Technology dominates the latest BrandZ rankings from WPP’s Milward Brown. Quite apart from the investment that WPP itself has spent on measurement companies, it’s interesting to reflect on the valuations themselves and what they mean. Google is now number one. Eight of the top ten are US firms. The others are China Mobile (5th) and Nokia (9th). Twenty-eight of the top one hundred this year turn out to be technology brands.
I was interested to see if there was a correlation between the brands that had added most value (according the methodology of the survey) and the effective use of the internet by those brands. Not to prove that the internet is important – the fact that Google, the primary search stop on the internet, is itself the number one valued brand, proves that point already – but to see if there is a legitimate role for online communication in the awareness/consideration/action/loyalty quartiles on a nice chart. It’s still interesting to observe how much media investment goes into supporting brands that, online, doesn’t link particularly well (or at all) to that brand’s overall online experience.
There must be inefficiency here, and opportunity for brands to improve. Our own research and experience in the sector indicates that nearly every technology brand is researched online prior to purchase. It is a sector driven by innovation, and, increasingly, according to the report, by the brand experience itself. We’ve always said this, and whilst it’s nice to be proved right in a hugely costly survey, it is also common sense. Brands that provide strong, open participation platforms for consumers will reap the benefit.