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Better choices, richer
experiences, more meaningful
narratives, new form factors,
and individualized attention.
Today’s Best Global Brands are
meeting rising expectations—
and moving at the speed of
people’s lives.

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Brands at the Speed of Life It’s why we hold brands to such high
expectations—for better choices, richer
That means the most successful
brands—the ones with the most
By Jez Frampton, Global CEO experiences, meaningful narratives, presence in a person’s life—are
one-on-one attention, new form factors. designed to live in moments, even as
As data and technology have helped they scale, try new things, and push
optimize every experience, as GAFA boundaries. They often stand out by
The Age of You began with an age- brands (Google, Apple, Facebook and
Amazon) have changed the definition
blending in, because people measure
the entire experience by how much
old truth: people want to be in control of service and connectivity, as people it adds to their lives and how little it
have gained access to greater and more disrupts it. They empathize with an
of their lives and, specifically, to nuanced choices, our expectations have individual’s priorities, figuring out how
been fundamentally retrained. Brands to meet people exactly where they are,
personally design the life they want to are now expected to move at the speed and when they want it, and tailor to how
of people’s demands—at the speed of people move through their worlds.
live. And people are using brands to their lives.

do it, because brands are the vehicles Brands in Micro Moments

Designing Mecosystems
And that’s how we define mecosystems:
through which things happen. But to move at the speed of people’s
lives, brands have to understand that
a select set of brands that create
customized experiences around a
they are experienced in micro moments. single individual, where every brand
No matter how unified a brand’s in consideration slots in seamlessly,
ecosystem, no matter how holistic its and where the most valuable micro
experience, people’s connections with moments are curated, connected, and
brands are fragmented—they move choreographed. As people shape their
from one to the next, interacting with mecosystems—as they explore and, just
thousands upon thousands a day. as importantly, edit—they are constantly
But those micro moments are critical, being redefined, meaning that brands
because in each, people judge a brand need to earn the right to stay in this set
as a whole—every micro moment is every minute of every day.
evaluated against significant macro

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So how does a brand earn a lasting As businesses adapt to this new age,
role in this all-important mecosystem? as mecosystems give people greater
By anticipating and evolving along with opportunity to design their lives,
people’s personal expectations. Droves we start to see an interesting white
of digital data, refined analytics, and space emerge. People can use their
real-time, multi-platform interactions mecosystem to reimagine their time,
help brands discover what people how they spend it, and how that makes
want—even before they do—and cater room for the pursuit of their passions.
to them quickly, reorganizing around What brands can help people imagine—
these insights, because, in the Age of and make real—with this time is what
You, people are the bottom line. will ultimately shape and define this new
age. And this is what has the potential to
Business Moving at the Speed of Life make the Age of You the most creatively
For brands to truly move at the speed satisfying of all our times.
of life, it means completely rethinking
what speed means within an enterprise. Jez Frampton
It’s not about forward movement, Global Chief Executive Officer
but holistic evolution. It means
understanding that data is not just about
insight, but a marketable commodity
that will change the definition of
trading. It’s running highly focused and
integrated businesses that explore
and attract unexpected partnerships,
seamlessly crossing existing and
emerging platforms. It’s elevating design
as the most valuable enterprise tool
to build truly connected experiences.
And it’s engaging with a new breed of
customers and consumers that are
more than just co-creators, but editors
and producers.

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100 Best Global Brands

01 02 03 04 05 26 27 28 29 30

+43% +12% -4% +11% -10% +8% +4% +8% +2% +16%
170,276 $m 120,314 $m 78,423 $m 67,670 $m 65,095 $m 18,768 $m 16,541 $m 15,267 $m 14,723 $m 14,031 $m
06 07 08 09 10 31 32 33 34 35

+16% 0% -7% -6% +29% +7% -3% +10% -6% -9%

49,048 $m 45,297 $m 42,267 $m 39,809 $m 37,948 $m 13,943 $m 13,940 $m 13,749 $m 12,637 $m 12,545 $m
11 12 13 14 15 36 37 38 39 40

+9% +7% +13% +4% -3% +7% -11% +6% +8% -4%
37,212 $m 36,711 $m 36,514 $m 35,415 $m 29,854 $m 12,257 $m 11,656 $m 11,578 $m 11,293 $m 11,278 $m
16 17 18 19 20 41 42 43 44 45

+5% +16% -3% +6% -1% +22% +9% +6% +5% +12%
27,283 $m 23,070 $m 23,056 $m 22,975 $m 22,250 $m 10,944 $m 10,800 $m 10,798 $m 10,328 $m 9,784 $m
21 22 23 24 25 46 47 48 49 50

+5% -3% +54% +3% -3% +9% -8% +14% +19% -14%
22,222 $m 22,218 $m 22,029 $m 19,622 $m 18,922 $m 9,526 $m 9,400 $m 9,254 $m 9,082 $m 8,882 $m

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100 Best Global Brands

51 52 53 54 55 76 77 78 79 80

+5% +7% -1% +10% +3% +17% +7% -12% +14% +6%
8,632 $m 8,588 $m 8,553 $m 8,498 $m 8,464 $m 5,551 $m 5,533 $m 5,530 $m 5,460 $m 5,391 $m
56 57 58 59 60 81 82 83 84 85

+12% +6% -5% +17% +12% -5% New +2% +6% +2%
8,055 $m 7,924 $m 7,702 $m 7,243 $m 7,083 $m 5,365 $m 5,362 $m 5,208 $m 5,161 $m 5,133 $m
61 62 63 64 65 86 87 88 89 90

+15% -8% -12% +6% +2% +16% +14% +15% +14% -7%
6,870 $m 6,811 $m 6,583 $m 6,509 $m 6,436 $m 5,130 $m 5,109 $m 4,952 $m 4,822 $m 4,763 $m
66 67 68 69 70 91 92 93 94 95

+6% +16% +17% +4% +13% -7% -6% +2% -4% -7%
6,306 $m 6,266 $m 6,257 $m 6,222 $m 6,097 $m 4,629 $m 4,540 $m 4,456 $m 4,407 $m 4,330 $m
71 72 73 74 75 96 97 98 99 100

-9% -12% +5% +5% -7% +3% New New New New
6,033 $m 5,976 $m 5,873 $m 5,666 $m 5,639 $m 4,270 $m 4,251 $m 4,243 $m 4,131 $m 4,114 $m

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Hallmarks of the There are some clear, common
hallmarks among this year’s Top 100
A central purpose is particularly crucial
for diversified companies. Microsoft’s
2015 Best Global Brands that show what it takes to keep pace
with today’s consumers and secure a
CEO Satya Nadella set a bold ambition
to “reinvent productivity to empower
By Paola Norambuena, Chief Content Officer
place among the Best Global Brands. every person and every organization
on the planet to do more and achieve
Clarity of Strategy and Focus more.” Microsoft brought together its
on Structure
Among this year’s Best Global Clarity is a sure source of strength. In
Windows and devices organizations
to align its engineering structure to
Brands, it’s those moving at the speed order to be coherent, efficient, and meet
consumer expectations, top-performing
its strategy, along with its commercial
cloud—a move that’s grown revenue by
of life that are accelerating. A review brands lean on an ambitious vision that 88 percent, driven by Office 365, Azure,
shapes both behaviors and structures. and Dynamics CRM Online.
of this year’s report reveals some
Focus has been a driving force for top From strategy to structure, successful
key insights—especially among new riser Nissan, which has embarked on brands are streamlining and integrating
ongoing integration efforts. Armed their operations for greater agility
entrants and top risers. Brands across with a clear vision for the brand, and focus.

all categories are not only adopting disseminated by its Global Marketing
leaders, the company has united its Relentless Customer-Centricity
innovative technologies, but also divisions and agency partners in order
to deliver on its product promise, while
As brands gain focus, that focus is ever
more zeroed-in on the customer. For
embracing holistic change in order designing business strategies to engage perennial Top Ten brands like Apple,
contemporary consumers in global Facebook, and Amazon, customer-
to become stronger, faster, and markets. centricity is built into their DNA. But
many brands are continuing to evolve
more agile. Clarity doesn’t come just from within: by developing design-led strategies that
Today’s savvy brands benefit from place customers at the core.
tapping into their consumers too. Top
riser 3M—known for everything from
Scotch tape to circuits—asked its
employees, as well as 15,000 customers
in 15 countries, to help define its new
brand platform, “3M Science. Applied
to Life.” It has driven clear growth
strategies: It’s focused on increasing
R&D spends, divesting lagging
businesses, and developing storied
content to create product-awareness
among its global, under-35 targets.

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In its first year as an independent It’s these authentic interactions that messaging into geo-targeted banner
entity, PayPal breaks into the Best today’s savvier consumers seek as they ads. Toyota also extends its influence
Global Brands report with the continued cull through the crowd of brands vying from behind the wheel and into
mission of “powering the people for their attention. For heritage brands drivers’ daily lives as it joins Panasonic
economy.” Simplicity, security, and ease like Hermès, which soared 22 percent to develop its cloud-connected
of use are priorities that have been in brand value this year, authenticity Smart Center.
internalized because they are central manifests in an unshakable devotion
concerns for the company’s users— to craftsmanship, quality, and enabling Technology isn’t just relegated to the
particularly sellers. PayPal is investing in customers to “indulge in moments cloud. While many of the Top 100 brands
seamless technologies like mobile and of pure lightness.” Hermès recently are tapping technologies to create
contactless payments and acquiring appealed to a new digital generation by innovation, others are using technology
user-friendly platforms like Braintree partnering with the bastion of customer- in innovative ways. Moët & Chandon
and Venmo. For PayPal, it’s not just centricity, Apple, to unveil the Apple rises back onto the Best Global Brands
about meeting consumer needs, but Watch Hermès. report, buoyed by efforts to keep its
letting those needs power the image fresh. It reinforced its place in
business strategy. Tech-Powered Personalization the nightlife scene with “Bright Night,”
While technology paves the way for the first-ever luminous champagne
This outside-in approach is being innovation, brands across all industries bottle, which demonstrates how even
adopted by other breakthrough brands. are harnessing its power to create the most distinctive brands can adopt
LEGO brand, which made its Best unprecedented, personal experiences. simple technologies to captivate and
Global Brands debut this year, taps delight consumers.
into a rising “maker” ethos, popularized Adobe has become a partner in
by tinkerers of all types. “LEGO Ideas” personalization by developing leading- Clarity, customer-centricity, and
invites LEGO brand enthusiasts to edge tools that empower brands to using technology to power personal
create, document, and crowdshare their create experiences tailored to their own experiences—all hallmarks of the
own projects, with the chance of seeing customers. Its Experience Manager brands that have made the most
them on shelves. The platform is an Screens and Adobe Target platforms impressive strides this year. As each
innovative tool for bringing customers harness cloud connectivity and location- demonstrates, there is no singular
closer to the business—and gathering targeting technologies to cater directly template for building a great brand, but
valuable insights. to individuals as they move through the it’s enlightening to see how these broad
buying funnel. characteristics manifest as individual
brands evolve at the speed of life.
Technology is also proving a force for
cross-industry collaboration. Rising Paola Norambuena
brands in all categories are partnering Chief Content Officer
with tech giants to connect with
customers in groundbreaking ways.
Auto brand Toyota harnesses Google’s
powerful API to push city-specific

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Highlights: Top Risers User-centricity is Part
of Their DNA
Creating Holistic Brand
This year’s fastest risers—Apple Brands climbing up the value chain
(+43%), Facebook (+54%), Amazon are those creating experiences that
(+29%), and Adobe (+17%)—are brands reinforce the brand in multiple contexts.
that have evolved around their users. The technology brands that dominate
A deep understanding of how people the Top Risers list are naturals at
live, work, and interact is embedded this—they have the scope, scale, and
in their products, services, and brand capability to embed themselves in users’
message. With user-centricity at the daily lives. But even heritage brands
core, these brands have been able like Hermès—up a soaring 22 percent
to grow their audiences quickly and from last year—are investing in out-of-
iterate their offerings based on store experiences and emotion-driven
evolving demands. campaigns that invite customers to
engage with the brand.
Expanding Around a Core
Product or Service
The Top Risers’ burgeoning brand
value is tied to a specific type of
growth—one that starts with a strong
central offer and builds products or
services around that. Adobe (+17%) has
spawned software, cloud services, and
a suite of apps that all relate back to its
core creative platform. Premium coffee
purveyor Starbucks (+16%) is expanding
its brand and growing its global
footprint, with new offerings and menu
options that build upon its original café
experience. For all Top Risers, a strong
brand proposition has been grounds
for accelerated growth.

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Technology: The Game- Top riser Facebook, for example, has
succeeded in changing the way people
The accessibility and reach of
technology brands on the consumer
Changing Sector around the world connect and stay in
touch, while new entrant PayPal has
side also fuel growth on the
enterprise side, as the number of
By Antoine Veliz, Chief Experience Officer and
evolved the way people and businesses connected users contributes to the
Forest Young, Senior Creative Director transact. The ability to influence actions burgeoning big data pool and the
relies not only on an innovative offer, but ever-billowing cloud. Even long-
on communicating the value or benefit standing technology brands like
The 13 technology brands in this of that behavioral change to the market. Intel, founded in 1968, have kept well
afloat in the face of waning PC sales
year’s Best Global Brands report There are several factors at play, which across the industry by refocusing on
imbue the top technology brands with data center innovations and cloud
represent more than a third (33.5 significant sway over people’s behaviors. computing.

percent) of the table’s USD $1.7 1. Expansive Addressable Markets 2. Geared for Rapid Growth
The most formidable asset that top Technology brands don’t only benefit
trillion total, making technology technology brands possess is the from broad markets, but an inherent

this year’s leading sector by value. size of their addressable markets.

It’s predicted that 70 percent of
ability to evolve more rapidly than
other, more entrenched brands. The
Today’s top technology brands have the world’s population will own
smartphones by the end of 2016,
resources that the top technology
brands have amassed, along with the
gone beyond the introduction of a for example. So whether you’re a relative lack of industry regulation
device maker, chip manufacturer, (compared to the healthcare or auto
successful product or service—they or network facilitator, the market sectors, for example), allow them to
potential is huge. reinvent their products or services
have delivered on the true measure with greater ease. Improvements
Many of the top technology brands to software can happen quickly,
of innovation: the ability to change also benefit from a low barrier to requiring minimal input from their

the behaviors of the many. entry, especially in comparison to

sectors like automotive and luxury.
customer bases—testing and
iterating ideas is core to the ethos
Anyone can get into a relationship of these brands.
with Google, Apple, Facebook, or
Amazon for free—or close to it—
allowing these brands to grow their
user bases with relative ease.

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Built-in agility gives technology Following the Tech Leaders Pointing Toward the Future The concept of “privacy exchange”—
brands the advantage of being able Organizations in any category can follow Top technology brands have also trading personal information for
to pivot into different product or the lead of Apple—number one for become the savviest of marketers by perceived value—may also have a
service categories as they evolve the third year in a row—by developing harnessing the equity built into their watershed effect on the amount of data
along with people’s needs and product strategies with a succinct brand brands to hint at what lies beyond their people expose, which will allow AI to
expectations. This is illustrated proposition to center their business. current products and services. Many become more nuanced, while putting
by successful startups like Uber, Adobe’s understanding of how people have seeded their next big bets publicly, pressure on more brands to develop
which has evolved from a car hailing work, both across organizations and at preparing audiences for what may AI as part of their own ecosystems.
app into a provider of multiple home, has lead to an expanded service come next or positioning themselves as
services. Furthermore, these fast portfolio that goes up the value chain in visionaries. Locking the Top Spot
moving technology brands are not the enterprise sector and gets closer to Four of the Top Risers in this year’s
just catering to people’s needs but the user through a suite of mobile apps. As technology becomes more a mirror Best Global Brands report illustrate the
raising the bar for what’s possible— Few have leveraged their core service of the self, developments will continue to acceleration of the technology sector:
not just meeting but setting the platforms like Amazon, however. What evolve around automation. New entrant Facebook spiked 54 percent, Apple
speed of life. was created as a shopping platform Lenovo, for example, has moved beyond jumped 43 percent, Amazon rose 29
now powers content and entertainment the PC world with a slew of new smart percent, and Adobe is up 17 percent.
3. Seizing More Than the Moment services, and the lessons learned in products—from watches to shoes— It is difficult to imagine brands outside
Technology brands are ones building that platform gave way to a powered by the open-innovation cloud of the tech sector enjoying the same
with which we interact in multiple successful cloud service business. platform that the brand itself is helping speed of growth and performance that
contexts, many times per day. As to develop. our top brands are. Their combination
the top technology brands move The success of these businesses and of reach, culture, and integration –
beyond their core product or service the strength of their brands have driven Automation extends to our very along with their position as harbingers
and into our homes and vehicles, growth beyond the technology realm. thinking with advancements in artificial of what’s to come – will keep the top
they’re also partnering with larger Brands in all sectors of this year’s report intelligence (AI). The leading technology spot locked up for some time.
platform brands and developing are embracing technology brands as brands are harnessing AI to develop
multitiered relationships with users business partners, platforms, or both. deeper interface dependencies— Contributors:
that span the ingredient, interface, Finance and retail brands, for example, Amazon with Alexa, Apple with Siri,
and infrastructure levels. These are placing their bets on technology and Facebook with M. Emerging AI is Antoine Veliz
relationships grant brands access brands’ mobile payment solutions (e.g., getting even smarter, more anticipatory, Chief Experience Officer
to much more than our phones. Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay), and anthropomorphic, with the ability to
while automakers are enhancing their develop more intimate relationships
Some of these brands work in-car experiences with connected with users. Forest Young
as ingredient brands in select services like Apple’s CarPlay. Senior Creative Director
contexts as well as master brands From human to superhuman—AI has the
commanding their own experiences. potential to not just enhance individuals’
The ability to do both demonstrates lives, but to advance the capabilities of
the strength of the platforms and an enterprise, as we’ve seen with the
propositions they have been able continued applications of IBM’s Watson.
to build. Top brands demonstrate
that their technology is no longer
something that exists simply on our
desktops and in our pockets—it’s the
thread that connects almost every
context of our lives.

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Highlights: Top 10 Leading by Design
The majority of those in the Top
10 are design-led brands with an
understanding that design is not just
about aesthetics, but that it’s a crucial
enterprise tool. Brands like Apple (#1),
GE (#8), and Amazon (#10) all focus on
experience design, which cuts through
systems, structure, culture, and service
models. Design drives clarity within the
organization, so brands can deliver a
coherent experience to the customer.

