By Andrew Baxter

The growing importance of brands from emerging markets is one of several themes picked out by compilers of the 2010 BrandZ Top 100 ranking.

Seven of the 13 emerging-market brands on the list come from China, two each from Russia and Brazil, and one apiece from India and Mexico. New entrants include Baidu, the Chinese search engine, along with ICICI and Telcel from India and Mexico respectively.

ICICI, the big Indian financial services group, makes its debut in an impressive 45th place, with a brand value of $14.5bn.

Joanna Seddon, chief executive of Millward Brown Optimor, praises ICICI’s chairman, KV Kamath, for championing ATMs throughout India as a way of breaking down the country’s traditional hierarchical barriers – everyone has to wait in line, whether they are a cleaner or a bank executive. ICICI scores a high nine for brand momentum because of its potential in India and elsewhere – it already operates in 18 countries.

Just outside the Top 100, but included for the first time in the Technology Top 20, is Infosys Technologies, the big Indian IT group. Ms Seddon says it is an interesting brand because of its co-founder Nandan Nilekani and his espousal of the “flat world” concept – that is, servicing customers through outsourcing anywhere in the world (as popularised in the bestseller by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century).

Both Mr Kamath and Mr Nilekani feature in another theme identified by MBO – the chief executive as brand leader.

Many of the top 100 have been built – or revived – by leaders with brand vision. They include Carlos Slim of Telcel, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Lou Gerstner of IBM and Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, who returned to a day-to-day role as chief executive two years ago to revive the fortunes of the company he nurtured from infancy into a global brand.

Mr Schultz’s vision for Starbucks was all about making human connections, says Ms Seddon.

“He abdicated from running it and what did they do? They went into drive-throughs. Now, if you’ve got a brand that’s about human connections, maybe a drive-through doesn’t quite fit. They expanded very fast, and kind of lost the brand essence, and he’s come back again and the brand is doing better [its brand value rose 17 per cent in the latest Top 100].”

Peter Walshe, MBO’s global BrandZ director, says some of the visionaries are no longer chief executives but their successors are following the same vision as a unique aspect of those companies, with great success.

Examples of the successors include Sam Palmisano at IBM and Michael Geoghegan at HSBC, whose chairman, Stephen Green, is an ordained minister in the Church of England and author of Serving God, Serving Mammon.

Legal addiction – whether of the long-established variety (cigarettes) or modern (playing with mobile phones or BlackBerry) – is another theme picked out by the ranking’s compilers. Marlboro, ever present in the top 10, has seen its brand value grow at an average compound annual rate of 10 per cent over the past five years.

Overall, the latest Top 100 list “tells you that people in their stressful lives want to do something to relieve the stress, fiddling with their hands”, she says. “They are either smoking, or they’re twiddling on their BlackBerries, and we have an example: if you have a really stressful job, like president of the United States, you may feel the need to do both.”

In mobile phones, the world’s top 10 operators are all in the top 100 of the BrandZ rankings, says Ms Seddon, along with Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung, and a lot of this is down to the phenomenal growth of mobile applications or apps – “everything from Sudoku to Find a Mechanic to BrandZ”, she says.

Mr Walshe adds that two key things drive brands – trust, which is the historic brand value that has been built up, and current user recommendation. “What’s interesting about this category … is that the brands are particularly high in user recommendation. They’re not particularly driven by trust,” he says.

Some of the most valuable brands are underpinned by both trust and recommendation – another key finding from the rankings.

While IBM is driven hugely by trust and Apple by recommendation, research by MBO has shown that Pampers and Tide, two consumer/household products, are the top trusted and recommended brands (Tide has slipped out of the Top 100 because of the influx of oil companies).

Brands that are high on both criteria are either visionary or benefit from having built up a heritage, based on historic performance, says Mr Walshe. “And they are delivering it today, together with innovation, and keeping themselves relevant…particularly in recent times, as politicians and banks lose credibility, trusted brands become more and more valuable.”

The role of price, and the fact that the strongest and most valuable brands are more price-resistance, is a further important finding from research by MBO.

Because of the desire they create from consumers, they tend to command a healthy price premium, even in recessionary times, and the Top 100 brands get the balance right between pricing and the power of the brand.

Data from BrandZ show that only 7 per cent of consumers buy on price alone; under a third make a compromise between price and brand; and brand is an important influence for nearly nine out of 10, while more than half take little notice of price.

什么决定品牌命运?
英国《金融时报》 安德鲁•巴克斯特
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新兴市场品牌重要性的日益提升,是2010年Brandz全球品牌百强排行榜(BrandZ Top 100 ranking)编纂者挑选出的几大主题之一。

上榜的13个新兴市场品牌中,有7个来自中国,俄罗斯和巴西各有2个,印度和墨西哥则各占一席。新上榜的品牌包括中国搜索引擎百度(Baidu)、印度工业信贷投资银行(ICICI)和墨西哥的Telcel。

