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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Monday, October 22 2012 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

    Global CEO Jez Frampton spoke at the World Business Forum 2012 about Interbrand's 13th annual Best Global Brands report. Frampton explained that Interbrand studies the economic success of brands, the role brand plays in consumer purchase decisions and how far into the future will the brand impact customer loyalty and future sales. He notes of the brand ranking within the report, "The number itself is great, but more importantly it reminds companies of the importance of brands."

    The importance of internal brand engagement was stressed. "It's as much to do with what's going on in your company as outside," Frampton said. The key too, he explained, is in listening to customers and staying relevant. The Best Global Brands 2012 report is itself a reflection of what's going on in the world.

    Coca Cola, number one on the ranking, "always seems to be on the edge" of what's trending globally Frampton added. The historic rise of Apple on the list, questions about the company's future and the strong showing of technology bands as a whole reflect how much technology has become part of our lives. While the numbers for the report and valuations were completed months ago, Frampton noted that recent headlines declaring Google overtook Microsoft for the first time demonstrate that the Best Global Brands report is a solid future predictor.

    Ann Lewnes, SVP of Global Marketing for Adobe, and Andy Palmer, EVP at Nissan, joined Frampton on stage to discuss branding. Both Lewnes and Palmer agreed that the focus on internal brand engagement has become critical with an understanding that "the brand matters." Lewnes noted Adobe's ranking on the report motivates the team from the engineers to the marketers to ensure that products are developed with the brand story in mind. Palmer said that "where we are" on Best Global Brands functions at Nissan as a "sanity check."

    Listening is critical for brands today. Adobe, for example, showed technology that could de-blur photographs at a conference, and it was so well-received conversations about the new innovation went viral. While Adobe as a software company has the ability to create a product from idea to launch within months or a year, for an automotive company like Nissan, the process can take far longer. So how can the brand ensure it's incorporating listening to consumers, staying relevant and keeping the brand in its long-term product development goals?

    Palmer explained that marketers, PR and engineers are working together at Nissan to ensure that the story of the products and the products themselves connect long before launch, helping to ensure the process stays true to the brand. He noted Nissan's teams work together to analyze data, listen to trends and the marketplace, study the global picture and "demystify this thing called brand."

    Lewnes and Palmer each shared views of their brands into the future. Lewnes observed, "I actually think the world is getting smaller." With more and more people around the world seeking similar products and having shared consumer experiences, Lewnes noted they are finding that where once different locals needed different marketing campaigns, testing indicates the same campaign can now be used in the US and Japan, for example. Palmer added that Nissan is stepping up its focus on consistent tone in its messaging globally.

    Lewnes and Palmer also shared that going forward commitment to brand transparency and corporate social responsibility will play growing roles. "People want to know more about the companies they buy from," Lewnes commented. Palmer noted that within emerging markets such as India, where compared to the US's car ownership rate being about 800 in 1000 people, it's at about 50 in 1000. He noted we will "have to democratize the motor car again," yet the "planet simply can't" handle that level of increased Co2. So we will have to see the emergence of significant use of electric vehicles, fuel cells and other sustainable technologies.

    Ultimately, in as Frampton described it, "our highly social, networked world," it will be "responsiveness" that will drive brands' stories into the future.

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  • Posted by: Jeremy Sampson on Monday, October 8 2012 09:42 AM | Comments (0)

    Wealth CreationIt was not so long ago that corporate promotion was seen as something unnecessary and frivolous—a waste of money. But, as established markets mature, new markets grow and competition within industries grows fiercer by the day, corporations around the world are increasingly becoming aware of the enhanced value that corporate branding strategies can provide.

    In today’s global business environment, achieving a unique position and securing competitive advantage is not easy—which is why the corporate brand must be cultivated, communicated and strategically managed. While it’s also important to establish a brand identity for products and services, few global businesses can rise to the top purely on the virtues of the products and services they offer. Today, there are other requirements for increased sales, profits, and status with consumers—and, with the strongest brands always upping the ante, there are new expectations.

    What makes a corporate brand stand out?

