Branding promotes recognition & recognition builds consumer confidence. People want to buy from a brand they can identify with and trust
No matter who you are speaking to and perhaps wherever you are in the world, if you mutter the three words “Just do it” to someone there is a good chance their mind will immediately think of global brand Nike. It is of course not an accident that this is the case, Nike debuted the slogan back in 1988 & what followed was an explosion of sales. Over 30 years later in 2020 Nike had a global turnover in excess of $37 billion. “Finger licking good” by KFC, “Every little helps” by Tesco, branding is all around us and as a consumer we are absorbing it all the time, whether we like it or not.
What is the power of branding?
The true power of a branding is its ability to be able to influence people. Brands are created in order to make products recognisable to consumers within crowded marketplaces and to help companies promote their individuality and uniqueness. A good brand adds an enhanced value to a product due to its recognition among consumers. Names, logos, colours and tag lines are all used in order to promote a companies values and tap into the subconscious minds of a potential audience.
A good brand adds an enhanced value to a product due to its recognition among consumers
Let’s take the watch industry for example. In a world of smart phones and digital timekeeping the classic wristwatch is not on the list of necessities for the average adult, and yet in the UK a recent study revealed 86% of adults still own a watch.
What this shows is that relevancy is not always that which makes a customer want to purchase a product, rather they feel compelled to buy it because of its appeal and their individual desires. Swiss brand Rolex is one of the most reputable, recognisable watch brands in the world & is well known as a symbol of wealth and class. This association has been developed over many years and yet often the raw materials that go into the makeup of a Rolex are no different to other lesser known brands.
What Rolex did was lead the way in marketing innovation, attaching themselves to worldwide accomplishments such as summiting Mt Everest with Sherpa Tenzing & setting a land speed record with celebrity driver Sir Malcolm Campbell. This worlds fascination with explorers, celebrities and other famous individuals meant Rolex’s connection helped to propel them as a world-renowned brand. Fast forward to the modern day and this connection continues, with Rolex sponsoring the likes of Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi & Lebron James. Each of these a brand in their own right!
Universally, organisations understand that they need to brand themselves in order to build a successful business. Companies need to market their brand in order to create brand equity, which is the commercial value that derives from the consumers perception of the brand, rather than the actual value of the product itself. So, who are the heavy hitters of the branding world? Let’s take a look at the top 5 biggest brands in the world.
Apple – who else? No surprises here. Apple is by far the most valuable brand worldwide – worth around a whopping $320 billion. They employ 130,000 people & are one of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States. Staggeringly, Apple has just short of $192 billion sat in the bank for a rainy day, or rainy month, decade… you know what I mean! Apple spent around $5 billion on Apple Park, California. Pictured below.
When a 30-year-old Jeff Bezos launched Amazon from his garage in 1995 no one could have imagined the success that would have followed. Fast forward a quarter of a decade and Amazon is now said to be worth $201 billion & showing no signs of slowing down, growing a massive 60% in 2020. There are currently 41 subsidiary brands that are owned by Amazon, unless they have bought someone since we wrote this article which is very likely. The sheer size of Amazon results in a global workforce of over 1.2 million people, that is a very large wage bill. “Alexa” what is the third largest brand in the world?
Just tipping number 4 to the third spot by a modest $1 billion. Like Amazon, Microsoft also recorded gigantic growth in 2020 of around 50%. Microsoft is best known for developing, manufacturing, licensing, supporting, and selling computer software, consumer electronics, PCs, and related services. Co-founder Bill Gates hasn’t done bad from Microsoft’s success either, formerly the richest man in the world, he currently has an estimated net worth around $129 billion.
If you are searching the worldwide web for an answer, chances are you asked google the question. With a market share of 90% worldwide when it comes to search engines, it’s no surprise google makes the top 5 list. In 2020 its net worth was valued at $165 billion. It could be a very different story though, back in 1997 Google offered their search engine system to Yahoo for £2 million, an offer that was politely declined. I wonder if they regret that decision?
Photo below by The Pancake of Heaven! – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77221979
Sneaking in to the top five with a brand value of around $62 billion is Samsung. Specialising in consumer and industry electronics, Samsung is one of the most recognisable names in the technology sector. Equating for around 20% of South Korea’s total export is no mean feat and worldwide at the end of 2020 17 out of every 100 smartphone sold was a Samsung.
Of course, different brands appeal to different types of people. You may be reading this list and saying, “Hey! Where is [insert your favourite brand here]!?”. Who did we miss off the list? Let us know.