Tech brands moving up global rank

Best performers in this year's Interbrand international index hail from IT sector, with Apple soaring 58 percent in brand value and HTC's entry into top 100 a first for a Taiwanese company.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

More IT companies including Apple and HTC are joining the ranks among the world's best performing brands, according to a report released Tuesday.

Interbrand's 2011 Best Global Brands report revealed that seven of the world's top 10 brands hailed from the technology sector, with Apple boasting the most meteoric rise--at 58 percent--in brand value compared to last year.

Industry bigwigs IBM, Microsoft, Google, Intel and Hewlett-Packard continued their run in the top 10, with Big Blue retaining its No. 2 spot since 2008, and Redmond a close contender at No. 3.

Beverage maker Coca-Cola topped the list for the 12th consecutive year, with a brand value of US$71.9 billion.

Interbrand determined the rankings based on a methodology that looks at three key aspects: financial performance of the company; role of the brand in consumers' decision-making process; and strength of the brand in securing earnings for the company moving forward.

In a statement, the brand consultancy said the IT sector was home to 4 of the 5 biggest risers in brand value globally. Besides Apple, which earned a top 10 slot for the first time at No. 8, Amazon.com, Google, and Samsung also boasted value improvements of between 20 percent and 32 percent.

Interbrand also singled out HTC for its entry into this year's ranking, noting that the Taiwanese mobile manufacturer had qualities that made it a brand to watch in the year ahead.

Stuart Green, Interbrand's Asia-Pacific CEO, noted that HTC's debut marked the first time a brand outside Japan or Korea was included in the top 100 and augured well for corporate names from the region.

"It demonstrates that brands from anywhere in Asia can compete on the world stage if they adopt a single-minded brand proposition, understand local market nuances, develop integrated brand management systems and deliver value where it matters most to customers--throughout the experience chain," Green said. "I have no doubt that in the years to come, more top Asian brands will break into Interbrand's global top 100."

Other tech firms falter
While the IT sector put up a strong showing, market players also recorded the steepest declines in brand value, the report showed. Finnish mobile maker Nokia was the top loser with a 15 percent year-on-year decline, experiencing a dip for the second year running. The company dropped from No. 8 position in 2010 to No. 14 this year.

Japanese consumer electronics vendors, Nintendo and Sony, also fell by 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Yahoo, which was reportedly putting itself up for sale, saw a drop of 11 percent.

In May this year, Apple was named the most valuable brand by Millward Brown Optimor, which said the company's brand value leaped 84 percent over 2010. Cupertino ended Google's four-year reign at the top, the research firm added.

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