Major Japanese brands decline in value

01 February 2010

TOKYO: Most of the biggest global brands based in Japan declined in value last year, largely due to the impact of the recession on the automotive and electronics sectors.

According to the consultancy, the downturn has exerted a "major impact" on Japan, with 24 of the leading 30 brands headquartered in the country now worth less to their parent companies than they were in 2009.

More specifically, the cumulative value of this group contracted by 2% on an annual basis in the last 12 months, falling from $116.9 billion (€84.0bn; £72.4bn) to $114.6bn overall.

As only 16 of the top 30 assets in Interbrand's Best Global Brands 2009 report saw such a downgrade, the company also argued that Japan has been hit disproportionately hard by the crisis.

Despite this, the ten most valuable brands in the Asian nation remained unchanged from last year, with Toyota, the auto giant, in pole position, on $30.5bn, down 3% year-on-year.

Honda, one of its rivals, cemented its hold on second place, posting an uptick of 3%, to $18.1bn, having been one of the few carmakers displaying a relatively robust performance in recent times.

Sony, the consumer electronics firm, was in third, off by 4%, to $11.9bn, with Canon, the computer hardware specialist, in fourth, on an unchanged $10.5bn.

Nintendo, in fifth was the only other member of the top ten to see growth, improving by 1% to $9.2bn, with Panasonic, Lexus, Nissan, Toshiba and Sharp all recording decreases on this measure.

Among the other automakers in the list, Mazda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Yamaha all registered losses ranging in size from 4% to 12%.

Consumer electronics and IT operators found conditions similarly adverse, with Casio slipping by 10%, and Ricoh, Konica, Fujitsu and Epson all enduring slides in the mid-to-high single digits.

More positively, Asics, the sporting goods provider, enjoyed an expansion of 11%, to $664m, a positive trend attributed to its success in exploiting new trends in the marketplace.

"Benefiting from a worldwide marathon boom, the company developed a clear global brand strategy, implementing a global brand campaign and following the opening of its London flagship store with another in New York," Interbrand said in a statement.

Shimano, which makes cycling and fishing equipment, was also a new entrant into the list, with a value of $555m.

"The company has earned a coveted place in European markets by establishing a reputation in road racing, the very symbol of cycling culture," Interbrand argued.

Data sourced from Interbrand; additional content by Warc staff