Adapting to Changing Expectations

As brands become more people-centric,
the leaders are listeners that respond
adroitly to changing wants and needs.
Brand bastions like Coca-Cola (#3) and
McDonald’s (#9) have addressed growing
health consciousness by introducing
all-new menu offerings. Toyota (#6) is
navigating changes in the way people
approach their cars by stepping up
sustainability efforts, speaking to
younger consumers, and connecting to
the Internet of Things (IoT). This year’s
top brands demonstrate an ability to
shift along with expectations, without
missing a beat.

Streamlining for Sustained Growth

From restructures to divestitures, brands
are maximizing their value by becoming
more streamlined and efficient. This year,
Microsoft (#4) aligned its leadership
structure to match its business strategy,
and Google (#2) created Alphabet Inc.
to more effectively manage its broad
portfolio. In order to focus on its digital
efforts, GE (#8) has divested several of
its finance businesses. In a fragmented
marketplace, the top brands derive
strength from prioritizing what they
do best.

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Automotive: Making Inroads These are significant stats for an
industry that is often seen as sluggish
In emerging markets, the ambition to
own a car is growing. A large part of
Into Mobility’s Future and which faces major challenges
moving forward, due to evolving
the world’s population has remained
carless, but as the middle class rises,
By Daniel Binns, Executive Director, Global Brand Engineer
customer expectations and the brands such as Nissan, Ford, and
changing role of driving. General Motors are expanding into new
regions like India, China, and Brazil. In
Over the past few years, automotive An analysis of the 15 automotive brands these newly developing areas of the
in this year’s Top 100 offers key insights world, automotive companies’ existing
companies have made major strides on why they’re holding strong—and business models will likely still be
what they need to do to stay on top. relevant in 20 years, but in developed
in terms of technology, innovation, countries, staying competitive will call
for significant evolution. Automotive
and sustainability. And with 15 brands Auto Brands are Fueled by Broad companies will need to continue to
represented in this year’s Best Global Markets and Vast Economic Impact
The auto industry is huge, with more
invest in technological advancements
to keep up with new and existing drivers
Brands report, auto is the dominant than 60 million (and counting) cars who are preparing themselves for the
sold this year, and is still cycling off next phase of mobility.
sector by number. Together, auto levels that predate the financial crisis.
For many buyers, cars are more than Differentiation and Relevance
brands make up 13.7 percent (USD a mode of transportation: they are Will Drive Continued Success
emotional investments, status symbols, for Auto Brands
$234,439 million) of the table’s total or even a source of livelihood. As brands across the board become
more focused on individuals’ needs, the
value, second only to the technology Auto companies also serve an auto sector—with its especially broad
sector in collective worth. increasingly large segment of the
world’s population. Generating high
market—faces two distinct challenges:
differentiation and relevance. Auto
returns and massive sales, they’ve brands used to be highly differentiated,
become the backbone of both global but now buyers are more interested
and local economies. Though they are in individual models and how those
being consolidated on the holding- vehicles fit into their lives. With so
company level, giving them truly global much information at consumers’
scope, there are still many major, distinct fingertips, brand awareness is not
brands, pulling millions of dollars in enough—organizations need to not only
sales each year. innovate products but to create a truly
differentiated brand experience.
Top Ten brand Toyota, for example,

26 #BGB2015 27
is tapping into smart technologies like The Future of the Auto Sector spent USD $3 billion to acquire Nokia’s Contributors:
its Intelligent Transportation System Revolves Around Ownership Here, a service comparable to Google
(ITS), which enables the real-time and Mobility Maps. The auto sector also faces Daniel Binns
exchange of data between vehicles To do this, auto companies must shift the impending entry of nontraditional Executive Director,
and infrastructures. And Korean brand their focus from selling products to car manufacturers—Apple’s Project Global Brand Engineer
Hyundai is figuring out how to tailor delivering a service, as driving itself Titan and Google’s self-driving car
its brand message to diverse global begins to look different. As the current project both represent strategic
audiences by creating localized social car-buying generation begins to retire, investments by technology giants in Andrew Martschenko
media experiences that enhance how will the behaviors of upcoming autonomous driving’s future. While Senior Director, Strategy
individuals’ interactions with the brand. generations of buyers change? Major increasingly feasible, the large-scale
shifts in this sector will revolve around adoption of autonomous driving rides
As the average age of new car buyers two pillars: ownership and mobility. on major regulatory considerations and Calin Hertioga
climbs to 51.7 (according to Auto News) customers’ behavioral shifts. Director, Brand Valuation
and the number of driver’s license Car ownership might not be as relevant
applications among millennials declines, in the future as conversations evolve In the meantime, however, auto brands
there is a concern about decreasing around fractional (i.e., shared) ownership are also working toward the future of Sabine Ruchty
relevance within the automotive sector. models and ride-sharing grows with smart mobility. Mercedes-Benz, for Strategy Director
In the race to increase their presence increasing speed. Since its launch in example, has adopted moovel, which
in people’s lives, connectivity is key, 2010, for example, Uber’s staggering integrates car2go, mytaxi, Flinkster, train
as carmakers integrate with customers’ statistics reveal that it now has more services, public transport, and bicycle
devices, homes, and things. Relevance than eight million users in over 290 data all into one simple app that guides
also means rolling with changing cities around the world and is expected users on the smartest path through
preferences—automotive brands must to process USD $10.84 billion in any city.
learn how to harness new technologies bookings in 2015. In its home city of
to anticipate the needs of diverse drivers. San Francisco, Uber is now tripling
the revenue of the local taxi market, In a letter to Business Life, economist
at about USD $500 million per year. Ross Parker wrote, “I would not be
surprised if today’s car becomes
Major auto brands like Mercedes-Benz tomorrow’s horse: a recreational
and Ford are also beginning to enter and pleasure, sporting discipline, and an
experiment in the ride-sharing space. increasingly rare sight on the road.” This
Nissan likewise announced plans to prescient view underlines the changing
supply cars to college students through role of vehicles, as cars move away
a campus car-sharing venture with from being functional necessities to
Enterprise Rent-A-Car. becoming tech-enabled extensions of
personality, shareable assets, or even
While many auto companies are sources of entertainment. Powerful
harnessing new vehicle technologies automotive brands will have to take a
to stay ahead of the curve, a true test more holistic view of mobility to maintain
of innovation is whether or not these their stronghold and balance their
advancements can actually change strategies to meet desires in diversified
driving behaviors. In an attempt to lead markets that are moving at much
the driverless-car revolution, Mercedes- different speeds.
Benz, Audi, and BMW collectively

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Highlights: New Entrants

Leveraging What They’re Loved For Focusing on Staying Real

All five of this year’s new entrants and Relevant
are established brands with a well- Even brands with solid propositions
understood product or service that face the challenge of communicating
remains central. The LEGO brand that to emerging audiences. This
makes a strong entrance at #82 by year’s new entrants are finding ways
leveraging the continued popularity to engage contemporary users with
of its beloved toy blocks and PayPal creative marketing initiatives, like MINI’s
(#97) arrives on the scene as the brand (#98) “Go With Your Gut” campaign
that’s essentially become the badge for or Moët & Chandon’s (#99) luminous
secure online payments. The 172-year- champagne bottle, “Bright Night.” The
old Moët & Chandon (#99) also makes LEGO Group (#82) even launched a
a formidable entrance by turning crowdsourcing site aimed at building its
modern consumers on to the true brand ambassadors. The new entrants
timelessness of its product. on our list are prime examples of brands
that have remained true to their core
Representing Global Scale and Scope while keeping relevant—a fine line that
Though US brands dominate this year’s all aspiring top brands will have to tread.
Top 100, with 52 brands representing
66 percent of the table’s total value,
the new entrants this year hail from all
corners of the world (Denmark, America,
the UK, France, and China). Lenovo
(#100) is the second Chinese brand to
enter the Best Global Brands report,
following Huawei’s (#88) debut last year.
These new entrants lend diversity to the
report, while representing the success
of today’s top brands in navigating
expanding global markets.

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Legacy Brands: Keeping Long- To illustrate, half of the Top 10 brands
on this year’s Best Global Brands report Legacy brands are back. In the
Standing Brands Relevant are more than 50 years old—and three
of those are well past the century
vernacular of luxury, you might say
they are the new black. When Apple
in the Digital Age mark (Coca-Cola, IBM, GE). Aside from surpassed Coca-Cola three years ago
By Rebecca Robins, Director of Marketing and PayPal, which debuted after its break to take the #1 spot in Interbrand’s Best
from eBay this year, the report’s New Global Brands study, it triggered a
Business Development, EMEA & LatAm
Entrants are all well established—most cascade of commentary on the rise of
notably Moët & Chandon, founded brands born of a new and different age.
in 1743. However, delve deeper into the study
The buzz around rising brands In a recent op-ed published by The
and what’s fascinating is the ascent of
brands that have spanned generations.
and new entrants has focused on Guardian, I explore the ways in which New entrants this year feature 60s icon
some of the world’s top brands are MINI, revving in at #98; the LEGO brand,
the technology sector, where the harnessing their rich heritage to an exemplar of creativity born from the
remain both prescient and timeless. constraint of a depression, with an
leading brands are characterized awesome arrival at #82 and Moët &
Chandon, at #99, one of the oldest
by their relative youth and agility. brands in the LVMH portfolio which

However, youth is by no means dates back to the 18th century.

the universal new pretender, and Moët & Chandon also tops the five
oldest brands in the list (accompanied
agility is not the exclusive domain by Colgate, Citi, AXA and Hermès) which
span a combined legacy of over 1000
of young brands. Long-standing years. AXA breaks into the top 50 Best
Global Brands this year and Hermès,
brands combine legacy and one of the top five risers in the report,
increased its brand value by 22 percent.
customer focus to create real The five youngest brands, by contrast,

resonance and relevance. (Facebook, Google, PayPal, eBay, and

Amazon) haven’t yet amassed a century
between them.

32 #BGB2015 33
Interbrand’s 2015 Best Global Brands The resulting blurring of boundaries The success of legacy brands also
report examines what it takes for brands increasingly calls into question whether points to a trend in consumers’ tastes:
to succeed in a hyper-fragmented we will even be defining brands by sector As individuals’ ecosystems become
world. As brand experiences that are in years to come. Consider Apple’s reach saturated, those seeking the brands
both immediate and personalised are into the traditional domain of financial they can trust gravitate toward
expected by consumers, business and services with Apple Pay. authenticity. Legacy brands with a
brands need to move fast in order to strong identity, who consistently bring
keep pace. The success of a brand Collaborations in various manifestations the experience of their brand alive for
has little to do with a brand’s age, but will continue to rise, as brands look to consumers, are poised to stand out. In
everything to do with its ability to stay complementary capabilities to exert the Age of You, heritage that strikes the
relevant. The question is, what are these their influence and desirability. Just this right chords of resonance and relevance
legacy brands doing to stay relevant? week, the newly combined Yoox Net-A- can be a powerful asset.
Porter climbed on its first listing on the
A common theme is that they have Milan stock exchange, and LVMH (owner Rebecca Robins
user-centricity at their core. They are of Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon) Director, Marketing and Business
using tech to connect with customers in has asserted a serious commitment to Development, EMEA & LatAm
more meaningful ways. Ultimately they e-commerce. At the same time, Hugo
are succeeding in providing ever more Boss is accelerating the cutting of its @robins_rebecca
integrated experiences for consumers, e-commerce cloth and Condé Nast is
and blurring the boundaries of traditional planning to enter the fray with the hotly Rebecca is Interbrand’s expert on luxury,
sectors of business as they go. anticipated e-commerce venture and co-author of the book Meta-luxury:
Brands and the Culture of Excellence.
Consider The LEGO brand. It’s a The level of sophistication needed for a
truly great example of a brand whose brand to maintain its presence as one of Citation
Rebecca Robins, “Keeping long-standing brands
original vision from 1932 has stretched the world’s most highly valued is not to relevant in the digital age,” The Guardian, 9
beautifully into the 21st century. The be underestimated—but the principles of October 2015,
journey from toy brand to entertainment success are fundamental. A brand needs network/2015/oct/09/brands-relevant-digital-age

brand has been driven by the LEGO to evolve constantly to stay relevant but
brand embedding innovation at its core it also needs a centre of gravity, a clear
and its fusing of the physical and digital. vision and a commitment to stay true to
the core of its DNA. A brand still has to
An even more fascinating movement find a place in our hearts and minds.*
among the legacy brands is the
movement across brands—the “brand
*Re-printed from
tangos” that boost their reputations
through collaboration. Think the Apple
Watch Hermès cross-over. Legacy
brands are tapping into tech brands
to increase awareness and connect
with consumers. Tech brands are
tapping into legacy brands for their
heritage and exclusivity.

34 #BGB2015 35

Brand Profiles

36 #BGB2015 37
1. Apple
170,276 $m

“If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone Apple’s relentless focus on the user is
else will,” Steve Jobs once notably embedded in its very core, while the
remarked. In the past year, Apple has again brand’s design sensibility runs across
held true to this belief, as it continues to every touchpoint. People have become
outdo its existing products and launch all- central to much of its marketing, as Apple
new ones. The Apple ecosystem expanded weaves its products into users’ personal
exponentially throughout 2015, along with stories, exemplified by Apple Music’s
its customer-centric focus, as reflected by “Instant Boyfriend Mixtape” commercial
a 43 percent rise in brand value this year. spot that aired during the 67th Primetime
Emmy Awards. In its recent iPhone spots,
Apple’s ambition to be a part of all facets “Loved” and “Hardware & Software,”
of people’s lives has left few industries Apple speaks directly about the merits
untouched—it’s created a huge ecosystem of its product and its benefits to the user,
that keeps players big and small vying claiming “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an
for access. Apple continues to cultivate iPhone.” Apple Stores will be getting a
partnerships—particularly in the auto radical overhaul under the direction of
industry, for example, with its connected Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive.
CarPlay system—while staying ahead
of the pack. Its next (literal) big thing is Apple also strives to make people feel
Project Titan: a fully connected electric more secure. Its seamless mobile shopping
car, rumored for release in 2019. service, Apple Pay, features biometric
thumbprint technology that offers several
The company doesn’t rest on its laurels layers of security beyond a credit card.
when it comes to new products and The brand is also prioritizing users’
innovation—its proved prolific with a list privacy as it innovates: Apple Proactive,
of releases that include Apple Proactive, for example, gathers data from the phone
Apple Pay, Home app, iOS9, OS X El itself, rather than the cloud.
Capitan, Apple Watch, Live TV, 3D Touch,
iPhone financing, and Apple Music. The What keeps Apple so far ahead of its
new tvOS iteration of Apple TV stands rivals—and perhaps poised to become
to change how people consume content, the world’s first trillion-dollar brand—is its
and Apple is exploring the possibility of instinct to constantly renew and challenge
creating original programming. Its personal convention. Apple understands what it
assistant, Siri—which continues to rival takes to accelerate to the top—and keep
Facebook’s M and Microsoft’s Cortana— its number one spot.
is about to acquire a sixth sense: Apple
Proactive will deliver super-personalized
services, tailored to users’ daily lives.

38 #BGB2015 39
2. Google
120,314 $m

Nearly two decades after hitting the Web, One month later, Google again made
Google has certainly diversified from its headlines when it announced a new
original role as an Internet search engine. operating structure, which enables
In addition to products like Android, Google’s many businesses to prosper
Gmail, and Maps, which have enhanced independently under strong, dedicated
its core business, the company has taken leadership. Under Alphabet Inc., the
moonshots to heart, investing in driverless newly created holding company, Google
cars, high-speed Internet, and home is the biggest subsidiary, representing
gadgets—to name just a few. the brand’s core offerings—search,
Web advertising, Gmail, Android, Maps,
While these efforts have garnered high YouTube, and Chrome. Other businesses
media attention, Google’s broad portfolio owned by Alphabet include the company’s
has historically made it difficult for analysts more ambitious projects, such as Google
to figure out how the core business is X, Calico, Nest Labs, Google Ventures,
really doing, leading investors to express and Google Fiber. Google cofounder Larry
concerns. Over the past year, it’s become Page will be in charge of Alphabet, while
clear that the company is paying attention. Sundar Pichai, who was Page’s number
During July’s earnings news call, Wall two, will take over the “new Google.”
Street veteran Ruth Porat made her
public debut as the company’s new CFO, This clarity around Google’s businesses is
fresh off a successful stint as CFO at expected to bolster the brand’s reputation
Morgan Stanley. The day after the call, as much as it’s expected to boost financial
Google shares saw an approximate USD performance. A commitment to innovation
$60 billion gain in market capitalization, has made Google more than the accepted
marking the biggest one-day rise in market verb for online search, but a name that
value for any company ever, and prompting evokes technology’s potential to achieve
the New York Times to declare that what once seemed impossible. Larry
Google, which has long fostered an image Page and Sergey Brin don’t just want
as the cool kid in the room, finally had to make cars and homes that can run
“adult supervision.” themselves, they want to help humans live
without disease and cheat death. That’s
a lot for one brand to take on. If they can
achieve even part of that dream, they’ll
cement Google’s place in history and
launch a whole new roster of offerings
that become integral to people’s lives.

40 #BGB2015 41
3. Coca-Cola
78,423 $m

When the celebrated TV series Mad Men Coca-Cola also spent almost USD $120
wrapped up earlier this year, viewers were million over the past five years to fund
left with an iconic moment of marketing health and wellness programs—as well
genius: Coca-Cola’s “Hilltop” ad. The 1971 as on research that drew criticism for
commercial, which features a multicultural downplaying the role of sugary drinks in
mix of youths singing “I’d like to buy the causing obesity. Coca-Cola’s commitment
world a Coke,” speaks to a simpler time to corporate citizenship and sustainability
for America—and for the brand. has earned praise, especially for its
leadership in water conservation. Coca-
Now, the world’s biggest beverage Cola and its bottlers at Coca-Cola
brand is trying to recapture that magic Enterprises say they will reach their 2020
for millennials through its “Share a Coke” goal of replenishing 100 percent of the
campaign, a global marketing initiative water they use by the end of this year—
that began in Australia in 2011. The five years early. The initiative helped Coca-
personalized bottles were so successful Cola Enterprises earn its first spot in the
in the U.S. in 2014 that the campaign was Dow Jones Sustainability Index this year.
expanded this year. In September 2015,
Coca-Cola teamed up with Twitter to Despite its slight decline in brand value
create a custom emoji—two Coke in this year’s report, Coca-Cola stands
bottles clinking—that appeared in tweets firm at number three—a true marketing
bearing the hashtag #ShareaCoke. The juggernaut and a favored global brand.
result: a record 170,500 mentions over
a 24-hour period.

