It’s becoming increasingly clear that we live in a world with two hugely dominant superpowers. America? China? No, I’m talking of course about whichever operating system you’ve got in your pocket, and the other one.*
Brand consultancy Interbrand today released its annual list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, and not only have Apple and their frenemies at Google taken the top two slots for the second year running, they’ve zoomed into the lead faster than a 4G film download, leaving everyone else to eat their gold dust.
Using a complex measure of the many ways a brand generates wonga for its owners (side note: no sign of Wonga on the list), Interbrand determined that both of the big two tech players were worth more than $100bn (£62bn) – far ahead of third-placed Coca-Cola, on $81.6bn.
They weren’t the only big tech winners: Samsung, Amazon and eBay all saw their brand value shoot up. Special mention, however, must go to Facebook, ranked at 29 in the list, which recorded a stonking 86% rise, to $14.4bn. Remember that time x years ago when you and all your friends threatened to finally quit Facebook in response to [annoying thing that Facebook did]? Yeah, it survived.
There was less drama in our industry. Broadly speaking fmcg’s biggest brands held their own. Coca-Cola’s figure represented a respectable 3% increase, while Pepsi – the Google to Coke’s Apple – was up 7%. The other brands in the top 50 that recorded modest increases were Pampers, Kellogg’s, Budweiser, Nescafé and L’Oreal – with honourable mentions to Danone and Nestlé, which just missed out, at 51 and 54 respectively.
Only Gillette, the second-highest ranking fmcg brand at number 18, experienced a brand value decline. Owner Procter & Gamble will be praying to the clean-shaven gods that we truly have passed peak beard – or else that it can encourage men to poke around with a razor who knows where.
Elsewhere, there’s plenty of life in those things people can’t get enough of: cars, luxury fashion, money and, of course, KFC (#68). But one brand really jumps off the page: Nintendo, ranked 100 of 100 and with a drastic brand value decline of 33%. It has “not remained relevant to the ‘smart world’ gamers who now demand edgier entertainment”, according to Interbrand.
It seems there’s little room in today’s world for those, like me, who like their video games to sit in that sweet spot between lining up rows of garishly coloured sweets and mowing down Islamic terrorists with a submachine gun. Nintendo’s games have brought so much joy and colour to my 27 years on earth, I do hope they find a way to turn around their struggling fortunes.
* This author has a Sony Xperia T – it’s the phone James Bond uses in Skyfall. I’m yet to sign up to the Church of the Infallible Jobs.