The Age of You: How the Best Global Brands Are Creating Mecosystems

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The 2014 edition of the Interbrand Best Global Brands report is out and confirms the dominance of tech brands as Apple remains No. 1 and the world’s most valuable brand for a second straight year, followed by Google, with Coca-Cola at No. 3. 

It’s the first year that two brands are valued at more than $100 billion: Apple at $118.9 billion, up 21 percent from last year, and Google, at $107.4 billion, up 15 percent from last year.

“Apple and Google’s meteoric rise to more than USD $100 billion is truly a testament to the power of brand building,” stated Jez Frampton, Global CEO of Interbrand (brandchannel’s parent company).

“These leading brands have reached new pinnacles—in terms of both their growth and in the history of Best Global Brands—by creating experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”

It’s a theme that Interbrand calls “The Age of You.”[more]

The thread that ties the world’s most valuable brands is how they put the customer first, defining a new era in the global business world. “As consumers and devices become more connected and integrated, the data being generated is creating value for consumers, for brands, and for the world at large.”  

“As a result, brands from all categories and sectors will get smarter—with products and devices working in concert with one another, across supply chains, and in tandem with our own individual data sets,” he added, expanding on his essay in the report.

“Brands that seek to lead in the forthcoming Age of You will have to create truly personalized and curated experiences, or what we call ‘Mecosystems,’ around each and every one of us. Such brands will have to rehumanize the data, uncover genuine insights, and deliver against individual wants, needs, and desires.”

The evolution of brands is reflected in the four ages of branding: from the Age of Identity to the Age of Value, then from the Age of Experience to the Age of You.

As the report explains,

When ecosystems are fully integrated and sensors (on our bodies, in our homes, and in our devices) can talk to each other in new ways, supply chains will reorganize around individuals and ecosystems will become Mecosystems. Connecting businesses to people-and people to each other-brands will then serve as enablers of both business and personal value creation.

As digital technology continues to weave its way into every aspect of our lives—including health—and people’s relationship to brands evolves, it comes as no surprise that four of the top 10 brands on Interbrand’s new report are technology brands: including IBM (No. 4), Microsoft (No. 5) and Samsung (No. 7). 

Facebook climbed to No. 29 (from No. 52 in 2013) and “It’s still growing,” said Frampton, adding that “Twitter is starting to get closer to appearing on the table.” 

The rankings and valuations are determined by criteria including the role a brand plays in influencing consumers, a brand’s financial performance and its strength in commanding a premium price and making money. This year, in a first for the report’s methodology, Twitter provided exclusive social data that informed the brand strength scores.

“The ability for brands and people to interact in a public, social way has presented a tremendous opportunity for our data to determine the pulse of consumer perception about a brand,” stated Joel Lunenfeld, VP of Global Brand Strategy at Twitter. “For years, Interbrand has been the leading authority on brand value and perception, and we’re thrilled to be providing Twitter data to enhance Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands ranking.”

“We always tell our clients that big data is actually very personal—and that the future of business will be personal as a result,” added Frampton.

Visit the report microsite for more on this year’s Best Global Brands, and watch Frampton’s video below.

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