Few companies can harness the emotional

horsepower that Coca-Cola can. The
challenge, instead, for the 129-year-
old beverage giant is that sales of cola
and its carbonated cousins have been
declining over the past decade amid health
concerns. As a result, the company has
broadened its array of lower-calorie and
lower-sugar sodas, introduced smaller
container sizes, and added healthier
beverages to its brand portfolio, ranging
from iced tea to coconut water.

42 #BGB2015 43
4. Microsoft
67,670 $m

Few leaders appreciate the difference and partnered with retailers like Best Buy
between size and influence like Microsoft to help users transition to the new OS.
CEO, Satya Nadella. Since taking over Microsoft speaks to the future of humanity
the top job in February 2014, Nadella has via a brand campaign that features babies
brought a new direction and mindset—and and prompts people to imagine what the
an increase of 11 percent, to USD $67.7 future might be for them, given that they
billion, in this year’s Best Global Brands will “grow up with Windows 10.”
Since Microsoft launched its new, aligned
This new Microsoft has partnered identity, it has continued to drive greater
with the likes Apple and Salesforce to cohesion across the many Microsoft
leverage each other’s strengths, putting experiences—and restructuring has
its own executives on stage at their big been a big part of this. Microsoft brought
events. The new Windows 10 platform together its Windows and devices
lets developers make apps that work organizations in an attempt to align its
across different devices and migrate engineering structure to its strategy as
what they’ve built for Android or Apple it began its 2016 fiscal year, resulting in
devices into Windows with relative ease. some leadership shifts. On the commercial
To make its ecosystem more desirable, side, it’s bringing together its commercial
Microsoft is generating real excitement businesses with a focus on the cloud—a
with developments like its HoloLens 3-D move that’s grown revenue by 88 percent,
headset, which brings holograms to life driven by Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics
through Windows, and has teamed up with CRM Online.
Facebook-owned Oculus to let fans play
Minecraft on a virtual reality headset. Nadella’s goal: to “Empower every person
and every organization on the planet to
For its Windows 10 launch, Microsoft achieve more.”
adopted the theme of “Do great things.”
Reinventing the experience shows its
understanding of today’s digital lifestyle—
using technology to help the people
alongside it achieve everything from the
simple to the progressive. It celebrated the
five million fans that helped test the OS by
hosting events in cities around the world,

44 #BGB2015 45
5. IBM
Business Services
65,095 $m

IBM has remained an iconic leader at the IBM sees cognitive computing as the
intersection of business and technology engine propelling the organization back to
for more than a century by continuously the forefront of technology and business
reinventing itself. In doing so, it has innovation. Watson is, some believe, the
been guided by clarity about its role as most humanlike computer ever built,
an enterprise innovation company. This and its capacity to make sense of the
clarity–embedded in its business strategy, vast stores of “dark” data—80 percent
culture, and brand message–has kept IBM of what we are now generating—could
on the Top Ten list of Interbrand’s Best revolutionize entire industries. The first—
Global Brands every year. and arguably most important—industry
that Watson is tackling is healthcare. IBM
As the world’s leading business-to- recently launched the Watson Health
business brand, IBM has remained in business unit, and has systematically made
the Top Ten, but its position has fallen acquisitions, hired top talent, and formed
a couple of notches, reflecting the key partnerships to build this division.
company’s struggles during its latest IBM and CVS announced a partnership
major transition. Over the last few years, in mid-2015 that could change the way
IBM has transitioned its focus to data/ patients, practitioners, and pharmacists
analytics, cloud computing, mobile, social, give and receive care. The company
and security. Although these strategic has also partnered with major oncology
imperatives have grown rapidly, they do researchers—from Memorial Sloan
not yet represent the lion’s share of the Kettering Cancer Center, to MD Anderson,
company’s profit, leading to 14 straight to Cleveland Clinic, to the New York
quarters of declining revenue. Genome Center—to tackle the lofty goal
of curing cancer.
As the company’s transformation
continues, it has introduced a new, The technology behind Watson is
branded point of view on the future of enhancing IBM’s capabilities across
technology and business, which it calls the organization. Three cloud-based
Cognitive Business, featuring IBM’s services announced in 2014—IBM Watson
“Jeopardy!”-winning system, Watson. IBM Discovery Advisor, Watson Analytics, and
has pioneered perspectives on the future Watson Explorer—have contributed to
of technology, about once every decade. a 70 percent revenue increase in cloud
With the rise of the Web in the mid-1990s, computing in the first half of fiscal year
for example, IBM said that the Internet 2015. IBM’s robust data and analytics
would be about business, not browsing, capabilities—along with partnerships with
and its e-business strategy proved companies like Apple, Twitter, Facebook,
prescient. In 2008, as devices proliferated and more—are helping the brand to
and computing became extended to reassert its prowess.
all manner of things, IBM presented its
vision of a Smarter Planet, empowered by For IBM, Watson may be the key
information and connectivity. Now, with the differentiator—the defining technology that
emergence of artificial intelligence with sets the global brand apart from a myriad
real-world applications, IBM introduces of competing innovators.
what it calls the third age of information
technology: the cognitive era.

46 #BGB2015 47
6. Toyota
49,048 $m

With the launch of its Global Vision, Toyota To engage drivers, Toyota is tapping
marked its evolution from a trusted, into their universal sense of adventure.
high quality automotive brand to one Its global “Feeling the Street” campaign
synonymous with innovation. Toyota aims allowed people to vote on their favorite
to lead the future of mobility through street musicians from around the world
product development, sustainability, and a and follow six winners on a New Zealand
focus on people. Its value is up 16 percent road trip. It is also harnessing digital
to $49 billion in this year’s Best Global platforms and geo-targeting technologies
Brands ranking—impressive, especially to position its cars within the context of
in the wake of a June airbag recall that peoples’ lives. In the U.S., for example,
affected nearly 1.4 million of its vehicles. Toyota targeted Los Angeles drivers with
videos launched in the “Live Story” feature
Toyota has long been at the forefront of on Snapchat, and has partnered with
environmental consciousness in the auto Google to customize ads in 15,000 U.S.
sector. In 1997, it released the Prius, its cities that inspire real-life, local adventures.
first mass produced gas-electric hybrid
car, and has since sold over eight million By embracing smart technologies, Toyota
hybrid vehicles, including 31 models is also making strides to both connect
across the brand’s range. In September and protect its customers. This year, it
2015, Toyota unveiled a sportier fourth- will introduce an Intelligent Transportation
generation Prius with standout features System (ITS) safety package to drivers
to meet the demands of contemporary, in Japan. ITS enables the real-time
eco-conscious consumers: new automated exchange of data between vehicles and
and intelligent safety packages, a more infrastructures, which sensors don’t
comfortable and emotional design, and an pick up. Meanwhile, it’s partnering with
increase in target fuel efficiency, from 32.6 Panasonic to become a forerunner in
km/L to 40 km/L. cloud-based connectivity. The Toyota
Smart Center will link people, cars, and
Looking towards the future of sustainable homes, with features like GPS-enabled
mobility, Toyota focuses on super-efficient, reminders to turn off your air conditioner.
clean energy. Its zero-emissions Mirai This year, Toyota also joined the
is the first hydrogen fuel cell electric autonomous driving race—with a focus on
vehicle to top the 300-mile range. It’s technology that makes driving safer—by
also attempting to bring fuel cell vehicles funding new research centers at Stanford
(FCVs) to the broader market by granting University and the Massachusetts Institute
royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 of Technology (MIT).
of its globally held FCV-related patent
licenses, including pending applications. As the largest automobile company in the
world, Toyota’s pioneering initiatives could
have a significant impact on the ways in
which drivers experience their vehicles.

48 #BGB2015 49
7. Samsung
45,297 $m

While the South Korean electronics giant previewing its innovative features.
still dominates the global smartphone Ads aired during the 2015 Oscars
market, Samsung has faced challenges put a human spin on the cutting edge
in the mobile sector this year. The brand technologies behind Samsung’s Galaxy
remains steady, supported by successes Note 5 and the SUHD TV—its highest-
in categories like semiconductors, Smart definition set yet—highlighting how the
TVs, and connected devices. Samsung products fuel creative processes and
is moving forward with a focus on conversations. The ads align with a
creating products that define whole company-wide commitment to proving that
new categories, and taking advantage digital innovation can enrich peoples’ lives.
of B2B opportunities. Its ongoing “Launching People” campaign,
which shares the stories of people who
With increased competition from Apple use Samsung products to turn their visions
and lower-cost competitors in Asia, not a reality, won seven awards at this
Samsung’s mobile division profits fell 37.6 year’s Cannes festival.
percent in the second quarter, compared
to the previous year. However, preliminary Samsung is also tapping into the software
Q3 reports predict an uptick for the market through its Open Innovation Center,
company, with overall revenues predicted with offices in South Korea, California, and
to rise 7.5 percent year-over-year, ending New York. The centers are hubs where
its two-year decline. Samsung is also employees can scout start-ups to invest
enjoying the success of its semiconductor in, team with, or acquire—Samsung is
unit, with second quarter profits at 3.4 the sole investor in start-ups that join its
trillion won, compared to 1.86 trillion won accelerators. The brand is also angling
last year. Samsung is now using its chips to become a leader in the expanding
in its own smartphones and supplying big Internet of Things. At the 2015 CES, it
businesses like Apple, which will reportedly pledged that 90 percent of all devices it
tap Samsung to make chips for the next- creates, including televisions and mobile
generation iPhone. devices, will be Internet-enabled by 2017.
It’s proving a key player with launches
Samsung strives to stay competitive in like the Gear S2, its seventh smartwatch,
the mobile market with its Galaxy S6 and AddWash, an Internet-connected washing
S6 Edge smartphones—touting features machine, SleepSense, a sleep tracker
that rival the iPhone’s—and its phablets, that you slip under your mattress, and the
the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Plus. It’s also second-generation SmartThings home
jumping on mobile payments with the automation hub and sensors.
worldwide release of Samsung Pay, which
has an advantage over Apple Pay, as the By creating products that empower
new Galaxy phones work with old-school people and broadening its business focus,
credit card readers, making the technology Samsung is looking towards a future that
more universal. goes well beyond smartphones.

But for Samsung, newness is the key to

maintaining brand momentum for. Its global
“Next is Now” campaign built anticipation
around the launch of its Galaxy phones by

50 #BGB2015 51
8. GE
42,267 $m

Over the past year, GE has remained media, the company is tapping into
committed to extraordinary transformation, platforms like Wattpad, Vine, Instagram,
shifting from a diversified conglomerate and Snapchat to spark conversations
with a large percentage of profits derived with audiences and solve real business
from financial services, to a more focused problems, both by curating new ideas
company, able to concentrate on defining and pushing industry-leading content. For
itself for a new age by becoming a “digital example, GE invites Instagram influencers
industrial company.” to tour the GE facilities, encouraging them
to share this rare look behind the scenes
This focus is evident: Earlier this year, GE using the hashtag #GEInstaWalk. GE
strengthened its alliance with AT&T and has also introduced distinctly imaginative
received extensive press coverage over content that marketing executives hope
the USD $26.5 billion sale of real estate will paint the brand as “human, quirky, and
assets in April 2015. In late June 2015, a little bit unexpected.” A brilliant example
the company entered an agreement to is the deliberately over-the-top infomercial
sell a large portion of its fleet-financing parody that promotes GE Link light bulbs,
business to Element Financial Corporation featuring American Actor Jeff Goldblum.
for USD $6.9 billion and, in August, sold
its U.S. Sponsor Finance business and GE is also working to maintain
bank loan portfolio for USD $11 billion. In transparency as it transforms. Just
a deal that marks the largest acquisition recently, it rolled out a series of
in its history, GE also gained regulatory commercials with the tagline “The Digital
approval to acquire Alstom’s power Company. That’s Also an Industrial
business. Once final, the deal will extend Company.” The commercials have served
GE’s global leadership in electrical utilities to remind key GE stakeholders—especially
with generating equipment and power-grid millennial job seekers—that hiring software
distribution systems. engineers is now a top priority.

While the company’s portfolio continues The 123-year-old brand is redefining what
to evolve, so has GE’s ambition to it means to be an industrial company—
ensure a top position in the market. and what it means to be a part of GE—
As it transforms into a digital industrial as it creates and shapes the next
company, it’s announced key leadership Industrial Age.
changes. In May 2015, Kate Johnson,
GE’s Chief Commercial Officer, took on an
additional role as CEO of GE’s Intelligent
Platforms division. In September 2015,
Beth Comstock, the leader of GE Business
Innovations, was named Vice Chair—the
first woman in GE’s history to hold such a
position—and Linda Boff was named CMO.

To match its ambitions, GE’s marketing

efforts have focused on new storytelling
platforms. With some 35–40 percent of
its marketing budget allocated to digital

52 #BGB2015 53
9. Mc Donald’s
39,809 $m

McDonald’s has turned on the charm for a Dealing with a much more health-
complete brand transformation—a journey conscious generation, McDonald’s has
that is about thoughtfully changing the elevated its efforts to find a way of making
conversation and changing relationships, healthy food affordable—and affordable
instead of a complete overhaul. It’s getting food healthy. Several efforts made by
back to basics in an effort to better serve the company included adding fresh fruit
its customers and become the “modern, and yogurt in Happy Meals and testing a
progressive burger company” that its kale breakfast bowl at select Southern
new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, envisions— California locations. In this age of personal
including a reorganization of the company preference and desires for customization,
to accelerate consumer-driven actions. McDonald’s has also been testing its
“Create Your Taste” concept around the
Familiar in the U.S., McDonald’s is reigniting world, which allows hungry patrons to build
its decade-old tagline, “I’m lovin’ it,” which their own meals from a series of options.
continues to resonate, as it associates Additionally, McDonald’s has started to
the experience of eating McDonald’s with streamline menu offerings and highlight
familiar, positive, and rewarding emotions. classics like the Big Mac in order to reduce
This new brand transformation can be clutter, fuel simplicity, and keep its service
seen everywhere—from its social media fast—and continue to live up to its
mega-hit during the Super Bowl to the promise to listen.
largest single-day activation in the brand’s
history: “imlovinit24: 24 gifts of joy. In 24
cities. Over 24 hours. #imlovinit.”

The company opened up a line of

dialogue by expanding its “Our food.
Your questions.” initiative, a social
media campaign that aims to answer all
customer questions transparently. U.S.
CMO Deborah Wahl is telling customers,
“we hear you”—and pivoting the brand’s
mantra from “billions served” to “billions
heard,” making sure that the company
always keeps its customers at the center
of everything it does.

54 #BGB2015 55
10. Amazon
37,948 $m

In the fast-growing world of e-commerce, Prime hit fever pitch during its July 2015
there’s Amazon and then there’s everyone event, Prime Day. This highly successful
else. The Seattle-based company, which marketing ploy helped the brand beat
Jeff Bezos launched as “Earth’s Biggest its record 2014 Black Friday sales,
Bookstore” in 1995, has become a digital exponentially increasing traffic, and, most
innovator that’s left virtually no industry importantly, customer acquisition, with
untouched. In addition to all the stuff it some hundreds of thousands signing up
will deliver to your door, Amazon is now to take advantage of the day’s bargains.
a leader in cloud services, publishing, It even benefited competitors like Walmart,
payments, and entertainment. which took advantage of the flood of
online shoppers by announcing its own
Through Amazon Marketplace, it’s also sale. While Amazon doesn’t disclose its
created a vast village green where users Prime membership status, RBC Capital
can buy and sell items without ever leaving Markets estimates the number is around
the site. With Amazon Home Services, 50 million in the U.S. and up to 80 million
people can now find babysitters, tutors, worldwide. The bulk of those members
and 900 other services as well. It’s this spend at least $800 per year on the site.
breadth that has inspired customer loyalty
that’s unparalleled amongst major retailers In July, The Wall Street Journal reported
and increased Amazon’s brand value 29 that Amazon, known for sacrificing
percent, to $37.9 billion, in this year’s Best short-term profits in order to pursue
Global Brands ranking. long-term investments, had posted
“surprising profits,” crediting operational
This all stems from Bezos’ vision for efficiencies and even the use of robotics
creating what he calls the “world’s most to lower costs.
consumer-centric company.” And nothing
captures that vision quite like Amazon With new innovations like the hands-free,
Prime. What began as a loyalty program, always ready Amazon Echo, and the Dash
offering members free two-day shipping on Button that reorders frequently-used
select products, has expanded to include consumables with the touch of a button,
services like streaming video, music, cloud a move into meal delivery, and an ever-
storage, and an e-book lending library— expanding roster of streamed content,
and Amazon continues to test and launch there doesn’t seem much that Amazon
new services including Prime Pantry and isn’t poised to take on.
Prime Now.

