 Strong Brands Recover from Recession Faster

Analysis released today by Millward Brown Optimor reveals that the BrandZ Portfolio, created from the world's top 100 most valuable brands, is recovering faster than the S&P 500 as a whole.  The BrandZ Portfolio is now worth 28 percent more than the S&P 500, and it has returned to profit ahead of the market. 

The BrandZ Top 100 is based on the world's largest brand equity study. It is the only brand ranking that combines financial data with research among 1.5 million consumer and B2B customers in 30 countries.

According to Ben Dixon, Managing Director of Millward Brown Australia, increasing consumer confidence is set to deliver strong gains to Australian companies who continued to invest in their brand during the economic downturn.

“Just as the BrandZ Top 100 is outperforming its peers on a global scale, the Australian companies who have stayed true to their brand and continued to invest throughout the tough times will benefit most from increased consumer confidence.

“In Australia, Millward Brown has experienced a surge in demand for qualitative research over the past three months as brands cautiously increase their investment in new product development and creative executions and move from maintenance mode to competitive mode,” Mr Dixon commented.

On a global level, Joanna Seddon, CEO Millward Brown Optimor said: “The recession has provided fresh evidence of the tremendous value of brand assets. Over the past year, even when things were at their worst, the BrandZ portfolio outperformed the market.  Our new analysis reveals that as the stock market recovers, the share prices of companies who have invested in developing strong brands are recovering fastest.  Companies that continue to invest in their brands in a recession emerge with a sustainable competitive advantage.”


Editor’s Note: BrandZ portfolio graph follows (right click to save higher res file):

About the BrandZ Ranking

Developed for WPP’s operating companies by Millward Brown Optimor, the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking enters its fourth year in 2009.  It is unique because it takes into account the opinions of consumers and business-to-business users from over 20 countries each year.  This input comes from BrandZ, the world’s largest brand equity study.

The BrandZ study, commissioned by WPP and conducted annually by Millward Brown, measures the brand equity of thousands of global “consumer facing” and business-to-business brands, and has interviewed over 1 million consumers globally. Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining brand value because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning, and leadership. 

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is calculated using a methodology called, “Economic Use” which is emerging as the preferred way to calculate brand valuation.  This means that brand value is calculated by looking at the role that brand plays in the purchase decision and identifying what proportion of the business value can be attributed purely to the brand.  Besides inputs from the BrandZ study, the ranking uses financial data from Bloomberg and market and product data from Datamonitor. The ranking takes into account regional variations since even for truly global brands measures of brand contribution might differ substantially across countries.

The ranking provides the following: 

  • Brand Value — expressed in dollars
  • Brand Contribution — an indication of the brand’s effectiveness in driving business earnings.  This is expressed as an index from 1 to 10 (10 being high)
  • Brand Momentum — the index of expected short-term brand growth.  This expressed from 1 to 5 (5 being high)
  • Brand Value as a percentage of market cap — due to the dramatic fluctuations currently being experienced in the financial markets, we have chosen to express this calculation for the financial institutions and insurance categories instead of momentum

 The following tables are published: 

  • Top 100 Brands by Brand Value
  • Regional rankings (in terms of the country where the brand has its principle listing)
  • Category rankings: 
  1. Apparel
  2. Beer
  3. Bottled Water
  4. Cars
  5. Coffee
  6. Fast Food
  7. Financial Institutions
  8. Gaming
  9. Insurance

10. Luxury

11. Mobile Operators

12. Motor Fuel

13. Personal Care

14. Retail

15. Soft Drinks

16. Spirits

17. Technology


About Millward Brown

Millward Brown (www.millwardbrown.com) is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research.  Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services.  Millward Brown has more than 75 offices in 48 countries.  Additional practices include Millward Brown's Global Media Practice (media effectiveness unit), Millward Brown Optimor (focused on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments), Millward Brown Precis (PR measurement practice) and Dynamic Logic (the world leader in digital marketing effectiveness). Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.