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TRY YOUR HAND IN TEST OF BRANDS

Please, kind consumer, would you please allow me the chance to regain your trust? That, in a nutshell, is what many well-known global companies must say, and do, in order to rebuild the diminished trust and value their corporate brands suffered in the past year. So say the results of the 2009 Best Global Brands ranking, an annual assessment by Interbrand, a firm that creates and manages brand value for many corporations. Brand does have a value. The No. 1 global brand in this year's survey, Coca-Cola, is valued at nearly $69 billion, up 3 percent from 2008. Overall, amid a terrible recession this past year, the combined value of the top 100 brands fell to $1.15 trillion, down 4.6 percent. And what former big brands are nowhere to be found on this year's top 100 list? GM, Nissan, LG and Merrill Lynch, among others. Can you guess which five company brands gained the most value in the past year, and which five are among the bigger losers? Match the corporate logo with the gain or loss in value and brief description. Answers are below.

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Gain/Loss in Brand Value

A. Up 12 percentNobody blends design and tech better. No company depends more on its CEO. Rank: 20.

B. Down 49 percent.Former powerhouse now buoyed by $45 billion in TARP funds. Did it really never sleep? Rank: 36.

C. Up 14 percent. Low price for latest fashion trends, quicker than most in getting to market. Ole! Rank: 50.

D. Up 22 percent.Challenging the need for conventional retail stores to sell big. Kindle, anyone? Rank: 43.

E. Down 43 percent. A credit crunch dried up demand. Now hoping its own "hog" museum will rev up sales. Rank: 73.

F. Down 16 percent.Closings galore, hammered by McDonald's. Needs a shot of its own caffeine. Rank: 90.

G. Up 25 percent. Innovative reputation, with new products like Chrome and Android. Rank: 7.

H. Down 50 percent. Lousy performance, weak ethics, now trying to make nice with the IRS. Rank: 72.

I. Up 11 percent.It's not Ikea, but this Swedish powerhouse in youth market opens its first Florida presence in Orlando soon. Rank: 21.

J. Down 11 percent. Still powerful brand overseas but puffing hard against government disapproval here. Rank: 17.

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Brand

1. Harley Davidson

2. Zara

3. Marlboro

4. Amazon

5. UBS

6. H & M

7. Google

8. Citigroup

9. Starbucks

10. Apple

Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@sptimes.com.

Brand Answers: 1. E, 2. C, 3. J, 4. D, 5. H, 6. I, 7. G, 8. B, 9. F, 10. A

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