Interbrands' "Best Global Brands - The Definitive Guide to the Most Valuable Brands" is an annual publication provided free of charge in PDF format from the Interbrand.com web site and published in cooperation with BusinessWeek. The report offers insights into how these global
organizations create and manage brand value (also known as brand equity). In addition to providing several branding relavent articles (which vary in terms of content from year to year), the report explains the process used in determining a brand's value, and lists the top 100 brands worldwide for the given year. Key milestones achieved by each of the top 100 brands during the year are also discussed, along with factors which influenced the brand value of each brand for that year. Previous years' rankings and reports are also available for download from the website. A report of the results of an annual survey designed to assess and report brand equity by company, industry, and country. The report includes relevant articles on the methodology for determining the value of a brand and strategies to sustain brand equity.
The primary learning goals associated with this resource are to 1) enhance the reader's understanding and appreciation of how brand value is created, managed, and measured, and 2) review the top 100 global brands for the year 3) identify critical strategic and managerial success factors in building and sustaining brand equity.
Target Student Population:
Junior and senior level undergraduate marketing (and possibly finance) students; MBA students. Graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in Branding Strategy and Management course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Principles of Marketing. Depending upon proposed usage, some knowledge of accounting and finance might also be useful.
Type of Material:
The report could be used by Instructor's as a resource in preparing lectures related to branding in general, or the development and measurement of brand equity specifically. Alternately, it might be assigned as reading material in either undergraduate or graduate IMC, Marketing Management, or Branding courses. It is possible that the article might be used as a supplement in a Finance course if the brand valuation methodology was of interest. This site is a rich source of information for lectures and discussion.
Computer, internet access, Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Evaluation and Observation
The information contained in this document is topical and relevent to both academics and practitioners, and has been voted as one of the three most influential benchmark studies by business leaders. The 2009 annual publication contained several very interesting articles related to current trends (socio-cultural, economic, competitive, etc.) and their impact on brands, as well as recommendations for how these trends could be successfully accommodated within the branding strategy. The 2009 issue provided a ten year comparison of the top 20 global brands over time in an interesting, if somewhat confusing at times, visual chart. The brand analysis of each of the top 100 global brands also indicated performance change (in terms of percentage increase or decrease) from the previous year, as well as discussing key information pertinent to the increase/decrease of the brand's value during that year.
It is clear and concise, provides a complete demonstration of the concept, demonstrates a core concept grounded in the discipline, is current and relevant, informed by scholarship, and is self-contained (can be used without requiring an assignment or context). The site provides accurate information, is flexible (can be used in several situations), includes an adequate amount of material, summarizes the concept well, and integrates the concept well.
A somewhat minor concern is that the material presented is probably of limited value to finance students. While the valuation process is explained conceptually, there are no formulas provided that would allow for students to calculate valuations, as obviously this is a proprietary methodology. Still, this is a minor concern, as marketing and MBA students are most likely to be the key student population that stand to benefit from this reference material.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Well-written, interesting articles provide a great deal of current and relavent information that can be very helpful as a supplement or in-class learning tool. The report is not designed for classroom use. It is up to the instructor to structure assignments, present lectures, and discuss implications as these relate to course learning objectives.
Hopefully, instructors who make use of this material will caution students to recognize that the Interbrand method is but one of several different methodologies available for use when measuring brand equity, and that the top 100 brands according to Interbrand may (and in fact do) differ from those listed by sources using different techniques.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The PDF format makes it easy to post material to online course management systems, distribute virtually via email, or access online from the source from any computer with an Internet connection. The site is very engaging and of high design.
Those wishing to access the information from Interbrand's web site need to page through the icon menu at the bottom of the home page to locate the correct icon in order to access the document.