Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best Global Brands

I'm not a huge fan of the Interbrand global study as its methodology means many large private companies get left out but it is nevertheless useful. This year's study shows that Tech brands continue to play an increasingly important role, while not surprisingly financial services brands are struggling. Indeed a quarter of the world's top 100 brands are now tech brands, while only 13 are financial services. While the vast majority of tech brands maintained or improved their ranking, all but two of the financial services brands saw their rankings fall. I'd love to see how much each of the brands in this ranking spent on PR and advertising!


Seth Duncan said...

My colleagues at Context Analytics were also curious about how much these companies spent on PR and advertising, so we did a "quick and dirty" analysis.

We pulled ad spending data from Advertising Age's Global Marketers report (, and used each company's article volume over one year as a proxy for PR spending (since that data is much harder to come by). I should also note that we didn't look at all 100 companies -- just the top 20 that we could find ad spending data for.

The results were pretty interesting, and suggested that PR activity was a much better predictor of brand value than ad spending. A regression analysis showed that article volume accounted for about 13% of brand value (for stats savvy folks, the correlation coefficient between article volume and brand value = .36). Ad spending, however, only accounted for 1.4% of brand value (the correlation coefficient between ad spending and brand value =.12).

I would imagine the the association between media coverage and brand strength would be even stronger if we had looked at better metrics than volume. Metrics around tone, message penetration, prominence, and share of voice would have been used in an ideal analysis.

Another interesting tidbit is that many of the top companies in the Interbrand study do not appear in Advertising Age's list of top ad spenders, including notables such as Google, Intel, and Cisco. Just further evidence that advertising isn't always necessary for building brand strength.

Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen said...

Seth this is very interesting. Perhaps you should release these results to PR Week.

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While the vast majority of tech brands maintained or improved their ranking,