56 #BGB2015 57
11. BMW 12. Mercedes-Benz
Automotive Automotive
37,212 $m 36,711 $m
+9% +7%

Since 2005, the German automaker Traffic Information system is helping The timeless luxury of the Mercedes-Benz Recently, the company solidified a
has been a Dow Jones Sustainability drivers cope with traffic more effectively, brand, best embodied by its tagline, “The partnership with Baidu (the Chinese web
Index Leader—and for good reason. The and a new research project, Dynamic best or nothing,” still appeals to drivers of services company that is comparable
company’s aim is to ensure consumers Parking Prediction, aims to reveal parking all ages throughout the world. This year, to Google) to develop infotainment for
never have to compromise energy availability using movement data from its Mercedes-Benz took significant measures Chinese Mercedes-Benz models that
efficiency for sheer driving pleasure. vehicle fleets. BMW also recently teamed to revitalize its brand by launching a enhance drivers’ experiences—a savvy
up with Audi and Daimler to buy Nokia’s new A-class with an exciting facelift and move that reflects strengthening ties
As a result, BMW is reimagining urban high-definition mapping business for EUR introducing groundbreaking models like between carmakers and tech giants.
mobility, beginning with the BMW i Series €2.5 billion, protecting access to key the GLE Coupe and the Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-Benz also partnered with the
of electric vehicles, which is now the technologies for connected and self- GT, amongst others. chipmaker, Qualcomm, in order to develop
banner for sustainable mobility. In 2014, driving cars. wireless mobile phone chargers for its
the i3 ranked third among all-electric cars With sales in the first quarter of 2015 vehicles, as well as cable-free recharging
sold worldwide. According to BMW, a vast While busily developing new services, marked as some of the best in the technology for electric cars.
majority of those buyers were new BMW the company has not neglected its core company’s history, combined with the
owners, meaning the i3 has become a offerings. This year, BMW showcased fact that the age of A-Class customers Looking to the future of driverless
vehicle for expanding the brand’s reach. both its luxury expertise and technology in Europe has declined by 13 years since vehicles, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW
BMW also introduced the sleek i8 plug-in prowess with the 7 Series. Unveiled 2012, the automobile brand from Stuttgart collectively spent USD $3 billion to acquire
hybrid sports car in 2015. as “Driving Luxury,” BMW’s marketing is proving to be on the right track. It has Nokia’s HERE, with plans to develop
approach was all about the experience. expanded its portfolio to tap into the the detailed maps that are necessary
It’s not just excellent engineering that It invited 25,000 individuals globally—a successful SUV and compact car markets, to autonomous driving. HERE was also
attracts consumers—BMW is encouraging blend of BMW customers, buyers of which led to facelifts for the GLE (former an important partner during Mercedes-
the adoption of sustainable technologies other brands, and drivers who do not M-Class) and the new GLA, GLC (former Benz’s pioneering autonomous drive in
by making them accessible and own cars—to test-drive the vehicle. GLK), and GLE Coupe. Perhaps most 2013, during which its S 500 Intelligent
rewarding, while proactively addressing While mobile recording devices were not significant is the new C-Class Coupe: Drive research vehicle completed a
mass adoption’s potential challenges. In allowed, participants were encouraged to Both elegant and sporty, the new model long-distance excursion from Mannheim
partnership with the California-based generate social buzz by sharing their early cuts a fine figure on the road while still to Pforzheim, through urban and rural
utility company PG&E, BMW is testing its experiences, garnering a great deal representing modern luxury. With the routes. Another glimpse into the future of
“BMW i ChargeForward” program, which of attention. new C-Class, Mercedes-Benz displays autonomous driving is the F 015 Luxury in
compensates i3 drivers for non-peak distinctive innovation and advanced Motion research vehicle, an autonomous
charging. It also partnered with TOTAL With BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer engineering that sets new standards car boasting a highly futuristic design and
to open a multi-energy filling station in stepping down in May 2015, successor for cars in its segment. The sportiest cutting edge technology.
Munich. DriveNow, its ongoing joint venture Harald Krueger became the youngest car that Mercedes-Benz placed on the
with Sixt, which provides car-sharing CEO of a major automotive corporation, market this year was the Mercedes-AMG Mercedes-Benz is also forging the future
services in Europe and the U.S., recently responsible for steering the brand into GT, a veritable competitor to the old bull of smart mobility with moovel, which
added a fleet of all-electric i3 cars. a future fueled by continued quality, Porsche 911. integrates car2go, mytaxi, Flinkster, train
sustainability, and innovation. services, public transport, and bicycle data
BMW’s mobility services rely on Mercedes-Benz is also further exploring all into one app that guides users on the
making connectivity simpler and driver assistance and connectivity. With smartest routes throughout any city. It’s all
more personalized. The company the expansion and continued roll-out of part of Mercedes-Benz’s plan to
became a leader in the category its new sub-brand, Mercedes me, the deliver the best—even in simple and
with ConnectedDrive—customizable company laid the cornerstones of a holistic seamless ways.
services and apps that act as personal digital hub that intelligently combines
concierge and copilot. Its Real Time customer and car services, allowing users
to access lifestyle-enhancements from
the world of Mercedes-Benz, anytime
and anywhere.

58 #BGB2015 59
13. Disney 14. Intel
Media Technology
36,514 $m 35,415 $m
+13% +4%

Few companies combine content, a dozen names now generating more According to CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel “Cloud for All” initiative, Intel launched
commerce, and technology quite like than USD $1 billion in branded products is an “innovation engine.” While facing the OpenStack Innovation Center with
Disney. The key to Disney’s success is annually. Disney has doubled down on its flatlining PC sales, the world’s largest Rackspace, inviting the world’s largest
focus. The company thoroughly analyzes brick-and-mortar and rollercoaster worlds, maker of semiconductors is tackling lively developer cloud to help make cloud
the appetite for new ideas before placing especially in Asia, where it has opened new markets like 3-D imaging, wearables, computing better for businesses. Intel has
its strategic bets. a store in Shanghai and will soon open a and the Internet of Things (IoT). While also gained market share for PC chips,
USD $5 billion theme park. expanding its core offerings and investing holding 99 percent of the market for
Although the staggeringly popular Frozen in new, people-centric technologies, Intel servers built on PC chips.
has left theaters, Disney has kept the Disney understands that the most valuable has also revamped and relaunched its
film’s franchise growing with new theme content can be marketed in multiple brand globally. As a result, the company A people-centric approach is integral to
park attractions, video games, an ice ways and demonstrates a commitment to pulled fourth-quarter earnings that beat the company: In January, Intel announced
show, more than 300 types of toys, an delivering personalized experiences. Its expectations—even its PC sector gained 3 that its microprocessors are now 100
upcoming Broadway musical, frozen food, MagicBands, RFID-embedded wristbands percent year over year—and earned a USD percent conflict-free, with plans of making
and a sequel in the works However, Frozen that serve as Walt Disney World visitors’ $1.2 billion increase in brand value in 2015. all products conflict-free by 2016. Intel
is just one of the things that the brand ticket media and hotel keys and also link is also a champion of diversity in its
is doing right. The only thing that might to preferences and payment information, Intel is tapping into the excitement around supply chain—and in the tech industry at
exceed Elsa’s shelf space, it seems, is were a USD $1 billion investment that emerging technologies by helping to build large. Over six months, the Silicon Valley
an invader from Disney’s Star Wars: The proved a strong success. Disney Movies the buzz. It’s teamed with reality tycoon company doubled the number of women
Force Awakens movie, which is set to Anywhere, the Disney studio’s cloud-based Mark Burnett to produce a TV show about and under-represented minorities hired
hit theaters in December 2015. With the movie service, recently expanded through the rising maker movement. At the 2015 domestically, according to a mid-year
recent announcement of two new Star partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon. International Developer Conference, it diversity report, and plans to reach full
Wars–themed “lands” at its California The company is also launching a digital inspired audiences by showcasing its representation by 2020.
and Florida parks (the largest single- membership service in the U.K. called RealSense technology’s potential to power
themed expansion in history), the brand’s DisneyLife, which allows viewers to access everything from robots to drones. Intel While a progressive approach keeps Intel
commitment to making fans’ dreams a the biggest collection of Disney movies, also sent responsive garments down the on the rise, the competition from other
reality is unmistakable. books, and music at home, on tablets, and catwalk during New York Fashion Week tech companies that are chasing emerging
on mobile phones. These offerings expand 2015, proving itself a leader in technology technologies and the ballooning big-data
Under CEO Bob Iger, the entertainment Disney’s own ecosystem, and ensure that’s not just wearable, but fashionable. market continues to rise. But with the
giant has become a master at betting on consumers get more of the Disney they development of a whole new kind memory,
properties that can delight both customers love, whenever and wherever they want it. While pursing new developments, Intel 3D XPoint, for example, Intel shows its
and shareholders. Each one of those is building partnerships to grow its core commitment to gaining an edge through
properties, from Avengers to Toy Story, offerings. It teamed with Dell, HP, Lenovo, innovation.
is managed as a multinational franchise and Microsoft on the joint “PC Does
with multiple revenue streams, across What” campaign that touts the ability of
Disney properties and beyond. That’s next-generation computers to offer truly
meant fewer, but bigger bets—with almost personal experiences. On the enterprise
side, Intel proved its performance prowess
with the release of the Intel SSD DC
P3608 solid-state drive and further
invested in its data center business by
agreeing to buy Altera Corp. for USD
$16.7 billion in June 2015. As part of its

60 #BGB2015 61
15. Cisco 16. Oracle
Technology Technology
29,854 $m 27,283 $m
-3% +5%

Cisco, the Silicon Valley–based technology Cisco continues to invest in developing In 2015 alone, Oracle CEOs Mark Hurd and
company, is racing towards its goal of new generations of networking hardware, Safra Catz are investing USD $5 billion in
becoming the business partner for all betting that it can stay ahead of cheaper, research and development (R&D) as they
executives and organizations seeking to off-the-shelf “white box” offerings by execute founder Larry Ellison’s vision: turn
digitize their operations and capture the providing higher performance and more the 38-year-old technology leader into the
opportunities presented by the Internet capable systems, powered by its in-house number one cloud company in the world.
of Things (IoT). It is evolving its own chip development team.
operations in order to better serve its Oracle’s R&D commitment is laser focused
customers’ increasingly complex needs, Meanwhile, the company is diversifying on driving new innovations across its cloud
while preparing for the next wave of beyond its hardware businesses, adding portfolio as customers are increasingly
innovation by streamlining its services. new cloud-based services that increase adopting software as a service (SaaS),
the value it delivers to business customers. platform as a service (PaaS), and
Given that much of the early IoT traffic will It’s becoming the go-to solution for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions.
run through its systems, Cisco is poised businesses looking to go fully digital, Additionally, Oracle is actively recruiting
to be a critical IoT player. Its credibility with the creation of hyperdistributed and hiring top engineering and sales talent
in this emerging space is making Cisco technology architectures that encompass around the world.
a sought-after partner—particularly for automation, data analytics, security, and
those businesses that are looking to bring collaboration, as well as communications At Oracle OpenWorld 2015, Ellison, who
new systems online and do more with the tools and applications. is Oracle’s current Executive Chairman of
data those systems create. the Board and Chief Technology Officer,
True customer care comes from within, shared how the company is building its
With new leadership in place, capitalizing according to Cisco’s new CEO. Robbins cloud services with open standards so that
on this opportunity seems possible. promotes a company culture rooted in customers can choose where they run a
Chuck Robbins, former SVP of Worldwide clear communications and mutual respect. given workload—on Oracle’s cloud, in a
Operations, took over for 20-year CEO “We treat our customers the way we company’s own data center, or even on a
John Chambers in July 2015 and has would like to be treated and it creates a rival cloud.
imparted a fresh focus on simplicity and high degree of value in our relationships,”
speed. And a company like Cisco must be he recently stated. He also noted that he The company’s strategy is working—
nimble in order to be quick, so Robbins has wants “customers believing that [Cisco Oracle competes in all three layers
introduced new management and smaller is] the partner that helps them build their of the cloud: software, platform, and
teams to invite diverse perspectives—all digital strategy.” infrastructure, and claims more cloud
of which allow Cisco to react faster to applications than any other company.
customers’ needs. As part of his efforts Virtually its entire software portfolio is now
to streamline, Robbins sold off the offered as cloud services, which include
company’s video set-top box hardware line apps for ERP, enterprise performance
to Technicolor for USD $600 million and management, human capital management,
discontinued Invicta, its flash storage line. marketing, sales, service, commerce,
supply chain, and more. This focus on
accelerating growth in the expanding
cloud sector has fueled the rise of
Oracle’s brand.

62 #BGB2015 63
17. Nike 18. HP
Sporting Goods Technology
23,070 $m 23,056 $m
+16% -3%

Some brands strive to win favor with Nike continues to adapt its message Since announcement in late 2014, the Enterprise is also investing in innovation
fashionistas; others cultivate credibility of personal empowerment for a new most significant news surrounding Hewlett through Hewlett Packard Ventures, which
among sports enthusiasts. And then generation. In addition to “Better for It,” Packard (HP) is the largest division in partners with start-ups tackling trends
there’s Nike—the company that there was the whimsical World Cup– its corporate history, resulting in the such as big data, cloud and data centers,
established its name among athletes now themed “Winner Stays On,” a tribute to establishment of two new, publicly traded and security.
hosts runway shows, collaborates with LeBron James following his NBA defeat, companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise
top designers, and is the most-mentioned and an ode to the last-place marathon and HP Inc. HP Inc., a global leader in printing and
fashion brand on Instagram. It’s invested finisher. The brand also created variations personal systems, believes that technology
years of research in creating a new sports of the iconic “Just Do It” tagline for The separation is intended to provide each should make life better for everyone,
bra, a woven-yarn running shoe, and a countries like South Korea, China, new company with the focus, financial everywhere. HP Inc. is led by new CEO
soccer cleat that rises above the ankle. and Turkey. resources, and flexibility to adapt quickly and President, Dion Weisler—who was
Now, it’s turning up the focus on the to changing market demands. “Today, Executive Vice President of Printing and
female market. Change is in the air for Nike. Earlier this I’m more convinced than ever that this Personal Systems at HP—with recent
year, cofounder Phil Knight announced separation will create two compelling hire, Antonio Lucio, formerly of Visa,
While the sportswear giant has long plans to retire in 2016. The man who companies well positioned to win in the stepping into the role of Chief Marketing
made women’s apparel, brands like Under made “Just Do It” a household phrase marketplace and to drive value for our Officer. While it’s retaining the HP logo,
Armour (UA) and Lululemon have been far has long claimed to be in the business of stockholders,” stated CEO Meg Whitman. HP Inc. will adopt a new brand strategy:
more vocal in their courtship of women. To entertainment, a statement he’s backed “Keep Reinventing.” In an ever-changing,
woo new women buyers, Nike cast 27 top with eye-catching media blitzes like the Hewlett Packard Enterprise—which connected world, HP Inc. keeps reinventing
female athletes in a runway show, recently pop-up LED-screen “Zoom City Arena” in emerged with a distinct brand identity— itself, its technologies, and what tomorrow
opened its first women’s-only retail store, NYC, built to display customized content focuses on technology infrastructure, holds so that industries, communities, and
and launched its biggest-ever female- and interactive training programs during software, and services, targeting high- individuals can keep reinventing how they
focused advertising push with the “Better the NBA All-Star Weekend. New CEO growth categories like mobility, cloud operate, ideate, and create what matters
for It” campaign. The company predicts Mark Parker is expected to continue computing, data, and security: markets the most to them. Operating with the heart
that its women’s line could add USD $2 Knight’s legacy. with increasing competition. Led by and energy of a start-up and the brain,
billion in additional sales by 2017. Whitman (who will also chair the board muscle, and determination of a Fortune
of directors for HP Inc.) and current 100 corporation, the company will use this
Nike has announced that fiscal 2015 CMO Henry Gomez, Hewlett Packard unique combination to compete vigorously
marked its most profitable year ever in Enterprise currently owns 27 percent of in its core markets, pursue growth in
North America. It’s also made inroads in the world’s server market, and brought in natural adjacencies, and create new
China—where it had previously struggled USD $3.9 billion in fourth-quarter revenue categories in 3-D printing and immersive
with unsold inventory and tame reception in 2014. With the recent acquisition of computing.
to product launches. Compared to its Aruba Networks, it has expanded its
brand positioning in the U.S. and Europe, leadership in enterprise mobility. The Not just embracing new opportunities,
Nike has cultivated a more premium company continues to innovate, and its but leading innovation in their respective
brand in China by reducing inventory and most ambitious research effort is The sectors, these newly streamlined HP
repositioning its stores. Nike’s second Machine, which reinvents the fundamental companies are prepared to compete with
women’s-only retail store is slated to architecture of computers to enable a greater focus in dynamic markets.
open in Shanghai soon. quantum leap in performance, power
efficiency, and security. Hewlett Packard

64 #BGB2015 65
19. Honda 20. Louis Vuitton
Automotive Luxury
22,975 $m 22,250 $m
+6% -1%

Following the resignation CEO Takanobu same period. James Jenkins, manager Grands Classiques (a French term for With a heritage rooted in travel and the
Ito, and in the midst of a difficult year, of light truck product planning at Honda “coveted icons”) are new, innovative, and spirit of adventure, the brand placed
newly appointed CEO Takahiro Hachigo North America, promised that the HR-V will sometimes shocking when introduced, a strong emphasis on travel pieces
has promised to pursue the development eventually lead the small SUV segment. but over time they become classics. The throughout its collections. “Don’t believe
of products unique to the brand, and idea of Grands Classiques is something in borders,” and “dare to new frontiers”
Honda has continued to innovate in and On the marketing side, Honda launched a Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic are just a few of the sentiments from “The
outside of the automotive sector. campaign known as “The Endless Road,” Director, aimed to capture this year, albeit Spirit of Travel,” Louis Vuitton’s campaign
which features a remarkably creative with a signature focus on simplicity. Louis film, which values the experience of the
In 2015, the company launched the “never-ending” YouTube video that is Vuitton is a brand characterized by iconic journey as much as the destination. The
Honda Jet—a business jet 30 years in the bespoke to its audience—seamlessly innovation—a deep reverence for its video acts as both campaign film and
making—as well as the Honda Walk Assist, personalized using real-time location data. heritage constantly informs new designs travel brochure, reminding consumers to
a device for supporting human movement. From launch, the video runs constantly, and fresh ideas for the future. return to a time when the journey—and the
As for automotive innovations, Honda visually representing the time of day and brand you experienced it with—was the
is launching an all-new MY 16 Civic and weather of the user’s particular location. A focus on retail and sales networks, along adventure itself.
Accord that form the bedrock of its with a continued emphasis on creativity
U.S. business. Honda is employing new products and and quality, characterize the company’s A combined focus on product, innovation,
novel marketing efforts to demonstrate strategy this year. It continues to develop and the retail experience continues to
However, Honda’s HR-V, has seen innovation and progress. two iconic new handbag styles: the be key for Louis Vuitton. As the brand’s
exceptional movement. This new Capucines, launched in 2013, named after beautifully immersive Series 3 exhibition
crossover SUV sold 14,141 units in a matter the Rue des Capucines in Paris, where arrives in London, it is a timely framing
of weeks, triple what any other automaker Louis Vuitton opened its first store in 1854; of the conversation around accessibility
has managed in the first month with a new and the Petite Malle, created by Nicolas and exclusivity.
model in the segment. And the HR-V did Ghesquière in 2014, which reflects the
not cannibalize its larger sibling—in fact, fashion house’s trunkmaking heritage.
sales of the CR-V, the longtime best-selling Unfortunately, the brand has been affected
SUV in America, rose 3 percent in the by a market slow down in China, which
has impacted the luxury sector as a
whole. With Louis Vuitton affected, which
accounts for one-third of total LVMH
group sales, Ghesquière is bringing the
brand back with what he describes as
its three-word philosophy: timelessness,
authenticity, and innovation.

Louis Vuitton has harnessed these values

for strong creative momentum. This
past year has seen the unveiling of the
Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by
Frank Gehry, the opening of La Fabrique
du Temps, a watchmaking factory in
Switzerland, and a bold celebration of the
Monogram in collaboration with an array of
visionaries, from Karl Lagerfeld to
Marc Newson.

