Wake up and good morning. The world's most valuable global brands are now out and ranked in the 2011 BrandZ Top 100 list by WPP advertising. No surprise, perhaps, Apple is the world's richest brand valued this year at $153 billion. Let's take a quick tour of some of the brands most relevant to Tampa Bay (no local firm has a global brand but there are big companies operating here that do). Some company brands are ascending and some are in decline. A sampler:
* Banking: Wells Fargo, which bought Wachovia and will unveil its new signs in Florida in mid June, enjoyed a 97 percent jump in brand value in the last year to just under $37 billion. It's the most valuable brand among U.S. banks in the world now, well above Citi and certainly higher than Bank of America whose brand value fell 43 percent in the past year to $9.4 billion. Here's something we better get used to. The world most valued banking brand is now ICBC. Who's that? A Chinese bank with more than 16,000 branches in its country.
* Telecommunications: For all the criticism heaped on AT&T, its brand remains easily more valuable than Verizon, just under $70 billion versus $43 billion.
Along with Apple, year-on-year standout performers for the 2011 BrandZ brand valuation report include Facebook, Amazon and Baidu. With a 246 percent rise in brand value to $19.1 billion, Facebook made the BrandZ Top 100 for the first time at No. 35. Amazon edged passed Walmart to become the No. 1 retail brand, with a 37 percent rise in brand value to $37.6 billion. Chinese search engine Baidu increased 141 percent in brand value to $22.6 billion, ranking it No. 29 in the Top 100, up from No. 75 a year ago. And Toyota rebounded to the No. 1 rank in cars.
Don't want to plow through the detailed, 53-page BrandZ report? Here's a short version from Fortune magazine.
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times