Global brands – powerhouses

Leo van Sister

Global branding seems to be the holy grail for every brand marketer. With their need for long-term, large-volume investments, ongoing innovation and consistency, global brands' brand strategies have to be rock solid. Their cash values are tremendous. Many global brand owners have long-standing reputations and budgets that put the GNPs of small nations to shame. Yet the rise of the internet may be changing the rules of the game, offering opportunities for fast-track global branding. Just how solid are global brands' foundations?

According to Interbrand, the top ten Global Brands in 2006 were Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Toyota, Disney, McDonald's and Mercedes. These brands alone represent a value of close to US$400 billion. With just two European and one Asian brand in the top ten, the Americans would appear to be the better marketers. The estimate for value is partly derived from the premium consumers are willing to pay over the years for the branded products over competitors or own-label.