There is something quite reassuring about about the CoreBrands annual survey naming Coca-Cola as the world' most powerful brand, with Hershey and Bayer in second and third place. Countless surveys,
which typically assign a value to a brand, list Apple, Google and Microsoft all vying for top spot. When Forbes
last listed its most valuable brands, Coca-Cola was the only non-tech brand to
make it into the top ten with the aforementioned big three dominating the top five.
So it's interesting to get another survey, from CoreBrands, which polls business decision makers
across the globe. Rather than concentrate on the perception of the world's tech giants within the media industry or simply putting a value on something as elusive as the worth of a brand, the
CoreBrands approach asks decision makers in a wide variety of industries. The result, for the past six years, has been that Coca-Cola comes out top alongside other non-tech brands, such as
Hershey and Bayer, that never get a look in on other surveys.
Interestingly, when Kantar looked at the most powerful brands, in terms of their ad spend, AT&T, Verizon and
Chevrolet make up the top three in the U.S. with Apple back in the twelfth spot. Under the same methodology of looking at ad spend in the UK, BSkyB, Tesco, Asda, Morrison's and BT make up the top
five list. Google is way back in 30th spot and Apple is nowhere to be seen in the top 100.
So those shiny reports that claim to be able to give a value to a brand are all well and
good. They always lead to stories about the rise of the tech giants and how Apple and Google have overtaken a raft of traditional household names. However, look at what really matters to adland and
you get the complete reverse. Look at the size of the cheques that companies write out each year, and the traditional household names everyone grew up will dominate the high-tech brands.
could be a double-edged sword, however. There's a certain element of "told you so" when companies like Coca-Cola, Hershey and Bayer top a list with Apple and Google absent. There's a certain
resumption of the natural balance which is put out of kilter by brand value league tables.
On the other hand, though, there could be a worrying message. What if these hi-tech brands
really are worth what it is claimed and so are rightly seen as the world's most powerful? Then when you look at the ad spend league tables and compare and contrast, a difficult question emerges.
If Apple and Google really are top of the pile, how did they do it without writing huge cheques to adland?