66 #BGB2015 67
21. H&M 22. Gillette
Apparel FMCG
22,222 $m 22,218 $m
+5% -3%

A global retail phenomenon—with more champions real changes to create a Adapting to both digital and stylistic addition to its hallmark sports marketing
than 3,500 stores in 61 countries—H&M better fashion future, focusing on areas consumer trends, Gillette—a division of the initiatives, Gillette has also partnered with
makes fashion accessible to all. The brand such as sustainable materials, water, consumer packaged goods giant Procter blockbuster entertainment properties
is fueled by a new business focus on wages, labor conditions, and animal & Gamble—is focusing on new, innovative including the recent Avengers: Age of
delivering high quality at the best prices, welfare, with a recent EUR €1 million grant ventures and wooing a more contemporary Ultron and James Bond: Spectre movies.
while prioritizing sustainable practices. As announced for pioneering ideas to close demographic in order to sustain growth
a leader in product and process innovation, the loop for fashion. worldwide, in the face of declining shaving Gillette’s commitment to customer-
H&M has built a successful model for “fast rates and emerging competitors. driven developments also characterizes
fashion” through smarter forecasting and Through these initiatives, H&M continues its approach to the female market. Its
a responsive retail system that accounts to garner positive results. The company’s With more than 100 years of product Venus brand—the world leader in female
for real-time buying preferences and sales increased by 14 percent, and innovation and USD $7.9 billion in global shaving—is now connecting even more
regional tastes. expansion plans include the opening of sales last year, Gillette remains a dominant meaningfully with customers through its
400 new stores in 2015, predominantly force. However, while Gillette controls moving “Use Your And” campaign. The
With increasing pressure from rivals such in China and the U.S. To meet the more than 70 percent of the razor retail campaign encourages women to defy
as Primark and Forever 21, H&M continues increasing demand for online shopping market, it has cornered just a fifth of expectations, and one-dimensional labels,
to stay ahead by meeting customers’ via smartphones and tablets, it continues the growing online market. With several by embracing “and” instead of “or” (i.e.,
demands for a “total look.” Most recently, to invest in and operate a fully mobile- new subscription-based models growing pretty AND smart, not pretty OR smart).
it launched one such extension, a beauty adapted and easily navigable digital store in popularity, Gillette launched its own On the innovation end, Gillette launched
range featuring some 700 products with that’s currently available in 21 markets. successful subscription service and the Venus Swirl early in 2015—a razor with
high-margin potential—a play to increase rewards program, Gillette Shave Club, in a unique pivoting handle and contouring
basket size and purchase frequency. With a mysterious new brand reportedly in June 2015. blades, which took five years to develop
the works, it’s clear that H&M will continue and represents the first major change to
It is also continuing its renowned to appeal to more diverse tastes and be a To combat lower shave rates, Gillette Venus’ line in a decade.
collaborations with exclusive, high- global hub for customers of every style. continues to deliver innovative products
end designers, with legendary fashion and cultivate new engagement tactics. In As shavers’ expectations evolve, Gillette
house Balmain slated next. And on the April 2014, Gillette launched the Fusion continues to differentiate itself in the
advertising front, it’s tapping celebrities ProGlide with FlexBall Technology, a worldwide market through cutting edge
like Katy Perry, David Beckham, and Kevin handle that swivels in response to a man’s quality and precision engineering.
Hart, all set to star in 2015 campaigns. facial contours, delivering an ultra-close
and thorough shave. The company reports
The brand is also responding to the louder that more than 25 million men around
demands for sustainable and responsible the world have already switched to the
practices. Given the brand’s goal of new innovative ProGlide razor.
and diverse items hitting the shelves daily,
it has responded to labor concerns— Over the past year, Gillette has also taken
taking strides to meet the demands of fair a number of steps to attract and retain
trade and sustainability, and launching an a younger male audience. It launched
initiative to create a fair wage policy for its the “First vs. First Real” campaign, which
suppliers around the world. In partnership cleverly juxtaposes first-time experiences
with UNICEF, it also created Unicoin, the and high-quality experiences, calling
first currency system dedicated to doing upon various real-life scenarios (e.g.,
good. The H&M Conscious Foundation First Girlfriend vs. First Real Girlfriend). In

68 #BGB2015 69
23. Facebook 24. Pepsi
Technology Beverages
22,029 $m 19,622 $m
+54% +3%

Facebook is using its immense scale and Facebook is also addressing needs in This year, Pepsi celebrated the 40th low-cost solar lamps from old soda bottles.
global reach to improve communication emerging markets—and having a greater anniversary of the Pepsi Challenge, its Pepsi is also sponsoring the hit Fox TV
and connectivity, creating better ways social impact as a result. It is tackling legendary marketing campaign. What series Empire and recently replaced Coke
to integrate its many platforms into inadequate Internet access via the mobile began as a simple taste test in 1975 has as the official soft drink of concert giant
individuals’ everyday lives. app,, which allows customers evolved into a global integrated marketing Live Nation.
in 17 countries to search for information campaign targeting social media savvy
As the world’s leading social media through cell coverage without accruing consumers. The Pepsi brand also benefits from the
platform, Facebook is using its position data charges. It also helped facilitate sustainability initiatives of its parent
to enter new industries, increase its wildly successful campaigns like the ALS The Pepsi Challenge of today has been company, PepsiCo, which have earned
civic engagement, and innovate new Ice Bucket Challenge, and played an “reinterpreted for a new generation.” Less the company widespread social clout,
communication techniques across the active role in securing millions of dollars focused on Coke comparisons, Pepsi is along with significant financial returns.
globe. With the aim of making information in donations for victims of the Nepal now homing in on a new breed of Pepsi PepsiCo’s environmental sustainability
more readily available and enabling earthquake and West Africa Ebola. fan. Long gone are blind taste tests—the programs, across all brands, have saved
constructive collaboration and sharing, the new Pepsi Challenge takes on real- the company more than USD $375 million
brand is working with media outlets like In more direct revenue realms, the recent life trials that resonate deeply with the since 2010, supporting its commitment to
The New York Times to publish content Facebook at Work platform could help millennial generation. “Performance with Purpose.” PepsiCo’s
directly to mobile phones. And the brand the brand counter its reputation as “a continued progress on water, energy,
continues investing in Fbstart, which distraction” and help it dig deeper into Pepsi is relying on a trait that has helped packaging, and waste-reduction initiatives
provides more than USD $100 million in the B2B space. Peer-to-peer payment it stay relevant for the past 50 years: have delivered a twofold of business
financial and technical support to 3,800 functionality (users no longer need to innovation. In an increasingly health- benefits: double-digit net revenue and
mobile-app developers. leave Facebook to use Venmo and PayPal) conscious market, Pepsi is addressing operating profit growth. Indra Nooyi,
has also made Facebook more commerce growing concerns over aspartame. In Chairman and CEO—who ranked second
The company’s investments in mobile friendly—and all the more attractive to August 2015, it created a new Diet Pepsi on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list
technology—e.g., Facebook Messenger, advertisers. formula, swapping aspartame for the in 2015—states, “by continuing to apply
WhatsApp, and Instagram—are not only less-contentious sucralose. There’s also our scale and capabilities to address
fiscally intelligent, they are also improving Additionally, the launch of M (Facebook’s Pepsi True, a low-calorie cola sweetened shared societal challenges, we will
global communication pathways. The personal-assistant rival to Siri and with cane sugar and stevia that’s sold further strengthen our company and the
brand continues to create new and Cortana) has positioned it to reveal social exclusively through Amazon. Pepsi is also communities where we operate.”
better ways to stay connected, including microtribes to advertisers, providing them experimenting with different flavors and
Safety Check, a means to ensure the with unprecedented contextual data and has even partnered with SodaStream to Pepsi has continued to build momentum
safety of loved ones during moments the ability to analyze consumer sentiments. let people craft their own Pepsi beverages (its brand value rose 3 percent on this
of global disaster and crisis, Mentions, Such information enables Facebook at home. year’s Best Global Brands report) for
a platform that allows public figures to to cater its content and create a more a number of reasons, but the clearest
engage with fans, and Moments, an app personalized experience. These efforts address a major brand reason of all lies in Pepsi’s ability to
where friends can share photos privately. challenge: building a new Pepsi generation. prove its relevance among younger and
Its new advertising campaign, hailed as The brand is engaging new consumers more connected as well as more socially
humble and gritty, highlights the emotional with campaigns that reinforce both social conscious and health-savvy consumers.
benefits of friendship, rather than focusing good and pure enjoyment. For every
exclusively on the technology that mention of the #pepsichallenge on social
individuals use to stay connected. media, for example, Pepsi has pledged
to give USD $1 to a group called Liter of
Light, which creates, among other things,

70 #BGB2015 71
25. American Express 26. SAP
Financial Services Technology
18,922 $m 18,768 $m
-3% +8%

While American Express has never While all of these efforts have contributed SAP’s vision is to help the world run computing, as well as SAP S/4HANA,
shied away from highlighting the cache to American Express’ shift from traditional better and improve people’s lives—and the next-generation suite designed for
its members can expect, the company payment services to being a platform that with 74 percent of all worldwide business a company’s digital core—enable SAP’s
has focused its more recent marketing facilitates commerce more broadly, it’s transactions touching an SAP system, customers to become truly
efforts on redefining exclusivity to be more also continuing to democratize its position the brand is on track to deliver. In 2015, digital businesses.
inclusive and appealing to a broader cross- in the market. Earlier this year, it joined SAP launched “Run Simple,” its largest
section of audiences. companies like AT&T, Macy’s, Rite Aid, and multiplatform global advertising campaign In 2015, the company’s annual business
ExxonMobil to launch the first U.S.-based yet, which positions the company’s flagship conference, SAPPHIRE NOW, was
Since the 2012 launch of “The Membership coalition loyalty program that rewards technology, SAP HANA, as the hero recognized once again by BizBash as
Effect” brand campaign, American Express consumers, regardless of payment of simplicity. Expanding from its highly one of the most innovative meetings
has been underscoring its power to method. The program, called Plenti, successful “The Best-Run Businesses Run of the year. One of the key innovations
connect consumers and businesses to is expected to benefit from American SAP” campaign, SAP continues to execute at SAPPHIRE NOW is the use of data
benefits, experiences, and possibilities Express’ experience operating multi- on its vision by helping businesses to improve the customer experience,
that simplify their lives. In February of this partner global programs like Payback, “Run Simple.” either by soliciting and applying attendee
year, “The Journey Never Stops” campaign which manages coalition programs in feedback or by gathering input on every
profiled inspiring people on their paths Germany, Italy, Poland, India, and Mexico. SAP empowers people and organizations aspect of the experience from a customer
to success, and positioned American to work together more efficiently, generate advisory council.
Express’ products and services as tools 2015 has not been without notable business insights more effectively, and
that enabled them to realize their dreams. challenges. The emergence of mobile innovate their business models to stay SAP produces engaging content that
Customer-focused efforts, like the newly- wallet technologies like Apple Pay and ahead of the competition. With more presents bold views on how companies
revamped Amex Mobile app featuring Samsung Pay, and the loss of partners like than 296,000 customers in over 190 of all sizes can create and capture new
Touch ID, serve as proof points for the Costco and JetBlue, have undoubtedly countries, SAP is the world’s leading value in the digital economy. Its Digitalist
company’s continued dedication contributed to recent earnings slips. enterprise application and analytics Magazine, available online and on mobile
to lifestyle simplifications and software provider and the fastest-growing devices, reaches more than a million
customer-service. However, looking ahead, American enterprise company at scale in the cloud. readers annually.
Express is creating new ways for people The company’s customers represent
to experience the brand on its terms, and 98 percent of the world’s top brands, SAP is also committed to further
according to their lifestyles. as valued by Forbes, and it enables the engaging users with the brand by bringing
world’s largest business network of more consumer-grade design and compelling
than 1.5 million trading partners. user experiences to its applications and
platforms—earning the company two Red
In 2010, SAP began a major Dot Awards in 2015.
transformation, embarking on a journey
to become the cloud company powered With ambitious targets for its future, SAP
by SAP HANA. The acquisitions of continues to expand and evolve with the
Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, hybris, and needs of businesses, increasing in brand
SuccessFactors, each a premier player in value by 8 percent this year.
their respective niches, have enabled SAP
to advance aggressively into the cloud
business. These innovations—coupled
with the company’s flagship product, SAP
HANA, a platform for in-memory, real-time

72 #BGB2015 73
27. IKEA 28. Pampers
Retail FMCG
16,541 $m 15,267 $m
+4% +8%

From its start, IKEA has understood the IKEA furniture in their own homes. These Since its first disposable diaper arrived in Tetanus from 17 countries since 2006,
power of democratic design. The Swedish unique, experiential initiatives demonstrate 1961, Pampers has built its brand around preventing the deaths of about 500,000
brand has set itself apart by offering a how much one can do with a small space. parents’ number one concern: the comfort babies. Because caring for babies means
wide variety of affordable furniture, and by IKEA also proves itself sophisticated on of their little ones. caring for the world they grow up in,
making impressive strides in sustainability. the social media stage—its U.S. Instagram Pampers strives to reduce materials
With IKEA’s offerings, people around account reaches some 424,000 followers. Pampers actively engages consumers in used in its products and manufacturing.
the world (often those living in smaller, order to engineer more perfect products, Over the past five years, the company
compact homes) can afford to design IKEA’s mission of making people’s lives provide useful content, and build emotional has reduced manufacturing waste by 78
their spaces more functionally, better extends to the development of bonds. Its poignant and instantly resonant percent, CO2 emissions by 9 percent,
responsibly, and creatively. more processes—its goal is to become #BetterForBaby campaign in North energy consumption by 8 percent, and
100 percent energy and resource America offers pledges to parents that water consumption by 4 percent. In the
According to IKEA, it’s not just about independent by 2020. In June of 2015, mirror the promises that they themselves past two decades, Pampers has also
producing furniture; it is about making the company announced its allocation of make to their newborns. The campaign, decreased the weight and packaging
people’s lives better. This goal drives EUR €1 billion toward renewable energy inspired by conversations with moms of its diapers by half.
IKEA’s destination retail experience— and climate action. In July, it purchased an across the country, encourages customers
though its user-friendly e-commerce 83,000-acre forest in Romania in order to do what most new parents can’t resist: Pampers is dedicated to helping parents
platform is also noteworthy. IKEA is to sustainably control wood resources share how their babies make their lives at each stage of their babies’ development.
dedicated to understanding its customers and keep costs low. IKEA also installed better on social media. was created to gather
through extensive market research. 150,000 solar panels and committed to 87 insights about babies’ progress that allows
By learning how people live their lives new wind turbines during 2014, producing Through research and engagement, it to remarket to users with hyper-relevant
at home, IKEA meets people’s needs, a total of 1,810 GWh of renewable Pampers taps into the needs of real content, thus building trust and authority.
anticipates trends, and learns how to energy—27 percent more than in 2013. babies. In North America alone, the “I expect all diapers to deliver on this in
best market to its core constituency. company conducts two dozen studies 2015,” writes an enthusiastic advertiser
The IKEA catalog—with some 200 IKEA is growing its brand by design, and interviews 9,000 mothers every year. (and happy dad).
million copies printed in more than 30 developing deep insights into the way The new Pampers Cruisers are based on
languages—continues to be a vehicle the world lives and an eye toward the a survey of over 500 U.S. mothers, which Creating actual value for customers
for widespread visibility. environment we all inhabit. found that over 80 percent of these moms translates in the market: Valued at USD
were bothered by diaper sag. Researchers $11.1 billion in May 2015, Pampers is P&G’s
The company’s marketing initiatives at five global baby-care centers spend best-selling brand in the world.
manifest in unexpected places—from hours studying the ways babies move
designing and building an apartment in to inform product innovation. Pampers’
a train station to installing a bathroom regional teams work to understand cultural
on a busy street. IKEA also engages differences and preferences in the 130
consumers through the IKEA Catalogue countries it serves—it essentially created
app, which uses augmented reality to the market for disposable diapers in China.
let customers view 3-D renderings of
Continued real-world social initiatives and
environmental actions also endear today’s
more conscious consumers. Pampers’
global One Pack=One Vaccine partnership
with UNICEF— which just celebrated its
10th anniversary—has eliminated neonatal

74 #BGB2015 75
29. UPS 30. Zara
Transportation Apparel
14,723 $m 14,031 $m
+2% +16%

For the better part of this century, UPS a network of 35,000 trucking companies. Zara is trending upwards—it closed In addition, Zara’s online platform—
has been out to prove to the world that The partnership will help reduce the Q3 of 2015 boasting 18 percent year- available in 27 markets—takes on an
it stands for much more than shipping. number of trips UPS drivers make without over-year sales growth. This growth is editorial angle with lookbooks, diaries,
From its 2002 “What can Brown do you generating a return. With clients ranging indicative of an increasing demand for fast and stylized photography. This makes
for you?” campaign to “We love logistics,” from food and drink companies to retailers fashion—largely driven by access to the the experience of visiting
the 108-year-old Atlanta-based company and industrial firms, Coyote should be able upper echelons. High fashion, which used feel like flipping through one’s favorite
has steadily positioned itself as a B2B to help fill empty UPS trailers (that have to be an invite-only community, is now fashion magazine.
solutions partner for global companies completed their deliveries) with widely accessible through live-blogged
whose needs extend beyond a package customers’ goods. runway shows, and via models who share Some challenges have emerged in the
pickup or drop-off. Its latest integrated their lives on Instagram (both on and off past quarter, however, including a USD
campaign drives this mission home Internally, the company remains focused duty). With unparalleled visibility into this $40 million dollar lawsuit that was filed
via the clever new tagline, “United on increasing the capacity of its global once-exclusive world, more shoppers are against Zara, accusing the company
Problem Solvers.” network while improving efficiencies seeking haute-inspired couture that they of discrimination. This fueled growing
through innovations like ORION, its can own. conversation around social issues in the
This global campaign reveals how UPS proprietary route-optimization software. fast fashion industry at large. But, as it has
works behind the scenes, across many In recent years, UPS has also set its sights Zara reinforces its position in the market in the past, Zara continues to be proactive
industries, to serve greater goals—saving on expanding its network and capabilities through its online and retail shopping in reinforcing its commitment to respect
lives, for example, by making sure critical in global growth markets and has honed experiences. All of Zara’s 2,000-plus and diversity within its doors, and reaching
medicines are transported at the correct in on fast-growing industries, such as global retail locations are strategically individual fashion fans around the world.
temperatures. The concept behind “United healthcare and e-commerce. placed in shopping locations that cultivate
Problem Solvers” is also guiding how UPS associations between Zara and labels like
thinks about its business strategy and A focus on expansion, innovation, and Valentino, The Row, and Stella McCartney.
portfolio development. For instance, in holistic solutions has paid off. Following The display windows in these marquee
July of this year, the company acquired a drop in fourth quarter profits last year, stores are also designed and dressed
Coyote Logistics for USD $1.8 billion, a due to high costs incurred during the to be as provocative as the windows at
move that significantly expands its freight holiday season, UPS rallied in the second Barney’s or Saks Fifth Avenue.
brokerage business and will improve quarter of 2015, buoyed by gains in
holiday-season shipping performance. The international business.
deal merges UPS’ fleet of 100,000 brown
package vans and other vehicles with
Coyote’s experience linking customers to

