In a reversal of fortunes that has been building for years, Samsung trumped Sony on Interbrand's Top 100 Brands list. On the just released 2005 poll, published in conjunction with BusinessWeek, Samsung has taken Sony's No 20 spot this year, while Sony dropped to No 28.
Sony, in fact, topped the list of companies that lost the most brand value, dropping 16 per cent more than any other company in the top 100. On the other side, Samsung, which was No 21 in the 2004, ranked in the top five of companies whose position climbed highest, with a 19 per cent increase in brand value.
Confusing brand portfolio
Jeff Swystun, Interbrand's global director, said that Sony’s varied, and sometimes confusing, brand portfolio, which included the PlayStation video game console, consumer electronics, music, movies and VAIO computers, seemed too disparate to add value back to the Sony corporate brand. Samsung, on the other hand, was a “monolithic brand”, he said, in that every product tied directly back to the corporate brand.
“Sony's whole lineup just doesn’t seem to add up. They’re dealing with behind-the-scenes politics between divisions so that they’re really not getting the synergy that should flow up to their brand,” Swystun said.
Winners and losers
Rounding out the top five companies with largest brand value losses were Morgan Stanley, Volkswagen, Levi Strauss & Co and Hewlett-Packard. Along with Samsung, the top climbers were eBay, HSBC, Apple and UBS. Ebay’s 21 per cent gain in brand value was the biggest increase on the list. (It moved to No 55 from No 60 in 2004, the first year it was on the chart.)
The overall top 10 brands on the list for 2005, in descending order, are Coca-Cola Co, Microsoft Corp, IBM, General Electric Co, Intel, Nokia, Walt Disney Co, McDonald's Corp, Toyota Motor Corp and Marlboro (Philip Morris USA), with only slight changes in the middle of the list from 2004.
The tech industry saw some of the biggest movers on this year’s list. Along with Samsung and Sony, Apple increased 16 per cent in brand value, going from No 43 to No 41; Dell jumped 15 per cent, moving from No 25 to No 21; and Hewlett Packard dropped 10 per cent, going from No 12 to No 13.
South Korean marketers
In addition to Samsung, other South Korean marketers made a strong showing on the list, with new entrants LG Electronics at No 97 and Hyundai Automotive Group at No 84. Swystun predicted, “It won’t be long before we see Chinese brands popping up on the list.”
The overall number of US brands in the top 100 decreased this year to 53, from 63 in 2004, a “recognition of the growing power of the brand business building” in international markets, Swystun said.
Interbrand is a leading brand consultancy and author of the annual ranking of best global brands, published by BusinessWeek. Interbrand has offices in more than 30 cities in more than 20 countries. Interbrand is a division of Omnicom Group. BusinessWeek is published by the McGraw-Hill Cos.