Retailers must be omnipresent, claims latest BrandZ study of Top 100 brands

Retail brands need to be present anywhere and everywhere on the path to purchase if they are to thrive in 2012, according to the seventh annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

Top retail brand Wal-Mart has successfully addressed the challenges of a digitally connected consumer with constant access to all its rivals by building its offer across all possible touch points, said researchers. It has improved service by offering free Wi-Fi in store, rebalanced its portfolio between online and physical activity and offered mobile customers with no credit the opportunity to order goods direct from their phones and pay when they are picked up in store.

This strategy has helped Wal-Mart move up one place in the retail ranking knocking Amazon from the top position despite a brand value decrease of 8%. Wal-Mart’s brand is worth $34.4bn, whilst Amazon’s brand declined by 9% and is now worth $34bn.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, identifies and ranks the world’s most valuable 100 brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data combined with consumer measures of brand equity. 

“Wal-Mart was boosted by international expansion, including into Africa, one of the world’s fastest growing regions, through its acquisition of Massmart,” said Peter Walshe, gobal BrandZ director at Millward Brown.

The appeal of retail remains strong with traditional online-only brands such as Amazon, now with retail outlets, while Apple has rolled out its retail network well beyond a few flagship stores.

Tesco has now slowed the pace of physical expansion and renewed its focus in the UK on customer service, recently announcing that it would be employing another 8,000 frontline staff.

“Service has become an important part of the consumer experience,” said Walshe.

“In-store service has been recognised this year by many retailers – including British retailers M&S and Tesco – with investments in technology that will help to increase the knowledge of their staff base. The omni-retail concept of service even extends to supporting customers who are shopping online while in the store. Retailers such as John Lewis and Tesco in the UK and Wal-Mart in the USA now offer free Wi-Fi in stores.”

The Most Valuable Retail Brands 2012

Rank Global Rank Brand Value in $ million Brand Value change from 2011
1 17 Walmart 34,436 -8%
2 18 Amazon 34,077 -9%
3 36 Tesco 18,007 -18%
4 62 The Home Depot 12,968 +31%
5 64 ebay 12,662 +18%
6 76 Target 10,506 -16%
7 87 ALDI 9,310 +1%
8 89 IKEA 9,206 +26%
9 98 Carrefour 7,836 -43%
10 Auchan 6,799 -13%

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study is claimed to be the only valuation in the world that takes into account what people think about the brands they buy alongside ranalysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles. 

The research report, which is available online, includes a ranking and analysis of the most valuable brands for key regions of the world and 13 market sectors including retail. Retail Times’ readers can Download the complete BrandZ ranking, including regional and category breakdowns. The rankings and further featuers are also available as a free application for the iPhone, iPad, Nokia, BlackBerry and Android from