Subscribe to industry newsletters

How the world's top 500 brands stack up

The winners and losers in the global brand war have been announced in the Brand Finance Global 500 report dated February 2010 - Google is climbing, Microsoft slipping back and Coca-Cola extending its advantage over main rival Pepsi.
How the world's top 500 brands stack upPublished annually, the report describes the relative equity of the 500 top global brands, incorporating data from all listed companies globally. Each brand is accorded a brand rating: a benchmarking study of the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitor set as well as a brand value: a summary measure of the financial strength of the brand.

Key results

  • The Top 500 most valuable brands in the world have grown in value by 26% to US$2873bn.
  • The Enterprise Value of the top 500 brands has grown by 16% to US $18664bn.
  • Wal-Mart holds its position as the most valuable global brand
  • Santander and Apple make huge leaps in brand value

Top ten

Google, which has risen in the table from number five to number two, shares top ten status with other technology brands including IBM (4), Microsoft (5) and hp (9). Coca-Cola (3), GE, HSBC, Vodafone and Toyota complete the top ten.

Sliding down

Suffering most were non-essential sectors like airlines and retail. Of the top five airline brands, only Singapore Airlines, which came out top in that sector, climbed the table. The biggest airline 'fallers' were Japan Airlines, American Airlines and British Airways, down 181, 169 and 117 places respectively.

In the retail sector, the picture is grim. The only other retailers to climb in the top ten retail brands were Wal-Mart, owned ASDA, up from 107th to 80th; H&M, which rose from 146th to 93rd and Home Depot, which is up from 24th to 21st in the overall Global 500. McDonald's remains the second most valuable retail brand, despite slipping from 12th to 17th in the Global 500.

Tesco, which has aspirations of international expansion itself, is listed in the food sector rather than retail but saw its brand value rise by a significantly higher rate than Wal-Mart - up 26% to US$20.7bn; however, its brand value remains only half that of its American rival.

Iconic brands

Of the 'new' iconic brands, every executive's favourite accessory, Blackberry, appears in the Global 500 for the first time whilst Apple has climbed from 27th to 19th with a 45% increase in its brand value. Santander, the Spanish banking group, rises from 41st to 12th increasing in brand value by 136%.

"Many luxury brands have slipped but a small number of iconic luxury brands have done remarkably well for example Christian Dior and Porsche," explains David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance plc.

Let's do Biz