76 #BGB2015 77
31. Budweiser 32. eBay
Alcohol Retail
13,943 $m 13,940 $m
+7% -3%

Originally conceived as America’s While Budweiser continues to tout Having celebrated its 20th birthday in eBay recently launched an unexpected
first national beer brand, Budweiser its American heritage, the brand also September, eBay enters its third decade new campaign that creates clever interplay
has burgeoned internationally: global embraces diverse cultures. In 2015, for in business—without PayPal by its side. between music, design, and products.
volume grew 5.9 percent in 2014, with example, Budweiser celebrated the This year, the online marketplace spun off The simple and catchy spots feature
consumption outside the U.S. representing Chinese New Year with “Toast to Dreams” the powerful digital payments system that songs from the likes of Ke$ha and Billy
more than half of worldwide volumes. Last events in ten cities throughout the China, it bought back in 2002, enabling both to Joel, as products that match the lyrics
year, Budweiser also enjoyed a successful during which it released a massive pursue different paths. pop up in rapid succession. Through the
launch in Peru, double-digit growth in the Budweiser dream balloon along with campaign, eBay is creatively curating
U.K., and remained the number one beer thousands of lanterns into the sky over eBay is looking ahead with a clear “collections” to show just how varied, vast,
brand in Canada—it even earned the Haixinsha, Guangzhou. strategy, something that’s vital given and surprising the offerings on the website
position of number one premium beer growing competition from rivals like can be.
in China. The brand is also finding fresh ways to Amazon, Alibaba, Craigslist, and Etsy,
highlight its core values for contemporary while it moves past challenges like the The path is clear for this online
As Budweiser expands its global influence, consumers. In late 2014, it launched the 2014 cyber attack, and a shift in Google’s marketplace pioneer, as it empowers
it has faced challenges in the U.S. due in #HolidayBuds campaign, inviting webcam algorithm that made eBay listings fall merchants who, in turn, understand their
part to rising competition from small-batch users to offer “shout outs” to the people significantly in search results. For CEO consumers and the marketplace—and will
craft brewers. However, the brand’s U.S. that they’d like to share a beer with over Devin Wening, the strategy is simple: help define the future of e-commerce.
sales have been on the upswing in 2015, the holidays. Budweiser’s revamped while retailers focus on—and love to talk
with share and volume trends at their packaging is also attracting a new about—consumers, eBay is placing its
highest in over a decade. Budweiser is generation of drinkers: in 2015, the brand primary focus firmly on sellers.
connecting with customers using bold, redesigned its label, released limited-
confident messaging that celebrates its edition, patriotic cans featuring Lady With a growing number of platforms
long and storied history as an American Liberty, and won a Graphis Platinum from which to choose, seller satisfaction
heritage brand. In 2014, Budweiser award for its new aluminum bottles. is critical to eBay’s future success. The
revealed the five ingredients—barley, hops, company is investing in new systems and
rice, yeast, and water—that give its brew A strong brand position and a beloved sharing detailed data analytics to help
a “crisp, smooth finish.” For the holidays, product, combined with innovations eBay sellers maximize their reach and be
the company is distributing 60,000 vintage designed to broaden its appeal across more effective at moving product. It has
wooden crates filled with beer (following generations, have kept the American-born also introduced more merchant-friendly
last year’s shipment of 10,000), each brew a reigning “King of Beers,” both at standards that rate sellers on two criteria:
handmade to mirror the crates that were home and abroad. on-time shipping and a product’s defect
distributed by Budweiser Clydesdales in rate. Buyer feedback and consumer votes
1933, following the end of Prohibition in no longer affect how a seller is ranked. It’s
the U.S. part of a deliberate strategy to position
eBay as the technology company that
empowers people to sell on the Web. It
also recently added venerable international
auction house Phillips as a partner for live
auctions, following a similar partnership
with Sotheby’s that was announced earlier
in the year.

78 #BGB2015 79
33. J.P. Morgan 34. Kellogg’s
Financial Services FMCG
13,749 $m 12,637 $m
+10% -6%

While the past few years have not been The bank’s commitment to protecting Kellogg’s wants to hear from its It’s not only healthier options, but healthier
short of challenges, J.P. Morgan has customers also remains firmly in place. consumers: It wants to connect with them lifestyle, that Kellogg’s is leveraging to
proven adept at regaining positive favor J.P. Morgan plans on doubling its spend on and discover how they start their days. change perceptions. It recently launched
among both customers and investors. J.P. cybersecurity this year. J.P. Morgan also This is a particular priority within the a campaign that recasts Special K from
Morgan continues to be a leader in the seems poised to continue reinforcing its rapidly changing and increasingly health- a diet breakfast cereal to a catalyst for
industry, earning a record USD $21.8 billion position on the importance of integrity and conscious food landscape. healthy living and self-empowerment, while
in net income on revenue of USD $97.9 transparency. Through increased digital introducing extensions like Special K and
billion in 2014. capabilities—with a particular focus on Kellogg’s has taken a proactive approach, Eggo breakfast sandwiches. Kellogg’s
Chase Bank’s microchip technology— for example, with its “Open for Breakfast” advertising spots encourage people to
The bank has found stability and growth J.P. Morgan is setting the standard for forum, which invites people to ask think of its cereals not only as a morning
in its CEO, Jamie Dimon, who continues the industry. questions and share their concerns about ritual, but also as a healthy night-time
to lead the company following a decade- Kellogg’s foods and how they’re made. It snack. It’s accelerating sales efforts in
long tenure. Mr. Dimon is optimistic about Such efforts have helped J.P. Morgan’s also provides an avenue for Kellogg’s to emerging markets with the acquisition
moving forward. In his most recent letter to brand value to surge an impressive 10 interact and respond to these concerns of Egypt’s leading cereal company, Mass
shareholders, he noted, “We have endured percent in the past year. by posting content of its own. “Open Food Group, which owns locally popular
an unprecedented economic, political, and for Breakfast” shows that Kellogg’s is brands and exports to more than 30
social storm. … What is most striking to responding to conscious consumers markets, including Europe, East Asia, and
me, in spite of all the turmoil, is that our who expect companies to care about the Africa. It also partnered with the consumer
company became safer and stronger.” things that truly matter in their lives: from products company, Tolaram Africa, to
nutrition to sustainability to caring for their fuel growth in the rapidly expanding West
Even as it announced the closing of families and communities. The campaign African market. On the operational end,
300 branches by 2016, the bank has also marks a concerted effort to cultivate Kellogg’s is combatting lagging sales
demonstrated a firm commitment to transparency—and create loyal brand and profits with the implementation of
corporate citizenship activities. One ambassadors along the way. Project K, a global, multi-year growth and
example: New Skills at Work, a USD efficiency program that has allowed the
$250 million initiative, has sent high- The company’s product strategy reflects company to invest savings in rebranding
performing employees to Detroit, wider food concerns. Kellogg’s is actively efforts and set itself up for longer
Michigan, for the next five years to help working to remove all artificial colors and term growth.
the nonprofit community build sustainable flavors from its products by 2018. With the
businesses. To assist organizations like introduction of reduced-sugar options of From the breakfast table to broader world,
Oxfam and Save the Children in providing favorites like Froot Loops, to the launch of Kellogg’s continues to strengthen its role
humanitarian relief in Europe, J.P. Morgan new products like Origins with simpler and as an integral part of people’s days. In
will also donate up to USD $2 million in aid, richer ingredients, it’s recasting itself with a letter to investors, CEO John Bryant
half of which will be driven by an employee a healthier glow by giving customers more made it clear that the brand will continue
match program. of what they need (i.e., fiber and protein) to focus on its core offerings, even as it
and less of what they don’t. It’s a race responds to new market demands.
against time for the brand, as new market
entrants are becoming household names
in their own right.

80 #BGB2015 81
35. Volkswagen 36. Nescafé
Automotive Beverages
12,545 $m 12,257 $m
-9% +7%

Volkswagen (VW) is one of the most Among German brands, VW has a large The world’s biggest coffee brand, Nescafé, While Nescafé maintains a 44 percent hold
successful automotive manufacturers range of electric and electro-hybrid continues to find new opportunities to on the instant-coffee market worldwide,
worldwide— operating in 14 countries models, positioning it well in the race for connect with consumers at all t­ouchpoints. the brand is building its cachet by tapping
and more than 150 markets, with a record sustainable automotive mobility. Together The Nestlé-owned brand is introducing into the growing “coffee culture.” In Japan
6.1 million vehicles delivered in 2014. with other carmakers (BMW, Chevrolet, new products and cultivating experiences and South Korea, Nescafé has recently
“Das Auto” has stood for high quality, and Cadillac), VW joined ChargePoint in around the lives of today’s consumers, all launched flagship coffee shops to attract
affordability, reliability, innovation, and an initiative to build a network of fast- grounded in the message of its ongoing out-of-home coffee consumers. The
sustainability—and has also played a charging stations by the end of 2015. In global brand platform, “It all starts with company is also concentrating on creating
significant role in VW’s witty advertising late 2014 it launched Volkswagen e-load- a Nescafé.” a “café-style” experience at home by
and marketing campaigns. up, a fully electrical vehicle targeted at focusing on its sweet spot: the Nescafé
urban small delivery service companies, The RedVolution continues for Nescafé Dolce Gusto line, which was the fastest-
Then came September 2015: News broke and also launched its first plug-in hybrid with a strengthened brand and refreshed growing coffee system in the world at the
about the manipulation of emission test model: the Golf GTE, winner of the image to pique the palettes of younger end of 2014.
results for widely used diesel engines— 2014 Grünes Lenkrad award for consumers, a move that Sean Murphy,
an event with yet unknown consequences environmental innovation. Head of Global Strategic Marketing and While pushing its premium products,
on the entire automotive market. What Communication, believes has contributed Nescafé is also pioneering innovations,
matters most now is how VW manages a VW is also proving that it has one of the to the brand’s leading position in key including a new liquid coffee essence—an
turnaround—how quickly and genuinely highest R&D investment rates worldwide. markets like China. In 2015, Nescafé extra-convenient option for consumers to
the brand acknowledges its actions, how At CES in January 2015, it unveiled its Golf became the first (and biggest) brand to make their own iced coffee on the go.
swiftly and transparently it corrects these R Touch show car, which demonstrates the transfer its website to Tumblr’s social-
issues, and how it sustains these changes company’s vision for future communication friendly platform, which Nescafé believes On the social stage, Nescafé is turning
in order to earn back its credibility. between drivers and machines—users will start conversations with a new wave the spotlight from the product to people
This has hit the brand at its core: its control the car’s features through of consumers. Using Tumblr as its primary with campaigns that invite digitally
authenticity—the honest and earnest gestures and touch, using a 3D-camera. platform for both communications and saturated consumers to indulge in
“what you see is what you get” value The Connected Golf shows VW’s current e-commerce, Nescafé can collate positive something they crave as much as their
proposition that has been central to the development status. The online-based mentions of its brand, push them out on coffee: real connections. “The Hello
brand’s long term success. Undoubtedly functionalities brought together under other social networks, and host content Experiment” launched in Italy, scientifically
there is still some capital of trust left with Car-net will enable car users to connect uploaded by the Tumblr community—the demonstrated how sharing a cup of coffee
certain consumers and stakeholders, via app to three systems: Mirror link, new website serves as a prime source for with strangers can instantly break down
and VW will need to prove that this trust Android Auto, and Car-Play. Other connection and co-creation. walls and create bonds.
is well deserved. But strong brands can concepts include the Media Control
prove to be resilient assets, and VW infotainment app for the integration of As part of the “It all starts with a Nescafé”
remains true to its goal: to achieve the tablets and smart watches, a parking brand platform, the award-winning “Really
highest customer satisfaction while being guide, and a digital key. Friends” campaign that was launched in
the most innovative and sustainable France continues to create social buzz
volume carmaker in the automotive Chairman of Porsche AG, Matthias Müller via rollouts in Chile and Turkey, with more
world. The aim is backed by its ambition Has been tapped as the new CEO of markets planned for 2016.
to “democratize” automotive innovations Volkswagen Group, to lead the turnaround
and environmentally friendly technologies and leverage the brand equity VW has On the sustainability front, the Nescafé
made available through its Think Blue retained to guide it through. In Müller’s Plan supports and trains coffee farmers.
initiative, as well as creating future mobility words: “My most urgent task is to win Through a USD $350 million investment
solutions that are more intelligent back trust for the Volkswagen Group… and lofty goals set for 2020—with
and connected. If we manage to achieve that then the progress already made—the challenge
Volkswagen Group with its innovative for the brand now is to communicate
strength, its strong brands, and above all the achievements.
its competent and highly motivated team
has the opportunity to emerge from this
crisis stronger than before.”

82 #BGB2015 83
37. HSBC 38. Ford
Financial Services Automotive
11,656 $m 11,578 $m
-11% +6%

HSBC is getting its house in order by documentary series that includes personal Ford is taking on initiatives that transcend Ford is also aggressively rolling out new
embarking on a corporate restructure interviews with affluent clients around the traditional car ownership and driver technologies and innovations for its
and strategic reboot. The global bank, globe. The tagline, “Personalized support, experience, evolving from its position as a vehicles. The company has successfully
which has weathered some significant for your personal economy,” touts HSBC’s leading automotive company to a mobility launched its best-selling F-150 pickup
challenges that saw pre-tax profits drop 17 commitment to the individual needs of its and technology organization for the future. trucks, bringing to market the toughest,
percent in 2013-14, the company keeps a high net worth customers. smartest, and most capable F-150.
reform-eye focused on new opportunities Ford has refocused its efforts on Upgraded with a lightweight aluminum
and its global clientele. Cost saving initiatives contributed to an becoming more than just an automotive alloy body and high-strength steel frame,
18 percent uptick in pre-tax profits in manufacturer—the company is changing the new truck offers better mileage as well
They chose to rename their UK Bank as Q2 2015. In March, HSBC announced it the way the world moves. Ford’s team as more towing and hauling capability. It
part of the overall ring-fencing process will move its UK personal and business of researchers has been hard at was a risky move that involved the costly
and chose “HSBC UK,” citing customer headquarters to Birmingham by 2019, and work exploring alternative modes of closing of its Dearborn and Kansas City
feedback indicating that the name recently announced the sale of its Brazilian transportation, and even car-sharing, to assembly plants. But the F-150 contributed
“represents strength and connectivity.” business to Banco Bradesco SA for USD see what best suits the needs of urban to a 13 percent year-over-year rise in
In attempt to align itself with new $5.2 billion. The bank looks forward to movers. This shift has led to a greater overall U.S. sales for Ford in October 2015.
developments in mobile accessibility and future growth in Asia as it prepares to hire focus on technological innovation, as
security, HSBC became one of the first 4,000 employees across Asia in support of signaled by the company’s January 2015 Fast-paced innovation and a commitment
British bank to introduce Apple Pay. initiatives in areas such as the expansion opening of an even larger Research to the impact of its long-term R&D
in the Pearl River Delta China. A review and Innovation Center Palo Alto in investments affected profitability in
HSBC attempts to endear both personal is also underway to look at moving its Silicon Valley. 2014. At a time when manufacturing in
and business clients with pathos-driven headquarters out of the UK. the U.S. has become significantly more
advertising campaigns. “Never Just In Mark Fields’ first CES keynote speech expensive—particularly for hybrid and
Business” features a story that tells the New organizational initiatives and a as Ford’s CEO, he announced Ford Smart fuel-efficient cars—Ford is aggressively
40-year tale of one executive through personalized approach prepare the global Mobility, a “plan to use innovation to take growing its global operations. As an
scenes played out in an elevator. The financial institution for future brand growth. [Ford] to the next level in connectivity, American original, deeply rooted in the
emotional campaign highlights the mobility, autonomous vehicles, the early days of automotive history, Ford
personal ups-and-down at the heart of customer experience, and big data.” Fields continues to balance its rich heritage
every enterprise. HSBC also released a also announced more than 25 experiments with a technology-fueled approach and
global integrated campaign to support designed to test new ideas and address stronger global positioning.
the June re-launch of the HSBC Premier increasing transportation challenges.
wealth management service, featuring a The company launched several additional
experiments throughout the year and said
mid-year that it will target future mobility
innovations in two key areas—flexible
use and ownership, and multimodal urban
travel solutions.

84 #BGB2015 85
39. Hyundai 40. Canon
Automotive Electronics
11,293 $m 11,278 $m
+8% -4%

Amid rising competition in major global In an effort to bring its brand proposition Following a string of recent acquisitions— However, at the 2015 launch of its global
markets, the Hyundai brand continues to to life, Hyundai has focused on developing which include the open-platform video quinquennial Expo in New York City,
flourish with focus on three core areas: unique branded experiences. With the company, Milestone, and security camera Canon had the opportunity to dedicate
design, performance, and experience. introduction Motor Studio and Motor maker, Axis AB—Canon continues to build over 100,000 square feet of space to its
Studio Digital, as well as the roll-out of its an arsenal of intellectual property around innovative imaging solutions. Categories
Since 2012, Hyundai has reinvested in the Global Dealership Space Identity, Hyundai optical sensors and image processing such as surveillance, film, and medical
“basics” in order to build its reputation as offers customers more personalized technology, responding to opportunities took center stage. Of the eleven topics
an affinity brand. To place the first stone experiences while disseminating a in the B2B sector. This strategic shift is featured at the Expo, Canon only devoted
of trust in its “modern premium” story, coherent message. Applying its “modern 20 years in the making, driven by Canon’s one to the compact camera, focusing
Hyundai launched Hyundai Motorsports premium” approach not just to cars, but Excellent Global Corporation Plan, which on new networked advances—a strong
Gmbh, which has become a leader in to lifestyle, Hyundai elevates its efforts calls for staying number one in its core indicator of Canon’s new product strategy.
quality, with especially high marks for the to become more relevant and engaging categories while expanding its peripheral Experiences like the Expo seem to confirm
Hyundai Genesis sedan (a Top Safety Pick to consumers. businesses. While the company has rallied Canon’s commitment to a new approach,
in 2014). In November 2015, the company internally, Canon is still most recognizable cementing its shift from camera company
announced plans to turn its Genesis line Becoming one of the fastest growing auto to the public as a camera brand. to innovation leader.
into a new-luxury nameplate, with the brands, in both volume and scale, has not
impending release of the flagship been without challenges. Hyundai’s ability With the continued contraction of the
Genesis G90 sedan. to sustain growth in the world’s largest camera market, Canon wants to show
automotive markets—the U.S. and China— off all it can do. It has supported its core
Hyundai has also been recognized as is in question, due to the proliferation camera business in Europe with the
a leader in the alternative fuel sector of Chinese manufacturers as well as 2014 “Come and See” campaign, which
since becoming the first commercial Hyundai’s limited portfolio of trucks and promotes the power of photography to
manufacturer and seller of Fuel Cell SUV’s, which threaten to erode market tell resonant stories. In the U.S., Canon
Electric Vehicles (FCEV). Merging share in those countries. launched the 2014 “See Impossible”
innovative efforts in both sustainability campaign, which shows how its
and mobility, the company has begun to Despite these roadblocks, Hyundai various products can power peoples’
test autonomous driving features on its remains committed to simplicity and imaginations—although it was perceived
Tucson ix35 FCEV. customization—the hallmarks of what by critics as just a campaign, rather than
modern consumers crave as they continue a portent of product innovation or
Hyundai’s visual identity also continues to take charge of their own ecosystems. brand evolution.
to evolve—one of the first mass- Thus, Hyundai is well positioned to grow
produced auto brands to adapt a “family its brand by creating unprecedented
look,” it launched its new Fluidic Sculpture value for individuals.
2.0 design philosophy in 2014. Fluidic
Sculpture 2.0 has created an instantly
recognizable brand halo, while offering
a more intuitive and customized design
approach that reflects Hyundai’s core
values of simplicity, creativity, and caring.

