Vodafone the only British brand in global top ten

A report measuring the value of global brands shows the US is still home to the biggest corporate players on the world stage.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 08 Jul 2011
How many world-class brands does UK plc have? Well, the newly-released BrandFinance Global 500, which measures the values of the world’s top 500 brands, has just one British brand in a top ten otherwise entirely populated by US behemoths: Google takes the top spot, followed by Microsoft, Wal-Mart and IBM, with our sole representative Vodafone coming in fifth (with a market value of $30.8bn, well below Google's $44.3bn). HSBC was in the top ten last year, but it's slipped from eighth to 11th place, while the next highest, Tesco, has dropped from 17th to 19th place. In fact, we account for just 29 of the top 500...

On the whole, the rankings do provide a fair reflection of the influence of the technology industry: as well as Google knocking Wal-Mart off the top spot, Apple entered the top ten for the first time this year, jumping from 20th to eighth place – all due, presumably, to the phenomenal success of the iPhone and iPad.

Of course, MT's a glass-half-full kind of a place. So Vodafone does, at the very least, deserve a pat on the back for being the top telecoms company on the list, as well as being the only non-US brand in the top 10. Equally, HSBC was the highest bank on the list, coming four places above Santander (which has slipped from 13th to 15th place this year). And although Tesco dropped a couple of places, its brand value actually increased, from $20.6bn to $21.1bn.

Unfortunately, though, the news wasn't so good for some other bastions of Britishness: BT, for instance, dropped from 87th place to 102nd, while BP proved to be slipperier than a handful of Gulf of Mexico seaweed by sliding from 53rd to 104th place, following the reputational damage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Ouch.

But it wasn’t just UK companies suffering. Nokia was the biggest faller, plunging from 21st to 94th after CEO Stephen Elop's 'burning platform' comments. Toyota saw its brand value fall by just over $1bn, pushing it from 10th to 14th place, after it was forced to recall 16m cars last year. And Coca-Cola also fared badly, sliding from third to 16th place; for a company that's had one of the most recognisable brands on the planet for decades, that’s quite a fall from grace...

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