Leading brand consultancy, Interbrand, named Apple, Google and Coca-Cola the three most valuable brands in its 2016 Best Global Brands report, with automotive and technology brands dominating the ranking—and Tesla and Dior entering the Top 100 brands. Now in its 17th year, the report reveals the Anatomy of Growth, and features an insider’s view of how great brands grow great businesses. The Berries interviewed Nancy Villanueva, Managing Director of Intebrand Spain, to get some insights on the 2016th edition of the report

BB: Can you elaborate on the new name you chose for this year’s report, Anatomy of Growth, and how it differs from last year’s name, Brands at the speed of life ?

NV: Every year our Best Global Brands report has an overarching theme and this year we are discussing and analyzing “The Anatomy of Growth” of our brands.

This year Top 100 are described as defining, fueling, and sustaining progress. They are not just charging ahead, they are defining what growth means for their brands and businesses, and finding the best solutions means diving in to reveal the Anatomy of Growth. Brands are the way people interact with and experience businesses. But, brands are complex because they are created by complex organizations, where it requires everyone and everything to work together in order to create—and live up to—people’s expectations. When brand leads the creation of an organization-wide experience, it can be used as a strategic and driving force that brings business strategy to life. The brand is the business. The business is the brand.

BB: In a nutshell, can you give us an idea about the methodology used to come up with 100 brands ranking ? What do you capitalize on for moving brands up and down in the index ?

NV: Interbrand’s brand valuation methodology is the first brand valuation method to become ISO certified. It is the valuation methodology we use for Interbrand’s annual report Best Global Brands, which analyzes how brands help grow businesses—from delivering on customer expectations to driving economic value.

The brand valuation is based on three key components that contribute to a brand’s cumulative value:

  • The financial performance of the branded products and services
  • The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice
  • The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

A video on our brand valuation and a full explanation of our methodology can be found on our website.

BB: What’s the brand category(ies) dominating the report and what does this say about the global brand management landscape ?

NV: With a combined 29 positions, automotive and technology brands dominate this year’s report. Retail is the Top Growing Sector, increasing 19 percent, followed by the sporting and luxury sectors—each experiencing a 10 percent increase.

BB: If we’re to choose between reputation, sales growth and ad spending. What would primarily move up the brand health in the rank?

NV: That is a tricky one as all three are intertwined. A solid brand reputation is indispensable to attract and retain customers, sales growth is one of the factors which illustrates the brand is performing well and investment in marketing, communication and branding (not only ad spending) is crucial to manage your brand on a daily basis and to grow your brand and your business.

BB: In the report’s top 10 brands, Apple and Google have set the bar too high that set them apart from the brands in the preceding positions. What do you think these companies have in common that helped them to be on top of the report?

NV: They are innovative and they stay ahead of consumers’ needs and expectations. In fact, they sometimes even create needs consumers didn’t initially even know they had and Apple and Google are already catering for. They also invest highly in marketing, communication and branding as they know how influential and relevant you can be by mastering your brand.

BB: Does a strategic branding decision, as rebranding, impacts the brand position in the report?

NV: Yes, strategic branding decisions are taking into account in the brand analysis carried out by Interbrand consultants when brands are being considered to be part of the top 100 and once defined as one of the top 100. Their strategic branding decisions are determinant in their brand position also.

BB: From your analysis to this year’s report, what does the best global brands have in common?

NV: In this year’s Best Global Brands we analyse the “hallmarks”, common characteristics best brands globally have. These are a clear strategy for growth, the blurring of traditional sectors, continue to borrow from the best and cohesiveness for customer centricity.

BB: What are the different KPIs that define the brand strength and hence the brand position in the report ?

NV: Within our brand valuation methodology, we study the brand’s strength. We believe brand Strength factors aren’t just KPIs, they’re powerful levers for brand and business growth. This is calculated by analyzing 6 brand external factors (Authenticity, Relevance, Differentiation, Consistency, Presence, Engagement) and 4 internal ones (Clarity, Commitment, Governance, Responsiveness).

BB: Based on the report, what’s your forecast for the upcoming year ? What are the new trends and what are the recommendations for brands to go up in the BGB report 2017?

NV: According to our most recent reports (The Age of You, Brands at the speed of life, The Anatomy of Growth) the most solid brands are those who most connect to clients, by anticipating their needs and expectations, listening to their requests and their feedback and personalizing their choices. Integrating technology to create seamless brand experiences will be key to those brands who still do not have digital experiences in place and differentiated branded content is king for everyone wanting to engage and bond with clients.

BB: How the Best Global Brands report helped Interbrand establish thought leadership and stand out from other branding agencies globally ?

NV: Best Global Brands is our most well-known report and it is one of the top 3 report most consulted by CEOs globally, together with Fortune-500 and Best Places to Work For. This is our 17th edition and it is still highly relevant. As opposed to other studies carried out by branding agencies globally, it is the only report and ranking which positions brands according to their brand value, with a unique methodology, recognized by ISO 10668.

Fore more information about the report, visit www.interbrand.com/best-brands