    Brand LoyalistsIf you ask fervent brand loyalists why they love a product so much, they may talk about flavor, features and specs, but what they really love is the brand. Take Apple, for instance. In any given cycle, competing products on the market prove to be comparable or even superior in function, but not all of them have been widely adopted. Why? It’s the power of the corporate brand and everything it exudes and represents.

    A strong brand is about building and maintaining positive perceptions in the minds of customers. This takes time to establish and resources to maintain, but an effective corporate branding strategy can help a company implement a long-term vision, create unique positions in the market place, unlock leadership potential within the organization, and make the most of both tangible and non-tangible assets. The bottom line is: Products come and go; trends change, but a corporate brand, if properly built and managed well, will last a long, long time.

    Building a strong corporate brand

    Streamline

    Trying to adapt to different cultures, languages and the demands of different consumer segments feels, at times, like an impossible task, especially when competition is already high. That’s why it’s preferable to strengthen your corporate brand and let the people who resonate with what you stand for come to you, which will allow you to expand your product footprint. An established, well-known brand doesn’t have to work as hard to sell to a new market. If a corporate brand is strong, the desire for that company’s products and services will have already been seeded.

    As the global market consolidates, trademark and patent issues become more crucial, and it becomes easier to market internationally, the influence of the corporate brand will grow. Certainly, marketing a master brand worldwide is ultimately more cost effective than putting constant effort (and immense resources) into supporting myriad brands.

    Be compelling

    The only way to get people to make that all-important emotional attachment to your company is to give it a personality, values and qualities that people can’t help but admire. This personality will attract talent to your organization, build a dynamic culture, and influence the look and feel of products, packaging and store environments. It will guide and eventually permeate everything your company says or does. Defining your corporate brand in a compelling way—and living the essence of that brand—will touch people and build strong connections which lead to loyalty, word-of-mouth, and increased profits.

    Be strategic

    Innovative companies with strong brands like Google and Amazon have their sights set on the long-term, not the next quarter. Establishing a corporate brand requires a commitment to product consistency, a clear set of values and a long-term plan for marketing. Focusing on the future, while managing day-to-day operations, encourages an emphasis on quality and sustainability and drives the entire company toward a shared vision. Deep, thorough thinking about where you want your corporate brand to be 5, 10 or 20 years in the future will influence how the brand is managed. In order to make the best moves in the present to help your brand grow, evolve and succeed over time, you have to be strategic.

    Be consistent

    Consistent imagery and color schemes allow customers, partners and employees to immediately recognize products or a company’s presence as a sponsor at every touchpoint. An ever-present, well-coordinated visual identity maintains consistency between product lines, version changes and different markets. In a crowded marketplace, if consumers can recognize your brand’s unique look and characteristics and easily distinguish your company’s products from competing products, it’s a huge competitive advantage. Further, messaging that consistently conveys your company’s vision, values and personality is equally important and helps to build the emotional bond between consumers and the brand. When well-aligned and kept consistent over time, effective messaging and a strong visual identity leaves a lasting, positive impression on consumers, strengthens and enhances a company’s culture and builds a strong corporate brand.

    Be relevant

    Corporate branding allows marketing efforts to easily target the most appropriate segments for product offers. Distinguishing a company by lifestyle, geography and socio-economic factors, branding helps consumers select products that are most appropriate for their needs and fulfill their wants and desires. Corporate branding also supports pricing strategies for specific target markets. A value brand, for instance, may present a friendly, accessible image that appeals to everyday people who are more concerned with price and function than aspiration. A luxury brand, on the other hand, can justify a higher price point by presenting a refined, high-class image and aligning its products with a glamorous and desirable lifestyle. Know whom you’re targeting and shape your image and messaging accordingly.

    A recognizable, conventionally conceived logo and the classic array of marketing tools utilized in past decades are no longer enough to secure a competitive edge in today’s global marketplace. A compelling brand that projects an inspiring or relatable personality, interacts with consumers, maintains consistency and relevance over time and is strategically managed will rise above competitors—as the brands on our Best Global Brands report clearly demonstrate.

    Jeremy Sampson is Executive Chairman of Interbrand Sampson Group.

