Congratulations to Apple, the World’s most valuable brand. With the success of the iPhone 6 and the AppleWatch, Apple have remained at the number one spot. Doreen Wang, Millward Brown's Global Head of BrandZ, comments: “Apple continues to 'own' its category by innovating and leading the curve in a way that generates real benefits for consumers.” While there are many insights to be taken out of the research, three important factors which have driven brand value have been highlighted in the research.
The highest brand value rankings were achieved when a clear brand proposition and compelling advertising was present. Brands that managed to combine the two components saw a 168 percent increase in brand value over the last decade. However, if consumers did not perceive a brand to demonstrate great advertising, they can still grow brand value. In the last ten years, when a strong proposition is established, but advertising is not convincing, brand value rose 76 percent.
In increasingly crowded markets, brands must differentiate themselves and their products to continually engage consumers. The study shows that brands that ranked in the top 50 were scored the highest in the difference field (see figures right). Difference can help customers make a purchasing decision and justify paying a price premium. Although difference can increase value, brands must ensure that it still corresponds to brand proposition and make sure their message is still relevant to customers. According to Doreen, “Apple is clear on what it stands for, and never stops refreshing its message to sustain the difference that makes it so desirable.”
Trust is crucial in maintaining relationships with consumers and therefore impacts on brand value. With a difficult decade financially, many companies have had to rebuild trust and create meaningful, positive experiences to grow value again. Brands should be transparent and honest with customers and always deliver on their promise, creating a positive experience once is not enough. If brands are trusted they are more likely to experience higher brand power, commanding control in their industry and increasing brand value.