Corporate Eye

Top 100 Global Brands of 2009 Ranked by Brand Z – Google Rules the World

google_logo_buildingEach year, WPP sponsors the annual ranking of the top 100 global brands through its report from Brand Z.  The results for 2009 are in, and the list isn’t that surprising. 

Google tops the list.  HSBC ranks 30th as the top international financial institution in terms of brand value — not surprising based on the financial meltdown in much of the world that affected most banks and finance companies.  Toyota ranks 14th and is the highest ranked auto brand (interestingly, Honda ranks a mere 50th).  Walmart comes in 3rd, and is the highest ranked retailer.

I find several things particularly interesting about this brand ranking report:

  • The brands on the list are almost all corporate brands rather than product brands.  In the words of Al Ries from The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, “people by products, not companies.”  While this report is certainly interesting and corporate brand value is very important, I’d like to see this list with all product brands rather than company brands.  Now, that would really be interesting!
  • The brand value of Google is reported at over $100 billion, closing in on being twice as high as the third ranked brand, Coca-Cola, which has a brand value of $67 billion.  That’s an amazing statistic for Google. (Note that Microsoft ranked second with a $76 billion brand value.
  • The brand value of Blackberry (one of the biggest competitors to Apple’s much-hyped iPhone) jumped 100% over the prior year.  Apple’s corporate brand value climbed just 14%.  I wonder what the increase in brand value was for the iPhone.  That would be an interesting comparison.
  • The biggest losers were Bank of America with a 53% drop in brand value from 2008 and Citigroup with a 52% loss.  Not much you can say about those figures except — did anyone really agree that financial institutions should have been extending the kinds of loans they were prior to the meltdown?  Wasn’t it obvious that the ultimate failure would come eventually?  The fact that it was allowed to happen is what’s so wrong!
  • The disparity between the top brand, Google with a brand value of $100 billion, and the brand that ranked at the bottom of the list of the top 100 global brands for 2009, Lowe’s with a brand value of $6 billion.  Is astounding.

You can see the entire report here.  If your executives don’t believe that investing in growing brand value is important, show them this report.  I bet Google would beg to differ.

Your thoughts?

Image: Flickr

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.