86 #BGB2015 87
41. Hermès 42. Accenture
Luxury Business Services
10,944 $m 10,800 $m
+22% +9%

“Fine craftsmanship” has been Hermès’ While Hermès is serious about Accenture maintains a prominent and as well as proprietary research and joint
founding principle since 1837. Today, this craftsmanship, its creations are intended consistent presence amongst global studies conducted with the WEF. Its global
dedication to quality continues to influence to inspire a dreamy lightness—and its professional services companies. Its media relations efforts garnered the
every decision—from its meticulous, communications strategy follows suit. revenue growth in fiscal year 2015 highest level of engagement ever achieved
handcrafted production process to a The current theme is “Flâneur Forever,” significantly outpaced the market. The at the forum, enhancing Accenture’s
“slow-but-steady” sales approach that which inspires customers to engage in company is invested in building and positioning as a leader at the intersection
favors supply over demand. This ongoing more playful ways with the company and enhancing its leadership position within its of business and technology.
commitment to exceptional craftsmanship look at the world through a slower, more Accenture Strategy, Accenture Consulting,
is clearly paying off—Hermès’ brand value thoughtful lens. The Wanderland exhibition Accenture Digital, Accenture Technology, In order to differentiate itself and stay
has increased an impressive 22 percent, that traveled through London and Paris and Accenture Operations divisions. competitive in the market, Accenture
and 2015 third-quarter sales were up was a fine example—Hermès offered For each of these businesses, the continues to make significant
9.5 percent in Europe and 19.1 percent in a fresh and memorable experience for company has launched major integrated investments—in strategic acquisitions,
Japan. It is Hermès’ timeless designs—still visitors by opening up its own heart marketing campaigns, directing significant in assets and offerings, in branding and
popular more than a century later—that and soul. investments towards global campaigns thought leadership, and in attracting and
allow the aspirational brand to maintain that appeared in print, digital, and airport developing talent. In fiscal year 2015, the
quality and integrity, while strengthening Hermès’ stock, like its brand value, has media across 25 countries. company invested approximately USD
its relevance and resonance for new experienced significant growth, rising 125 $850 million in the acquisition of 18 new
generations. percent over the past five years. Such As part of its digital content strategy, companies, including Agilex, Javelin Group,
growth demonstrates how a high-end designed to solidify its distinctive position, FusionX, Pacific Link, and more recently,
Hermès is a true house of heritage: heritage brand can be bold, relevant, Accenture completed a multi-year, multi- Cloud Sherpas.
expansive in reach and influence, but innovative, and unequivocally itself— million dollar investment in a new digital
rooted in tradition and also human by even 178 years after it was created. platform for Boasting a Accenture serves more than 80 percent
nature. Its collections are made in a leading-edge user experience, the platform of the Fortune Global 500, including 94
network of workshops across France by offers fresh and engaging content, with of the top 100 and continues to enjoy
craftspeople trained over a number of integrated digital and social channels that strong brand loyalty—97 of its top 100
years in the ways of Hermès’ savoir faire. play key roles in amplifying that content clients have been clients for over 10 years.
The design and functionality of the object across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Over the last five fiscal years, Accenture’s
are paramount, and though Hermès could Instagram, Google+, and YouTube. compound annual return to shareholders
simply repurpose signature pieces, this of 24 percent has outpaced the S&P 500
house chooses to reinvent and refresh its Accenture showcased its digital savvy by 8 percentage points. Smart investments
designs in unique and inspiring ways. and dynamic expertise during the 2015 in its future have proven a benefit to
World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Accenture’s clients, stakeholders, and
It presented a bold, multi-dimensional burgeoning brand.
program that included Chairman and CEO
Pierre Nanterme’s participation in a panel
discussion on “The New Digital Context”,

88 #BGB2015 89
43. L’Oréal 44. Audi
FMCG Automotive
10,798 $m 10,328 $m
+6% +5%

By continually driving innovation, L’Oréal By embracing innovation and robust Having announced its intent of becoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where
has maintained its position as a global research tactics, L’Oréal isn’t just moving the number one premium auto brand, journalists took a self-driven journey from
beauty leader for the past 106 years. into uncharted technological territory Audi has introduced 12 new models with Palo Alto to Las Vegas. The e-tron quattro
A strong commitment to research and for a beauty brand, it’s also raising the impressive upgrades. This year marked concept, a battery-powered SUV slated
development enables L’Oréal to deliver standard of beauty products for individual an exceptional leap forward as the brand for launch in 2018, could compete with the
breakthrough products and technologies consumers. L’Oréal focuses on proprietary attempts to make headway against Tesla Model X and repair Audi’s eco-image
across its portfolio of more than 30 iconic active ingredients and expertise in competing premium automakers. by demonstrating the brand’s commitment
brands, which include its flagship brands, formulation and evaluation, ensuring that to alternative fuel.
L’Oréal Paris and L’Oréal Professional, its products are safe and scientifically Of course, while technological innovations,
as well as an array of beauty bastions effective. With six innovation hubs around comfort, and efficiency are intended On the global front, Audi continues to face
like Garnier, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, Matrix, the world, L’Oréal researchers hone in to drive Audi into the upper echelons fierce competition in its quest to be the
Maybelline New York, Redken, and more. on diverse customer needs and develop of automakers, the September 2015 number one premium automaker. A focus
L’Oréal is engaging consumers through strategies tailored to the beauty rituals of emissions scandal surrounding its parent on growth markets like China and Latin
interactive tactics that invite conversation differing nationalities. Last spring, L’Oréal company, Volkswagen, has threatened America is integral to that ambition, even
and offer useful, accessible content, while forged a groundbreaking partnership with to stall progress. 2.1 million diesel- though reliance on a huge market like
using digital methodologies to address the San Diego-based Bioprinting company, powered Audis were outfitted with the China may come with uncertainties. With a
individual customers’ needs. Organovo, to 3D fabricate skin tissue for test-manipulating software and will likely new factory opened in Curitiba, Brazil and
product evaluation and innovation. The be recalled. But Audi is weathering the a plant slated to open in San José Chiapa,
L’Oréal is putting digital at the center of initiative builds upon L’Oréal’s work in the challenge—sales in September actually Mexico in 2016, Audi is expanding access
the business: its digital efforts contributed research and application of reconstructed rose 16.2 percent in the U.S., a key market and trade relations worldwide and making
to a 40 percent growth in e-commerce skin for the past 30 years. for the German company. Audi has also strategic strides in the right direction.
sales in the first half of 2015, which rose launched website features that lets
to over USD $1 billion. L’Oréal launched Sustainability and social causes are also customers check whether their models
its U.S.-based Technology Incubator core to L’Oréal’s mission. Its “Sharing are affected.
in 2012, an addition to the company’s Beauty With All” program is a global
research division dedicated entirely to commitment to produce, develop, and Audi has become the top premium
technological innovation and digital beauty innovate sustainably so that 100 percent of brand in the SUV segment and is making
experiences. After unveiling its L’Oréal’s products will offer environmental substantial gains in the compact car
first project, the breakthrough virtual or social benefit. The initiative covers the category as well. While design, interior
reality app, Makeup Genius, L’Oréal entire value chain—by the year 2020, quality, innovative safety, and ease-of-use
launched the California Research Center the company will have reduced carbon features endear existing drivers, Audi’s
(CRC), a West Coast extension of its emissions, water consumption and waste vision for the future of the industry is what
incubator, dedicated to partnering with by 60 percent. Global CEO of the L’Oréal will set the brand apart. Audi’s autonomous
startups and experts in academia. Group, Jean-Paul Agon explains that A7, Jack, stole the limelight at the 2015
the company want to use its insights
In addition to exploring new virtual and influence to “reach the next billion
territory, L’Oréal is set on creating consumers, while making a positive impact
experiences that seamlessly bridge on the world, and sharing our growth with
shoppers’ physical and digital worlds, people around us.”
with plans to develop scan-to-shop
mobile apps. Proving a true tech-disruptor With ambitions of increasing accessibility
in the beauty industry, L’Oréal became and adapting to every consumer’s needs,
the only beauty company named to L’Oréal is leading the global beauty
Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative industry and building its global brand.
Companies” list in 2015.

90 #BGB2015 91
45. Citi 46. Goldman Sachs
Financial Services Financial Services
9,784 $m 9,526 $m
+12% +9%

Having passed the Federal Reserve’s relationships with local residents. Citi also As technology becomes synonymous super-secure financial communications
annual stress test and achieved growing introduced the Citi Double Cash Card, with innovation, Goldman Sachs is platform. Goldman is further diversifying
profits this year, Citigroup Inc.’s (or Citi) which reinforces good credit behavior by positioning itself on the cutting edge its business by expanding beyond its
CEO Michael Corbat has worked to put rewarding customers twice: one percent by strengthening ties to the industry. institutional clientele for the first time.
the legacy of the financial crisis behind it, cash back on the amount spent on The 146-year-old banking bastion has In August, the company purchased
investing in new partnerships and services purchases and another one percent cash invested heavily in Silicon Valley’s top- approximately USD $16 billion worth of
while continuing to cultivate greater back when the bill is successfully paid. risers like Dropbox, Uber, and Pinterest, deposits from GE Capital Bank, with plans
transparency with customers. As a result, and competes with startups and tech to enter the retail banking space as an
Citi emerged in March 2015 with top marks Citi’s commitment to financial health companies to bring talent through its online lender of small loans.
amongst its Wall Street peers—and a extends to efforts like the Citi Foundation’s own doors. Goldman employs over 9,000
12 percent rise in brand value this year, “Pathways to Progress,” which provides engineers—more than Facebook, Twitter, Goldman Sachs is investing in the future
reaching USD $9.8 billion. low-income youth the opportunity to or LinkedIn—who now represent nearly of industry—while focused on technology,
develop workplace and leadership skills— a third of the firm’s staff globally. it also touts a forward-thinking view in
While there are still many challenges a three-year, USD $50 million U.S. initiative. the clean energy field, having pledged to
to overcome, Citi’s commitment to The foundation is also active globally, “Technology is a core competency of convert to 100% green energy by 2020.
change is apparent in everything from promoting economic progress in low- ours,” CEO Lloyd Blankfein said in a 2015 The banking powerhouse is shaping up to
its partnerships to its dedication to income communities around the world. podcast that underscores technology’s prove to the world that it has an eye for
customers. Citi teamed up with Apple at impact on the finance industry. According both innovation and responsibility.
the end of 2014 to integrate its credit and As it focuses on being a catalyst to help to a July 2015 Bloomberg report based
debit cards with Apple Pay. Starting in customers gain financial and personal on data from CB Insights, Goldman has
2016, Citi will become the exclusive issuer wellness, Citi is seeing new sentiments participated in 132 fund-raising rounds in
of Costco-branded credit cards, which manifest in the marketplace—notably private technology companies since 2009,
will be accepted at 474 warehouse stores demonstrated by Euromoney’s recognition with 77 of those deals made in the past 2.5
throughout the U.S. of Citi as the “Best Global Bank” for 2015. years alone. For one of the biggest banks
in the U.S., the financial returns won’t be
Perhaps inspired by the positive return on hugely significant, but Goldman stands to
investments in its own health, Citi is also gain big on insights.
encouraging healthy behavior amongst
customers. A founding sponsor of Citi Bike, Understanding that organizations must
New York City’s burgeoning bike-sharing learn to operate in a fast-moving, forward-
program, Citi has continued to support thinking digital environment, Goldman has
expanding ridership while enhancing demonstrated its ability to embrace and
even build its own disruptive technology.
It contributed the codebase and built a
consortium with other leading financial
institutions to acquire the Palo Alto startup
Perzo in order to establish Symphony, a

92 #BGB2015 93
47. Philips 48. AXA
Electronics Financial Services
9,400 $m 9,254 $m
-8% +14%

Transformation takes discipline and Philips continues to invest in “Innovation In the final year of its current five-year initiative, in connection with AXA Labs
dedication—something Philips CEO Frans and You,” a platform that highlights how plan, AXA has set new growth targets for and data innovation centers, has proven
van Houten understands. Since stepping innovation can always find a way to make 2020, and shows no signs of slowing as to be instrumental in AXA’s cultural
into the top job in 2011, he’s concentrated life better—setting an ambitious goal it strives to become the leading digital transformation and key to cementing its
on making the company more nimble and to improve the lives of 3 billion people and multi-access insurer. In the past year, position as the digital leader in insurance.
more focused. per year by 2025. Thus, it’s focusing on AXA has stood out in its traditional, and Its newest strategic venture hub and AXA
defining and actively sharing just how typically conservative, financial services Lab will be based in Asia, where customer
In the last few years, Philips has continued great an impact it has in the world. That and insurance sectors by forming new acquisition is a key goal.
to actively reshape and consolidate its vast includes creating a “Methodology to strategic relationships with enviable
portfolio. Despite a series of divestitures, measure Lives Improved,” using market partners and harnessing new tools to Despite all that AXA is doing to transform
van Houten believes continued intelligence and statistical data. This reach audiences. its business model, one thing remains
streamlining is in order, after a century innovation focus is also central to the constant: protection. The mission of
of diversification that broadened its brand’s content and storytelling initiatives. These efforts range from working with everyone in the organization is to better
offerings. This strategy is part of its 5-year For example, in a recent partnership with Google’s Niantic labs to “integrate the protect people—and prevention is a
Accelerate! program and focuses on key The Telegraph in the U.K., it created an global brand into Ingress, the interactive key focus. AXA People Protectors, the
areas: making healthcare more affordable interactive hub for its integrated marketing ‘real world’ mobile game,” to jointly Facebook community started in 2011, now
and accessible, improving health and campaign, “100 days of life changing creating first-of-its-kind ridesharing boasts 1.7 million fans and their “likes” have
well being through consumer appliances, innovations.” The Telegraph published insurance products with rising rideshare helped plant trees, fight obesity, provide
and making the world more sustainable 100 original stories in 100 days that tell platform, BlaBlacar, while launching AXA clean water, and protect children.
through lighting solutions. individual tales of life-changing innovation, Drive on IOS and Android. AXA clearly
some submitted by leading celebrities shows that it understands that attracting By partnering with out-of-category
The resulting launch of buzz-worthy and journalists. new customers—especially millennials— partners, seeking new and innovative
products has made the 124-year-old requires a fresh and non-traditional ways to connect with its consumers, and
Dutch electronics giant appear more Philips understands that keeping up with approach, an insight that will forward its focusing on growth in regions like Asia,
energized and innovative to its global significant macro trends such as an aging goal of attaining 100 million clients AXA is effectively meeting its consumers
audience. At the 2014 IFA in Berlin, it population, the importance of sustainable by 2030. where they are.
debuted new digital consumer innovations practices, and a transition to a circular
for connected devices, including air economy may require a “systems-level There is no question that AXA is serious
purifiers and baby monitors, and smart shift.” With that knowledge, Philips’ about leading in its category—In
apps for everything from shaving advice to commitment to make life better means February 2015, it launched AXA Strategic
managing chronic pain in order to support as much for the brand as it does for Ventures, a €200M venture capital
a more active lifestyle. the world. fund dedicated to investing in budding
strategic innovations in the insurance,
asset management, financial technology,
and healthcare service industries. This

94 #BGB2015 95
49. Nissan 50. Gucci
Automotive Luxury
9,082 $m 8,882 $m
+19% -14%

As millennials enter the auto market, The success of popular vehicles like the For Gucci, this last year has been one At the most recent Milan Fashion
Nissan is meeting their demands by Qashqai, Rogue, and X-Trail has been of reinvention and disruption. New CEO Week, Michele’s still-new tenure met
continuing to innovate. With a combined the driving force of Nissan’s growth. Marco Bizzarri—appointed by Gucci parent with resounding success as he debuted
emphasis on fuel efficiency, practicality, Nissan is also looking to lead the not-so- Kering—was tasked with reenergizing the his 2016 collection. In what the Wall
connectivity, and cutting-edge design, distant future market with plans to put brand. Under his leadership, Gucci Street Journal called a “fashion frenzy
the automaker is also looking to lead autonomous cars on the road by 2020, is undergoing what many are referring to that hasn’t been seen in decades” and a
in emerging sectors like electric and equipped with intelligent mobility features as a complete overhaul. Bizzarri boasts Gucci “reborn,” fans flocked to its stores.
driverless vehicles. Driven by a new capable of negotiating heavy traffic. a track record of strong growth at There was even a resurgence of interest
set of customer expectations, Nissan It’s also changing current perceptions brands such as Stella McCartney and in vintage Gucci, especially from the
remains focused around a clear set of the brand with innovative models Bottega Veneta. Ford era.
of brand priorities. like its sporty, dynamic Juke, as well as
its newest Maxima sedan and Murano Amid slowing growth across the fashion The reinvention is not confined to just
Nissan is tapping into sponsorship crossover. Nissan’s LEAF, the first mass- industry, Gucci faced some difficult years. the catwalk. The new team is updating
opportunities to engage with the passion manufactured all-electric vehicle on the In particular, following its hugely influential its boutiques, adding specialty store
points of its younger customers. It market, remains the world’s best-selling Tom Ford era, persistent concerns accounts, reimagining advertising
sponsored the UEFA Champions League electric car, with more than 200,000 sold emerged over the design direction of campaigns, and launching new packaging.
final in June 2015 as well as two seasons worldwide since its 2010 debut. Nissan new Creative Director Frida Giannini. Collaborating again with photographer
of NBC’s The Voice, and will back the is also focused on building up battery Glen Luchford for its 2016 resort
2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de power—according to CEO Carlos Ghosn, So, in a series of critical moves, Bizzarri campaign, Gucci’s print and digital
Janeiro. The brand’s strategic partnerships Nissan will release an electric car with a overhauled management, and, in January advertising captures Michele’s fresh
also signal that it’s preparing for the road range of 500 kilometers by 2018. 2015, surprised the industry by appointing vision and eccentric style.
ahead. In January 2015, for example, Alessandro Michele—previous Associate
Nissan announced a five-year partnership Understanding that individualization is Creative Director and an accessories Despite these highly promising signs,
with NASA to advance autonomous vehicle important to contemporary customers, designer dating back to Ford’s tenure— Gucci dropped 14 percent in brand value
technologies and explore their commercial Nissan created the Juke Color Studio in as Gucci’s new Creative Director. Despite on this year’s report, but increasing
applications. In August 2015, Nissan also November 2014, which allows buyers to initial industry skepticism, Michele ’s new attention, conversation, and consideration
revealed plans to supply cars to college “design a custom Nissan Juke that’s 100% contemporary vision for the brand has may create the platform for more than just
students through a campus car-sharing original, 100% you.” It also pioneered all- risen to the challenge. His first menswear a creative resurgence.
venture with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. new ownership schemes with LEAF buyers collection, produced in just five days,
in Europe—enabling them to swap their was critically acclaimed. Fashion insiders
To expand brand awareness, Nissan is all-electric cars for SUVs for a number have embraced his lively and unexpected
spreading its message across multiple of weeks. collections and have hailed his work as a
media channels. At the 2015 New York fresh new direction for Gucci—never trying
International Auto Show, for example, to mimic Ford’s collections, but instead
Nissan experimented with the Twitter- molding the Gucci legacy into a new style
owned app Periscope by live streaming and aesthetic.
the unveiling of its 2016 Nissan Maxima.
While Nissan’s Global Head of Marketing Gucci has started a new chapter in its
& Brand Strategy, Roel de Vries, maintains history. There was a need to change
that traditional media will not be forgotten, perspective by recapturing the spirit
the brand is looking for creative ways to of innovation and by concentrating on
engage consumers at all touchpoints. the present and future of the brand. In
becoming contemporary once again, it
can reclaim its status as one of the world’s
most influential fashion and luxury brands.

