It’s that time of year again – Interbrand’s survey of global brands; and for the first time the total value of the world’s top 100 brands fell – down 4.6% at $1.15 trillion. Big depressers included the major financial brands (not surprisingly), including UBS, Morgan Stanley, Amex and others. The motor industry too saw big falls in brand values.
The interesting thing for me is that we are looking at brands that stood for reliability and stability. It is as much about broken brand promises as about broken economies. I would suggest that people no longer trust promises – financial institutions are built upon pledges and assurances. Even that most emotional of purchases, the automobile represents a compact… an affirmation (even the value of Audi VW’s brand slumped). The locus of trusted brands has shifted. It is not surprising then that brands that deliver by instant gratification, retail and food for example held up well, including McDonald’s and Coca Cola.
Perhaps this also explains why the other big trend beater, Google, did so well. It is right there in front of you on the screen: what you see is what you get; it delivers.