Which Brands Have the Most Power?

March 27, 2014

We know intuitively that brand’s create impressions in the minds of key stakeholder audiences, but can we make clear objective comparisons between brands? The answer is yes! CoreBrand is once again releasing its listing of the 100 most powerful corporate brands in the U.S. This is possible because CoreBrand maintains the largest corporate brand database in existence consisting of data tracked for nearly a quarter of a century.

CoreBrand measures brand strength on two dimensions. Familiarity, or how many people are aware of and knowledgeable about a given brand. Favorability, of those Familiar, how positive are they towards the brand. Favorability is measured on three key dimensions – Overall Reputation, Perception of Management and Investment Potential. Ultimately, Familiarity and Favorability are combined into a single metric known as BrandPower. This number is what allows us to compare brand performance from company to company.

Once again, The Coca-Cola Company sits atop our list with Amazon.com posting the largest 1-year gain and Google posting the largest 5-year gain. CBS was among the brands with the greatest drop in rankings in the last year and also posted the single largest 5-year decline, falling 48 spots.

This year, CoreBrand was able to identify when brands bottomed out from the financial crisis and also that a recovery of brand strength is underway. The bottom of the market occurred in 2010, with a luke-warm recovery taking place between 2010 and 2013. This recovery has gained momentum in the last year. One interesting characteristic of this recovery is that it is based on brand Familiarity as Favorability towards brands has remained flat. This seems to signal a general uneasiness in the market and possible skepticism in the overall economic climate.

Another interesting fact that is included in the report is that the companies showing the sharpest gains in BrandPower rankings were also significantly greater communicators compared to the companies with the sharpest declines. The growing brands on average gained 67 positions in our rankings and made modest spending cuts in 2009 and by 2013 were spending more than 200% above their 2008 spending levels. Conversely, the sharpest declining brands cut their spend by twice as much as the growth brands in 2009 and by 2013 were only spending 10% above their 2008 spending level. This further supports the hypothesis that brands need on-going marketing support even in difficult economic times. Those brands that reduced spending significantly are now playing “catch-up” to those who minimally reduced marketing spend.

To get the full report and see all the interesting details, please go here.

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