Interbrand Announces the 2008 Best Global Brands



    
    Credit Crisis Threatens Leading Financial Services Brands Coca-Cola
    Maintains its No. 1 Spot; Google's Brand Soars; Merrill Lynch's Plummets

    
    NEW YORK, Sept. 18 /CNW/ -- Google, Apple, Amazon.com, Zara and Nintendo
are among this year's top gainers in Interbrand's annual ranking of The Best
Global Brands, and not surprisingly, financial services giants Merrill Lynch,
Citi and Morgan Stanley are among the companies that have slipped dramatically
down the list.
    Coca-Cola (No. 1) remains the best global brand for the eighth year in a
row. Yet, a notable shift in this year's rankings was made by IBM, which took
over the No. 2 position from Microsoft (No. 3). Google also moved into the top
10 brands, at No. 10, after ranking at No. 20 in 2007.
    "The Best Global Brands 2008 ranking is a reflection of the global
economy - the current credit crisis in the U.S., the growth of emerging
markets and the increased emphasis on sustainability are all key trends that
resulted in brands rising or failing on the list," said Jez Frampton, Global
CEO of Interbrand. "The increasing complexities of the global economy
reinforce the importance of protecting and growing a brand. It is a company's
most valuable asset - and a far less volatile asset than others during a time
of economic uncertainty."
    Movement in the Best Global Brands 2008 ranking confirms that the
tumultuous credit markets are affecting leading financial services brands,
including Merrill Lynch (No. 34) and Citi (No. 19). However, some strong
industry leaders have survived such as HSBC (No. 27) and credit card companies
Visa (a new entrant to the list at No. 100) and American Express (No. 15),
which have all been able to transcend the credit crisis due to their trusted
brands.
    Other brands that fell significantly on the 2008 list include Ford (No.
49) and Gap (No. 77). While notable newcomers include H&M (No. 22), Thomson
Reuters (No. 44), BlackBerry (No. 77), Giorgio Armani (No. 94), Marriott (No.
96), FedEx (No. 99) and Visa (No. 100).
    Emerging market growth has had a significant impact on this year's
ranking. As customers in these markets accumulate wealth and seek to
demonstrate it, luxury brands are seen as a clear indication that one belongs
to the new elite. Companies like Porsche (No. 75), Ferrari (No. 93) and Prada
(No. 91), have experienced great success in the world's emerging markets.
    Not surprisingly, sustainability is driving brand value across all
sectors - from automotive, to consumer products, to financial services.
Auto-makers like Honda (No. 20) and Mercedes (No. 11) are creating new, more
fuel efficient car models. Honda was the only car manufacturer to report
better U.S. sales this year, in June 2008, than it did last year.  Companies
like GE (No. 4) and BP (No. 84) increased their brand valuation by investing a
substantial amount in sustainable business practices. BP also rose among the
ranks as a result of its leadership position in working towards greener energy
investing in sustainable energy sources.
    "In troubled economies business doesn't cease. Companies may struggle,
but the practice of buying and selling continues no matter what," says
Frampton. "Many of the Best Global Brands know this and come through these
difficult times stronger and better poised to compete. The key to success, in
good times and bad is understanding how your brand creates value."
    Interbrand's The Best Global Brands 2008 report will be available, online
at www.interbrand.com and a special report in conjunction with BusinessWeek
can be found at www.businessweek.com at 6:00 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, September
18 and on newsstands on Monday, September 22nd. The results will also be
discussed at Advertising Week 2008 during the BusinessWeek Best Global Brands
Summit on Monday, September 22nd at the Times Center (242 W. 41st Street) in
New York City.
    
    Best Global Brands 2008 Methodology and Results
    
    To qualify for inclusion in the BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global
Brands 2008 list, each brand must derive at least a third of its earnings
outside its home country, be recognizable outside of its base of customers,
and have publicly available marketing and financial data. This methodology
evaluates brand value in the same way any other corporate asset is valued-on
the basis of how much it is likely to earn for the company in the future.
Interbrand uses a combination of analysts' projections, company financial
documents, and its own qualitative and quantitative analysis to arrive at a
net present value of those earnings.
    
    About Interbrand
    
    Interbrand, the leading brand consultancy, combines the rigorous strategy
and analysis of a management consulting practice with the entrepreneurial and
creative spirit of branding and design. The company offers a comprehensive
array of consulting services that guide clients in the creation, enhancement,
maintenance and valuation of their most valuable asset -- their brands.
Founded in 1974, Interbrand has offices in over 30 cities in more than 20
countries around the globe and clients from among the most respected
businesses. For more information visit the world's only online exchange about
branding, produced by Interbrand, at www.brandchannel.com.
    
    About BusinessWeek
    
    BusinessWeek is a leading global business media organization, providing
unparalleled insight and analysis to a worldwide audience of business leaders.
Founded in 1929 and published by the McGraw-Hill Companies, BusinessWeek
magazine is the market leader, with more than 4.8 million readers each week in
140 countries. Local language editions include Chinese, Russian, and Bahasa
Indonesian. Launched in 1994, BusinessWeek.com is the preeminent provider of
daily, essential business news, information, and services to business
decision-makers. Reaching 85% of the nation's households, BusinessWeek Weekend
delivers important business, consumer and financial news to television viewers
every week.




For further information:

For further information: Lisa Marsala, 1-212-798-7646, or
+1-646-342-9423, or Graham Hales, +44 207 554 1169, or +44 7710 742347, both
for Interbrand Web Site: http://www.interbrand.com                
http://www.brandchannel.com                 http://www.businessweek.com

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