印度大型金融服务集团ICICI初次亮相就排到了第45位,令人印象深刻,其品牌价值总额高达145亿美元。

明略行(Millward Brown Optimor)首席执行官乔安娜•塞登(Joanna Seddon)称赞ICICI董事长卡马斯(KV Kamath)在印度各地推广ATM的行为,是打破该国传统等级壁垒的有益之举——无论是清洁工还是银行高管,每个人都必须派队等候。ICICI因为其在印度及其它地区的发展潜力,在品牌发展势头榜单上高居第9位。该行已在18个国家开展业务。

印度大型IT集团——印孚瑟斯技术公司(Infosys Technologies)刚好排在百强之外,但首次进入了科技20强品牌排行榜(Technology Top 20)。塞登表示,这个品牌很有趣,因为它的创始人之一是南丹•尼勒卡尼(Nandan Nilekani),而且尼勒卡尼非常推崇“世界是平的”这个概念——即通过在全球范围内进行外包,服务于客户(托马斯•弗里德曼(Thomas Friedman)的畅销书《世界是平的:21世纪简史》(The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century)就宣扬了这种观点)。

卡马斯与尼勒卡尼在明略行进行的另一个主题排行——品牌领袖首席执行官——中也占有一席之位。

在百强品牌中,许多品牌都是由拥有品牌愿景的领袖所缔造、或赋予它们第二次生命。这些领袖包括Telcel的卡洛斯•斯利姆(Carlos Slim)、苹果(Apple)的史蒂夫•乔布斯(Steve Jobs)、IBM的郭士纳(Lou Gerstner),以及星巴克(Starbucks)的霍华德•舒尔茨(Howard Schultz)。

舒尔茨两年前重新接过首席执行官的日常管理角色,以重振星巴克——这家他一手从初创阶段培育成全球性品牌的公司。

塞登表示,舒尔茨对于星巴克的愿景,归根结底是建立人与人之间的联系。

“他退出了日常管理,而其他人做了什么?他们开始寻求急速增长。而如今,如果你运营一个旨在建立人际联系的品牌,或许急速增长的战略并不适合。他们扩张得非常快,某种程度上丧失了品牌的神髓,然后,舒尔茨回来了,这个品牌做得更好了(在最新的百强排行榜中,它的品牌价值增长了17%)。”

明略行BrandZ全球总监彼得•沃尔什(Peter Walshe)表示,一些有着品牌愿景的人已不再担任首席执行官,但其继任者遵循了他们的愿景,将其作为公司独特的一面,并获得了巨大成功。

此类继任者的例子包括IBM的萨姆•帕米萨诺(Sam Palmisano)、汇丰(HSBC)的纪勤(Michael Geoghegan)。汇丰董事长斯蒂芬•葛霖(Stephen Green)现在是英国圣公会(Church of England)的受命教长,并撰写了《天国与财利:葛霖论金融市场》(Serving God, Serving Mammon)一书。

合法的癖好——不管是由来已久的传统喜好(香烟),还是更现代的喜好(玩手机或黑莓(BlackBerry))——是排行榜编纂者选择的另一主题。万宝路(Marlboro)向来位列前十,在过去五年内,它的品牌价值平均以10%的复合年率增长。

塞登表示,总的来说,最新百强排行榜“告诉你,在压力下生活的人们想做一些事情来释放压力,用手捣鼓点什么东西。他们要么吸烟,要么玩黑莓。举例来说:如果你的工作压力极大,比如担任美国总统,或许你会觉得这两个你都需要。”

塞登表示,在手机领域,全球前十大运营商均进入了BrandZ百强排行榜,另外还有苹果、黑莓与三星(Samsung)。这很大程度上归因于移动应用程序惊人的增长——“从数独游戏,到‘寻找一名技工'(Find a Mechanic),再到BrandZ,”塞登表示。

沃尔什补充表示,推动品牌增长有两个关键因素:一是信赖,即该品牌累计的历史价值,二是现有用户的推荐。“该类别比较有趣的一点是……推动品牌的主要是用户推荐,而非信赖,”他表示。

一些最具价值品牌同时获得了信赖与推荐——这是此次排行的另一个重大发现。

尽管IBM受到了消费者的极大信赖,苹果得到了很高的推荐,但明略行的研究显示,两大消费者/家庭品牌——帮宝适(Pampers)和汰渍(Tide)——位于信赖与推荐品牌排行榜之首(由于石油公司的大量涌入,汰渍被挤出了品牌价值百强榜)。

沃尔什表示,在上述两个标准方面排名均靠前的品牌,要么富有远见,要么受益于历史表现中累积的价值。“而且,他们如今仍在传递这种优质服务,同时还加入了创新,并维持自己价值……尤其是在最近时期,随着政客与银行失去信誉,受信任的品牌变得越来越有价值。”

价格的影响,以及最强大、最具价值品牌的价格更为抗跌的事实,是我们从明略行研究中得出的又一个重要发现。

由于它们引起了消费者的拥有欲望,它们往往会获得一个较好的价格溢价,即使是在衰退时期,前百强品牌也会定价与品牌力之间取得恰当的平衡。

BrandZ的数据显示,只有7%的消费者完全根据价格购物;不到三分之一的人,会在价格与品牌之间进行综合考虑;对于近90%的人而言,品牌是一个重要影响因素,而有逾半数的人几乎不怎么注意价格。

译者/何黎

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