Subway tops BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands league for great value

Subway: leading brand

Subway: leading brand

Subway is the brand that has grown its value most since the launch of the first BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking, produced by Millward Brown Optimor for WPP.

According to Millward Brown Optimor, it has achieved its huge brand value growth of 5,145% with a great value offer, absolute relevance to consumers, and a genuinely meaningful difference that sets it apart from competitors.

In advance of the 2013 rankings, to be announced on 21 May 2013, Millward Brown has analysed all the previous results since 2006 to reveal the eight Top Risers overall, the brands with the strongest, most sustainable value growth over time. These are:

1.     Subway +5,145%

2.     Apple +1,045%

3.     Amazon +470%

4.     Hermès +297%

5.     Verizon +230%

6.     McDonald’s +228%

7.     IBM +221%

8.     Google + 188%

The results reflect an increase in consumers’ desire to talk, text, send data, eat quickly and bring a bit of luxury into their lives. The analysis also highlights eight key drivers of success for the brands with the strongest and most sustainable growth:

1. Great value – it’s not about price, but what you get for your money. Hermès and Subway in particular both offer great value.

2. Relevant – continuing to renew the brand is essential to remain in contention over a number of years. IBM’s reinvention as a greater-margin consultancy which drives a ‘Smarter Planet’ is totally in tune with the spirit of today.

3. They have harnessed technology – being available 24/7, being social and being connected…no brand can afford to be out of touch nowadays. Amazon’s online customer management and purchase recommendation, for example, was a game changer.

4. Reputation – how the brand really behaves today will be assessed globally, in a flash, so ‘what you stand for’ is a valuable component of a good reputation. It may surprise some, but McDonald’s has an excellent reputation based on a clear brand promise and experience.

5. Meaningful difference – consumers will stay loyal if they feel they are getting the best. Brands that meet their needs, are unique in a positive way and are ahead of the game in setting trends are more appealing, and generate the greatest contribution to driving current and future sales. Apple is the archetypal ‘meaningfully different’ brand, and has this to thank for its vital and living brand.

6. Personality – a distinctive brand character is more likely to generate consumer passion and create brand advocates. Brands should not worry about polarising opinion; it’s better to stand for something. Verizon is what BrandZ classifies as a ‘King’ – a brand that is Assertive and In Control but also Wise, Desirable and Trustworthy. All of the Top Risers have distinct personalities.

7. They get abroad and about – expanding the offer using a brand’s meaningfully different positioning is a route to successful growth. Apart from one French brand, all of the Top Risers are US-owned. And all, except Verizon to date, have moved into new territories chasing growth and success.

8. A great branded experience – a brand is only as good as the consumer’s last experience. Recommendation is a powerful force and can make or break a brand, even more quickly in this connected world. Google has built its reputation and based its considerable innovation on continual delivery of the greatest experience.

The eight Top Risers combined have increased their total value by 329% since 2006 – this compares to 66% for the entire BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands.

Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, said: “A strong brand is a valuable commodity, and our analysis reinforces its importance as a source of sustainable competitive advantage and value growth. Each of the Top Risers owes its stellar performance to the fact that it has prioritised brand-building strategies that enabled it to drive sales, stand apart from competitors and command a price premium. The results also highlight the importance of brands in understanding consumers’ needs and continually adjusting and adapting to make themselves meaningfully different and relevant.”