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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Wednesday, April 4 2012 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

    Watch Jez Frampton, Interbrand's Global CEO, speak on what makes a world-changing brand. In this master class, Jez shares real-world stories and discusses the building of world-leading brands, and the fundamentals of brand valuation that is the basis for Interbrand's annual Top 100 Best Global Brands ranking.

    This video was filmed before a live audience for the What's Next? television series that airs across Latin America. HSM Global, producers of the World Business Forum, airs this series on their ManagemenTV network.

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  • Posted by: Patrick Stal on Tuesday, October 25 2011 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

     

    Apple's brand has been on an unparalleled ascent for the last decade. In fact, it was the strongest riser on Interbrand’s 2011 Best Global Brands ranking.

    With so much value growth, and an unrivalled fan base among global consumers, I have been getting an increasing number of questions from journalists, brand leaders and acquaintances on what could possibly be next for the Apple brand.

    It's a good question. Ask yourself, what more could the Apple brand do for you? We know that iCloud is coming, and that the brand will have to face the challenge of re-translating its unrivalled physical product experience to a service offering, but what lies beyond iCloud? Looking for an answer in the personal electronics landscape has left many people guessing. Sure, the iPods, iPhones, MacBooks and iPads could get thinner, sleeker, and faster but after re-inventing the music industry, revolutionizing the mobile phone market, accelerating PC evolution and creating the tablet market, a future of evolution would certainly be the death of Apple as we know it.

    Apple has to find a new frontier, where its proposition of humanizing technology and thinking different can change another industry forever.

    Imagine what would happen if Apple were to enter an industry that is over 150 years old, boasts the highest proportion of truly global brands of any other sector, an industry that has created modern civilization as we know it today, and where all the existing brands have been practicing strategies of incremental innovation for the last decade? Add to that, an industry that has drastically changed customer priorities, introduced technology that is available but not widely accepted, and is now a global market controlled by approximately 10 global behemoths for the last decade?

    Yes, imagine if Apple entered the automotive market with a revolutionary product that breaks the boundaries of current electronic mobility standards and sets a new design language and user interface benchmark?

    This idea is not as far-fetched as it may initially sound. Apple claims to have the firm’s three most innovative products ever in its pipeline. These can hardly all be evolutions of the current products, and Apple has brand credibility that, if intelligently leveraged, can tie into some of the most important drivers for automotive customers: desirable design, enjoyable user experience, user interface, strong brand reputation, high re-sale value. Customers have long used their cars to express their personal tastes and preferences to the world around them, and we would be in complete denial if we would say that Apple products have not taken on a similar role in recent years.

    From a brand credibility perspective, breaking open a highly saturated market with an irresistible product that takes a leap none of the existing players are willing to take, sounds like a copy of what Apple did to the personal audio devices category and the music industry in general. Additionally, Apple's credibility in consumer electronics could give it unparalleled credibility in the electric vehicles segment if positioned correctly.

    Because the future of mobility has not been claimed by any of the existing automotive brands, it could (still) be Apple's for the taking. Imagine a vehicle that has unparalleled driver experience and comfort designed around the humans, not the machine. An electric vehicle that finally propels electric mobility to a new level. A new standard in urban and long-distance mobility that leaves old-automotive in the rearview mirror.

    Turn the question around: What other brand besides Apple do you think could credibly bring around such a revolution?

    While I am not a tech expert and will leave the philosophizing about possible product specifics to readers, one thing is clear to me: there could be a huge opportunity for Apple in the automotive industry if they set out to re-define the category and claim the future of mobility.

    Whether you think this idea is far fetched, or logical, I know I would not be surprised if I woke up to the news that Apple has bought Tesla to acquire the technology they might just miss to make all this happen.

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  • Posted by: Shirley Brady on Friday, October 14 2011 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Interbrand Sampson chairman Jeremy Sampson was interviewed by ABN (Africa Business News) about the 2011 Best Global Brands report, and discusses what makes Coca-Cola #1 again this year, among other topics. “Its geographic footprint is universal,” he comments. “They keep on doing new things to stay fresh and relevant.” As for Apple breaking into the top 10 this year, rising 58% in brand value, Sampson commented, “They seem to understand what we need and what we want, and they keep bringing out smart products.” Check out the video for his thoughts on Samsung, Nokia and what makes a best global brand in these times.

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