about fruit, but it maybe relevant that both have laboured to avoid positioning as “tech” companies.
  3. Active engagement with Corporate Social Responsibility benefited BP, Shell, and Toyota, according to the press release, although it’s actually their adaptation to emerging environmental markets that is mentioned. (Hard to comment further without understanding the methodology better).
  4. Fast food companies responded to consumers’ health cand well-being agenda. which disrupted their long-term growth – but one of the biggest gainers, Burger King, did so despite largely positioning itself against the trend.

The press release has a little more detail; the full report and Top 100 ranking can be downloaded from Millward Brown here.