Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world's biggest companies. Brands are first evaluated to determine their power/strength, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, and given a corresponding letter grade up to AAA+. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business's revenue is contributed by the brand, which is projected into perpetuity to determine the brand's value.
TJ Maxx's reputation for exceptional value is key to its success and consumers' affinity for its brand, says the report. However, just as significant is the fact that it is a gateway to the world's most powerful and desired apparel brands for a vast swathe of consumers who could otherwise not afford them.
Ross Dress for Less operates in a similar way and is also growing strongly. Like TJ Maxx, it has minimal online presence, relying on its buying and merchandising expertise to sell designer goods (in addition to own brand) for up to 70 per cent less than conventional retailers. Its brand value is up 71 per cent to $5.278 billion.
Valued at over $34.8 billion, Alibaba continues to thrive in China and globally. It has created a fair and open portal for small businesses and enterprises. Its success stems from the opportunities to both open up and simplify commerce for Chinese communities, particularly rural ones. Its service has clearly underpinned brand value growth at home, and it is investing in marketing communications in order to accelerate growth abroad by aiding brand recognition.
Amazon is the world’s most valuable retail brand with a brand value of $106.4 billion. The firm is growing strongly as it continues to both reshape the retail market and to capture an ever larger share of it. Its brand value is already nearly double that of second-placed Walmart. Amazon has stated it will create 100,000 jobs in the US over the next 18 months. Such confidence suggests that Amazon may well become the most valuable brand in the world in 2018.
Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, is another brand that has always been very price-led and reliant upon physical sales. It has been making plans to accelerate its expansion in China and India as it seeks to boost sales by almost 50 per cent over the next four years. Ikea draws upon its national heritage more than almost any other major firm for its brand positioning. Its visual identity and brand personality are strongly associated with Sweden's reputation for quality manufacturing, simplicity, design expertise and social modernity. (KD)
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