Friday, October 14, 2005

Top 100 brands

We've been doing a lot of talking about the library brand and what that means lately, largely around the report Alane was talking about a few posts ago. So my "brand antennae" has been up, you could say.

Which is what the "Top 100 Global Brands Scorecard" caught my eye. The top 4 brands have not moved in the past 4 years: Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, in that order.

The next 5 have all hung together, although there has been some switching around: Intel, Nokia, Disney, McDonald's, Toyota, Marlboro.

A few surprises for me: Starbucks was way down on the list, as was Apple, Nike, VW--all these brands that I tend to think of as watershed, in terms of great, memorable, visual brands and brand experiences...

Check out the list for yourself.

And then start to think where the mindshare might be for "Your Library" in your library user/patron/customer/information consumer's head. Because this list represents the brands that are your competition for his/her attention!


Andy Havens said...

One of the thing's that's interesting to note about the Top 100 brands is how many of them are *old.* I mean, really old, in terms of the length of time that brand names have even been available.

There weren't really marketed "brand names" much before the mid 1800's. Let's say (to make my math easy) around 1850. So It's only been about 150 years' worth of branding out there. Many of those top brands were founded pretty early on in the "Era of Branding:"

Coca-Cola: 1886
IBM: 1911
GE: 1976
Nokia: 1865
Disney: 1923
Gillette: 1901

You get the picture. Yes, Microsoft and Intel were founded in the last 30 years. But they are the exception, not the rule. Run down the list... American Express, Ford, Pepsi, Nestle, Anheuser-Busch, Kellogs, Harley Davidson, Heinz; all really old.

Even brands we think of as high-tech and new -- Nintendo -- may be old-timers with new goods. Nintendo was originally a playing-card company, founded in... 1889. Other "modern" or "fashionable" brands: Gucci? 1906. L'Oreal? 1907.

And the grandpa of successful brands? Levis. 1853.

What's my point? That while working to change one's brand, enhance it and improve it is clearly worthwhile from a marketing perspective... it is also a job for the long haul. Brand is not about a logo, tagline and color pallette for your website.

If I asked your great-grandfather what he thought about Levi's, he'd probably tell me many of the same things you or I would.

That's some serious brand.

Andy Havens said...

Typo correction to the above: GE was founded in 1876 not 1976.