Friday, December 15, 2017
Business

As Florida grows, it still lacks corporate brands with global clout

It's tough for Florida to be viewed as a global business player when corporate brands in the state cannot compete on the world stage.

Now that Florida will soon trail only Texas and California in population, does the state's business community boast any corporate brand valuable enough to rank among the world's 500 most powerful brands?

Nope. Nada. Zilch.

So says the recently released Brand Finance Global 500. The annual ranking by the consulting firm Brand Finance named Apple for the third year in a row as the world's most valuable brand, worth more than $104 billion. It's followed by South Korea's fast-rising Samsung at No. 2, with a brand worth about $79 billion.

The other corporate brands in the top 10 are all U.S. names, from Google and Microsoft to Verizon, GE, AT&T, Amazon, Wal-Mart and IBM.

Falling out of the top 10 this year is Coca-Cola.

Florida could be considered the Rodney Dangerfield of corporate brands for the lack of respect a large state gets when none of its homegrown corporations have global brand recognition. Even the recent headquarters relocation of car rental giant Hertz did not earn Florida a place on the Global 500.

Drop below the top 500 global brands and just two Florida company names appear. Ranking U.S. company brands only, Lakeland's Publix emerges at No. 249 with a brand value of just over $5 billion. And in Jacksonville, railroad giant CSX appears at No. 480 with a brand value just over $3 billion.

The closest Florida comes to global branding of any kind is Orlando's concentration of major theme parks. And perhaps Florida's beaches.

That's it. Slim pickings in the overall brand race for a state with 19 million people and high aspirations.

• • •

The environmental disaster in North Carolina caused by Duke Energy's coal-ash spill in the Dan River last month is raising a new controversy.

Who will get stuck with the big bill to pay for cleaning up the rest of Duke Energy's vast waste lagoons of coal ash across the state?

Duke says the company and its shareholders will pay for polluting the Dan River. But Duke has its eyes on another, familiar source of funds to tap for the estimated $1 billion required to fix its ongoing coal ash storage problems.

Customers.

According to the News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh, N.C., and the nearby Charlotte Observer, Duke CEO Lynn Good wants Duke to recover the cost by raising Carolina customer rates.

"Because that ash was created over decades for the generation of electricity, we do believe that ash-pond disposal costs are ultimately a part of our cost structure," thus chargeable to customers, she told the newspapers.

Critics counter Duke profited for decades by storing coal ash on the cheap, and now wants others to pay for the resulting mess.

CEO Good's clear preference is to broaden Duke ability to bill customers — not shareholders — for its future expansion plans.

Robert Trigaux can be reached at [email protected]abay.com.

Comments
St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

St. Petersburg’s Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement set to be complete in 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction since 2015, is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2019.The five-story, 137,100-square-foot building will house businessman and collector Rudy Ciccarello’s...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Obamacare enrollment ends today, but some can get an extension

Today is the day that open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act will close for most people. But those affected by the slew of hurricanes that pummelled Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and other states earlier this year can take advantage of a two-week ...
Published: 12/15/17
Taxpayer subsides of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

Taxpayer subsides of Tampa golf courses are on the rise as struggles continue

TAMPA — For the half of the year that Harry Nichols lives in Oldsmar, he plays 18 holes several times a month at Rocky Point Golf Course. On a good day, Nichols said he shoots close to par on the Dana Shores course. And if he’s really lucky, it’ll on...
Published: 12/15/17
Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

Florida’s $1.1 billion Hardest Hit Fund winding down after some hard knocks

In 2010, Florida was in the throes of an unprecedented housing crisis. One in every eight homes was in some stage of foreclosure.Today, the foreclosure rate is one in every 83. Because of that enormous drop, Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund will stop accep...
Published: 12/15/17
Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

Pack your bags: 107.3M Americans to set holiday traveling record

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel this holiday season.The American Automobile Association projects that 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and travel more than 50 miles by planes, trains, automobiles and other mod...
Published: 12/14/17
Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Local widowers say baby powder caused their wives’ cancer

Two Tampa area widowers whose wives died of ovarian cancer are suing Johnson & Johnson, joining nearly 5,000 other plaintiffs across the country who blame their illness on the daily use of the pharmaceutical company’s talcum powder.Bryan Isa’s wife, ...
Published: 12/14/17
Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

Jabil’s fiscal results top Wall Street expectations

ST. PETERSBURG — Jabil Circuit Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for both profits and revenue Thursday.The St. Petersburg-based contract electronics manufacturer — one of Tampa Bay’s biggest public companies — posted fiscal first-quarter earnings of...
Published: 12/14/17
Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Soccer store opens on Gunn Highway, just in time for the World Cup

Even though the United States Men’s soccer team didn’t qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, that hasn’t diminished local fans’ excitement about the upcoming international event.Ariel Martinez, owner of Best Buy Soccer and Lacrosse, has already receiv...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

Tampa chamber names first companies for minority business accelerator

TAMPA — Four firms in marketing, construction and secure cash logistics will be the first to go to through a new Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce program designed to help black- and Hispanic-owned companies grow their businesses through two years of...
Published: 12/14/17
FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

FCC votes down Obama-era ‘net neutrality’ rules

NEW YORK — The Federal Communications Commission has voted on party lines to undo sweeping Obama-era "net neutrality" rules that guaranteed equal access to internet.The agency’s Democratic commissioners dissented in the 3-2 vote Thursday.The FCC’s ne...
Published: 12/14/17