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The true dimension of Spanish brands

The average age of the 30 Best Spanish Brands in this year’s report is almost 64. Banco Santander earns the title of the most veteran brands, with 160 years of history as of 2017. Only three brands have been in existence for less than a decade: Bankia, CaixaBank, and Gas Natural Fenosa. With this said, none of them would qualify as a completely new brand since inception, as each was the result of restructuring, mergers, or acquisitions of companies that already existed. It appears once again that “Spain is different,” this time in comparison to the Best Global Brands 2017 report, which affirmed the rising influence of the start-up mentality of the youngest global brands (Google, Amazon, and Facebook are all less than 20 years old), which are making their way towards the top of the ranking.

Much has been said about the advantage of being a brand born at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution that we are living, versus those built beforehand.  However, the various convergences and associations between each “type” of brand around the world reaffirm that they all need one another to grow. In Spain, we are fortunate to have a healthy network of brands and businesses that are firmly vested in the national economy, that have built their brands over multiple generations, and as such, have built deep relationships with a society that believes in what they have to offer them over their competitors.

But let’s not be mistaken: Spain has also created a new ecosystem of young, dynamic, and disruptive brands that without a doubt have an essential role in defining the future in the near and long term. This is why, for the first time, we’ve dedicated an important part of this report to these Brands to Watch.

No one can deny or avoid that the world is changing at an unprecedented speed, and just as evolution dictates, only those brands that adapt will grow and lead. The vertigo that these kinds of axioms can provoke should not cloud our vision, and indeed we see in the report that many of the Best Spanish Brands take up this challenge as an opportunity to seize without fear or doubts. These success stories speak for themselves:

  • Banco Santander continues to increase its brand value as the leading financial brand in the Eurozone, according to the Best Global Brands 2017 report.
  • El Corte Inglés is the leader among the major European retailers, ahead of brands like Marks & Spencer and John Lewis. At this moment globally, only the US giants surpass it.
  • BBVA has developed the best mobile banking app in the world, ahead of others in category from countries such as the US, UK, France, and China.
  • Zara is the leading global reference representative of the “democratization of fashion,” pioneering and establishing a new model for the sector.
  • Iberdrola, ahead of its competitors, assumed responsibility for clean energy in its international expansion, such that it has become one of the most important utilities brands in the world, and the leading producer of renewables in Europe. 

It would take an article twice this length to detail all the stories of growth through embracing and catalyzing change that these Spanish brands reveal (but you can read these stories and more in our full report). With this seventh bi-annual edition of Best Spanish Brands, Interbrand Madrid—together with the entire network—recognizes and applauds the enormous, brave work that these brands are undertaking, trailblazing the future on a global scale while staying true and maintaining their essence in their countries of origin.

These cases deserve even more merit when we take into account the economic crisis that Spain has endured and that these brands have survived, becoming even stronger in many cases, thanks to their endeavors to internationalize, development and execution of clear business strategies, and investment in and commitment to tech innovation, which is now part of their DNA.

In short, it’s time to examine with proper perspective the true dimension of Spanish brands, and realize what we’re achieving in the eyes of Europe and the world. As brand and business leaders, let’s continue to demonstrate that building a brand that listens to its customers and communities and works to meet and exceed their individual needs, is the most consistent, authentic strategy for businesses and organizations to thrive in the global economy.

Congratulations to all the Best Spanish Brands and the Brands to Watch, and to everyone who works to build them, inside out and outside in, day after day.

This article appears in its original Spanish on the Best Spanish Brands website. Read here

Contributors

Managing Director, Madrid