Samsung and Toyota have made it to the top 10 in Interbrand's latest Best Global Brands 2018 index, with both brand values soaring by 6% to US$59,890 million and US$53,404 million respectively. Honda was ranked 20th with a 4% increase in brand value to US$23,682 million.
Meanwhile, new to the list were Nintendo (99) and Subaru (100) with a brand value of US$4,696 million and US$4,214 million respectively. Other Asian brands that made the list also include Hyundai, Nissan, Canon, Sony, Huawei and KIA.
On a global level, Apple topped the ranking with a 16% increase in brand value to US$214,480 million, followed by Google with a 10% increase in brand value to US$155,506 million. In the meantime, Amazon experienced a 56% jump in brand value to US$100,764 million, the largest increase among the top 10 brands. On the other hand, The Coca-Cola Company and Facebook saw a 5% and 6% drop in brand value respectively.
According to Interbrand, which has been running this ranking for 19 years, the role of brand is "more important and valuable than ever" and has continued to help organisations accelerate growth, even at a time when an overall sense of trust in institutions has "been in steep decline".
What sets great brands apart from the rest is the ability to take bold short-term actions that respond to the needs of the consumers, while pursuing a clear and aligned long-term vision, Interbrand said. The agency uses the phrase "Activating Brave" to describe this, adding that it is important for brands to have the courage to intercept the future instead of merely flowing with it, as well as take decisive actions that make a real impact.
While the journey to greatness varies for every brand, there are a five overarching themes that enable brands to activate the bravery required to achieve success in the long-term - positive utility, subscription mindset, customer centricity, learning from luxury, role of brand.
The 2018 Best Global Brands Index said that leading brands are often driven by their desire to be useful, to create products, tools and services that solve customer problems, and to use their marketing to serve and not just sell. These brands are driven by a clear sense of purpose which is focused on creating meaningful, positive impact in the world, and they do this on a day-to-day basis.
Brands can also increase their brand value by offering the most frictionless ways to leverage their products and services based on the personalised needs of their customers.
Successful brands are therefore being born with a subscription business model, or have significantly adjusted their business models to offer subscription services.
Anticipating emerging customer needs and being able to evolve the business and brand at speed to accommodate them are also important. Interbrand said that leading brands are cocreating solutions with their consumers, bringing the voice of the consumer into every aspect of their business and investing in future-forward customer exploration.
Additionally, consumers today define luxury as products and experiences, but each provides a sense of exclusiveness that comes from a unique or personalised service, or a premium experience that delivers an emotional reward at every touch-point, and exceeds customer expectations to surprise and delight.
The drive to make the brand a more important factor in customer decision-making is a critical way of fueling business growth.
Having a stronger brand compared to competitors within a respective category is key. However, Interbrand said companies that have also made their brands more influential in driving customer choice have seen substantial long-term growth. To increase the role of the brand in consumers' lives, brands should focus on building a stronger brand, reposition it by radically reshaping the customer experience and disrupting category conventions or radically changing a business model.