96 #BGB2015 97
51. Danone 52. Nestlé
8,623 $m 8,588 $m
+5% +7%

With consumers far more aware of how are key. In 2014, Volvic’s pioneering “1L For Nestlé, the world’s largest food Health and wellness is a key initiative
their choices affect their health, as well as for 10L” program, to provide access to company by revenue, “Good Food, Good for Nestlé. “Feed Your Phenomenal,”
less-privileged communities, Danone has safe drinking water to people in Africa, Life” is about building trust through a Lean Cuisine campaign, flouted
made worldwide health its priority—deeply celebrated its 10th anniversary. This year, authentic storytelling, connecting with traditional weight-loss marketing in favor
committed to its strategy to create a global Danone also celebrated the success of people on a personal level, and supporting of focusing on people’s lives. The brand
presence, be 100 percent health driven, its five-year socioeconomic initiative, health and holistic wellness. also addressed growing health concerns
contribute to a sustainable food chain, Ecosystem, through which it created a about soda by investing millions in the
and provide access to their products to EUR €100 million general-interest fund and In the face of multiple industry mergers development of new water products for
everyone, everywhere. partnered with 40-plus NGOs on programs and increasing competition, Nestlé has the U.S. market. It also announced plans
that benefited 31,000 of Danone’s small made proactive decisions to divest in February to remove artificial colors
Danone’s latest efforts demonstrate this economic partners worldwide. underperforming brands—including and flavors from all of its chocolate
pledge, attracting major global partners PowerBar and Juicy Juice in 2014—in candy products by the end of 2015. It
seeking to promote healthier living. Earlier But perhaps the biggest news for Danone order to sharpen its focus. Nestlé’s even removed added sugar and artificial
this year, the brand teamed with Mars, was 18-year CEO Franck Riboud’s growth is derived from innovation and ingredients from popular Nesquik
Inc. to establish the Livelihoods Fund for dissociation from his role in 2014. The new developments that are as varied as powdered formulas. While some of the
Family Farming, an investment fund that company’s second in command, Emmanuel its portfolio. Demonstrating willingness new ingredients will be more expensive
supports small farms in Africa, Asia, and Faber, took over as CEO, at a time when to embrace different social and digital for Nestlé, Doreen Ida, President of Nestlé
Latin America and teaches companies Danone was recovering from a 25 percent platforms, one Nestlé brand, Nescafé, USA Confections & Snacks, says that the
how to source sustainably. Danone also stake purchase of Yashili International (a became the first (and biggest) brand to updated candy products will not rise in
partnered with McDonald’s to make a Chinese milk powder manufacturer), which completely refresh the concept, execution, price. A continued commitment to food
kid-friendly version of its yogurt available was affected by a health scare. and experience of its website by adopting security earned Nestlé the number one
in Happy Meals in more than 35 countries. Danone, however, closed out 2014 with the Tumblr platform. In another innovative rank on Oxfam’s 2014 scorecard,
And the brand’s focus on promoting positive growth in the European market for feat, Nestlé’s Drumstick became the first Behind the Brands.
better health has attracted celebrity the first time in years, and rose 5 percent brand to feature sponsored social video
endorsements, including one from Shakira, in brand value this year. clips on Twitter-owned Periscope. While Nestlé hopes to be known for so
who partnered with Activia to create a much more than chocolate, it’s preparing
music video for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Nestlé’s commitment to offline to compete with upmarket competitors in
Brazil to benefit the World experiences serves to expand awareness the “super-premium” chocolate category
Food Programme. globally. At 145 Nestlé Toll House Café by introducing its 200-year-old Swiss
by Chip stores throughout the U.S., chocolate brand, Cailler, to buyers in the
And with bottled water poised to outsell Canada, and the Middle East—franchised U.S., U.K., and Germany by launching
soda in countries like the U.S.—and by Crest Foods, Inc.—60 percent of the sales on Amazon.
environmental forecasts advising ingredients are Nestlé’s, from condensed
that demand for water is expected to milk to branded water. These physical Numbers show that Nestlé’s new moves
rise 40 percent by 2013—Danone’s locations are important touchpoints, where are paying off. In the first half of 2015,
continued efforts around sustainability people can interact with the brand and its Nestlé’s organic growth was 4.5 percent—
products. Nestlé also revealed a sense of with 1.7 percent real internal growth and
humor while promoting its Coffee-mate 2.8 percent pricing. In 2015, Nestlé was
product, Natural Bliss: It staffed a staged also named one of Fortune magazine’s
coffee shop with apparently nude World’s Most Admired Companies.
baristas and provided free coffee to
the surprised patrons.

98 #BGB2015 99
53. Siemens 54. Allianz
Diversified Financial Services
8,553 $m 8,498 $m
-1% +10%

In pursuing its Vision 2020, Siemens To realize the technological feats mapped At 125 years, Allianz continues its growth for the company. The company’s
continues to streamline operations while out in its Vision 2020, Siemens is doubling path by truly focusing on the customer, focus on collaborative leadership,
prioritizing movement into areas that down on people. To help its employees and seeks to further cement its position excellence, entrepreneurship, and
promise sustained growth. accelerate the business strategy, Siemens as a leading financial services provider integrity amongst employees, earned
is investing more than USD $280 million with the 2015 launch of its “Renewal Allianz a spot on Fortune’s 100 Best
Since 2014, the German engineering every year in continuing education, as Agenda.” By leveraging its skills into Workplaces for Millennials in 2015. The
giant has been refining and focusing on well as dual education programs that scale advantages, expanding digital and brand also won APRIORI’s Best Social
core activities such as electrification, give young employees the opportunity technical expertise, and engaging both Recruitment Channel and Apprenticeship
automation, and digitalization. This enables to go to school while learning on the job. employees and customers, Allianz plans Communication award last year.
Siemens to deliver on its aspiration to By fostering an ownership culture, CEO to stay ahead of the curve in an
make real what matters—solving people’s Joe Kaeser hopes to inspire even more increasingly competitive market. To improve productivity and efficiency and
most pressing technological needs by employees to become shareholders. expand its brand, Allianz is putting energy
more pointedly allocating resources. Recognizing the central importance of behind its strongest businesses while
Siemens is also taking responsibility for digitization to deliver an excellent and scaling smaller, high-performing entities
Siemens has proven especially deft at the impact of its ambitions on the world caring customer journey going forward, worldwide. While solid performance goals
reinforcing the relevancy of its offers in by enhancing its reputation as a corporate Allianz is innovating its processes and pave a clear path to success, a superior
an ever-evolving technological landscape. citizen. It plans to cut its carbon dioxide solutions offering across all business customer experience is Allianz’s top
The latest tactic: innovative partnerships. emissions in half by 2020 and become the lines. For example, its Fast Quote model, priority. Allianz is targeting to become
Collaborating with FreeWire Technologies, first leading industrial company to claim pioneered in Italy, France, and Germany, a loyalty leader in 75 percent of its
Siemens is developing flexible car- a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030. was adopted in 14 more countries this businesses while achieving an average
charging solutions for parking lots. year. The online platform generates instant earnings per share (EPS) increase of 5
The company is also working with Booz Harnessing its existing strengths and motor, home, life, and health insurance percent annually, and a total return on
Allen and Power Analytics Partners to help entrepreneurial spirit to tackle new quotes using very few data points (e.g., equity (ROE) of 13 percent by 2018.
New York communities identify micro- opportunities, sustain its core business, for a motor insurance quote, customers
grid needs in line with Governor Cuomo’s and outpace its competitors in terms only need to submit a license plate number As the world’s number one insurer and
energy initiative. Ideas like these give of efficiency and performance, Siemens and birth date). a top five leader in asset management,
people the chance to experience is engineering a strategy for long- Allianz has built strong foundations to
the brand as part of their daily lives, term growth. A new modular approach, “Allianz 1,” remain a forerunning financial brand
reminding them how integral Siemens allows clients to personalize their well into the future.
is to modern society. insurance coverage depending on
individual needs. Allianz has further
partnered with Panasonic to provide
smart home solutions, starting in
Germany, which merge Panasonic’s home
monitoring system with home protection
and assistance services from Allianz.

Open interactions with customers are a

priority for the brand, which is built on a
foundation of client trust. Committed to
constant improvement, Allianz encourages
customers to provide real-time feedback
on their interactions with the brand
(following an insurance claim, for example).
Customer satisfaction and employee
engagement are proven correlates

100 #BGB2015 101

55. Colgate 56. Porsche
FMCG Automotive
8,464 $m 8,055 $m
+3% +12%

Colgate, a sub-brand of Colgate- Porsche, a beloved global brand, Promoted under the tagline “Ever ahead.,”
Palmolive, is an oral hygiene product line announced in October 2014 that it would the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S will be
that includes toothpastes, toothbrushes, “meet its goal of selling 50,000 vehicles in available to Porsche enthusiasts beginning
mouthwashes, and dental floss. Colgate the U.S. in 2015—three years earlier than in March 2016. While the new 911 Carrera
toothpaste was first sold by the company originally envisioned.” Its strong brand and will deliver 20 more horsepower and be
in 1873. a good performance year are important as almost 12 percent more fuel efficient,
it faces unexpected scrutiny. perhaps its greatest feature will be its
Porsche Communication Management
In September 2015, Volkswagen, Porsche’s (PCM) system. The system enables
parent company, admitted to rigging diesel 911 Carrera drivers to sync with Apple
emissions tests. As part of an ongoing CarPlay and Google Earth. A willingness
investigation, the Environmental Protection to innovate, test new boundaries, and
Agency (EPA) will also look into Porsche welcome tech titans into the interiors of
and its best-selling Cayenne model. its vehicles has built great brand equity
for Porsche.
This comes at a time when Porsche
had begun to expand its definition of And it’s such brand equity that the newly
high-performance automobiles—which appointed CEO of Porsche, Oliver Blume,
for Porsche included “nonautomotive will be able to count as a vital asset for
attributes such as ecological awareness the company, and for Porsche lovers and
and social acceptance.” The release loyalists around the world.
of the Mission E is proof of Porsche’s
commitment to testing new roads. The
Mission E, a concept car that features
600 horsepower, a 0–62 mph time of 3.2
seconds, and 80 percent battery recharge
in 15 minutes, was unveiled at the Frankfurt
Motor Show in September 2015. As a Robb
Report headline recently stated: “The
Porsche Mission E Concept Puts Every
Other Electric Car to Shame.”

102 #BGB2015 103

57. Cartier 58. Sony
Luxury Electronics
7,924 $m 7,702 $m
+6% -5%

Cartier distinguishes itself as the Having launched its e-commerce platform 2015 was another difficult year for Sony— Earlier in the year, Sony made headlines
embodiment of artisan workmanship, in 2013, Cartier’s leadership continues from a costly cyber attack to criticism over not only with the refashioning of the
built upon the principles of timeless luxury. to uncover new ways to invite customers the decision to not screen The Interview iconic Walkman, but also with plans to
Although the brand has been affected by into the brand—from rich and emotive and a drop in revenue in its entertainment spin it and audio devices into a separate
the global luxury market slowdown, it has storytelling through video to producing and mobile businesses. However, the company. The product—now positioned
maintained solid growth by looking beyond apps that place an emphasis on the company is showing clear signs of righting as a premium product and targeted at
the “fleeting fashions of the day” and passion that underpins the brand’s craft. its course. audiophiles—sells for around USD $1,200.
forging its own path, grounded in its rich In its latest campaign, “Going the With the creation of a separate company
heritage and unparalleled craftsmanship. Distance,” Cartier partnered with the New Sony’s poetic “Be Moved” campaign for such devices, it is apparent that Sony
York Times’ content arm, T Brand Studio, supports its more prosaic mission: being plans to create greater accountability,
This year marked the 100th anniversary to target its ideal male customer. “a company that inspires and fulfills focus, and freedom.
of the brand’s iconic panther, celebrated your curiosity.” To deliver that promise
in a collection of 56 new jewels. The With a network of 300-plus boutiques, to its consumer businesses, starting But it’s the PlayStation 4 (PS4) that’s
Panthère collection is the stunning Cartier’s retail environment is a top priority. in October 2015, CEO Kazuo Hirai will proving to be Sony’s 2015 success story.
result of Cartier melding its history with Cartier’s brand leaders recognize that oversee continued streamlining and It’s on course to outsell the celebrated
innovation, using cutting-edge technology allowing customers to be fully immersed the restructuring of key areas it has PS2, and the gaming division turned a
in the creations that bring to life a century within the Cartier world drives both loyalty identified as growth drivers for the next healthy profit. Now with a dedicated
of unique achievement. and demand. Cartier also continues to three years: Devices, Game & Network ecosystem of cloud-based games
demonstrate its rarity, history, and artistry Services, Pictures, and Music. With a plan (PlayStation Now), TV (PlayStation Vue),
The emphasis on innovation and by opening unique windows into its living to introduce greater accountability and and music (Spotify on PlayStation Music),
creativity was also evident at this year’s heritage through exhibitions. profitability, the goal is to boost income along with a virtual reality headset in the
Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie to USD $4.2 billion by 2018. Hirai will also pipeline (Project Morpheus), the PS4 will
in Geneva, where Cartier presented more directly influence the brand strategy as offer more. Connecting these services to
than 100 new creations (compared to Sony defines its value to the consumers the console positions the brand to own a
around 20 for most of the other Maisons). of tomorrow. greater share of consumers’ entertainment
It was a clear demonstration of the brand’s choices.
leadership and desire to do something new. Sony’s new mission has ushered in a
return to its roots: The intention of using
technology to contribute to Japanese
culture through technology and a spirit of
“doing what has never been done before.”
With this spirit in mind, it launched First
Flight, a Japanese-only crowdfunding
website that is an extension of its Seed
Acceleration Program. As well, its New
Business Creation department now holds
“idea auctions” every three months.

104 #BGB2015 105

59. 3M 60. Morgan Stanley
Diversified Financial Services
7,243 $m 7,083 $m
+17% +12%

With more than 50,000 products on the 3M kicked off its global launch in the U.S. Over the past year, Morgan Stanley made kept top-of-mind. Morgan Stanley has
market—from Post-it® Notes and Scotch® at SXSW, where 3M scientists shared bold moves to strengthen its brand and succeeded in creating a digital experience
tape to automotive and construction the story behind the new brand platform. empower its customers—all in an effort to that “highlights not the company itself,
mainstays for businesses—3M Festivalgoers were invited to tour the 3M position itself as an organization with but the people behind it.” The new website
understands the need to articulate LifeLab, an interactive experience housed a vision for progress. reaffirms that Morgan Stanley is a service
the common thread that ties its in a structure built almost entirely of 3M organization that focuses not just on
brand together. products. It was an opportunity for people Led by new CMO Mandell Crawley, financial capital, but on creating
to be surprised and delighted by 3M and “Capital Creates” is a positioning and a human value.
3M was awarded 3,342 patents in 2014, the products they make. brand marketing campaign that reinforces
and 33 percent of its sales in 2014 came the role that Morgan Stanley can play in its “Capital Creates” has resonated with
from products developed in the past five Despite the success of the platform customers’ lives: creating the capital that customers through Morgan Stanley’s
years. The company even has an executive launch, 3M was forced to revise its annual serves as the means for turning seemingly website, advertising campaigns, and in its
panel in place, which meets quarterly, to outlook due to a challenging economic lofty goals into distinct realities. “Capital executives’ interactions with the media.
award increased budgets to “disruptive” growth environment. Still, the company Creates” has also shaped a new narrative The impact that this new platform has
technologies. plans to continue pursuing a multiyear for the brand. It’s provided a platform had on Morgan Stanley’s bottom line is
strategy to raise R&D spending to about 6 where Morgan Stanley can highlight its undeniable: In July 2015, CEO James
At its core, the new corporate brand percent of total sales by 2017. 3M is also role in creating and assisting some of Gorman reported that Morgan Stanley
platform, “3M Science. Applied to Life.™” streamlining by strengthening and focusing the biggest innovators in their respective had its most profitable quarter since the
seeks to humanize 3M’s scientific its business portfolio. It is building on a industries—from underwriting the largest financial crisis, and Morgan Stanley’s
capabilities, especially among the strong acquisition strategy, completing IPO in history with Alibaba to assisting brand value has increased 12 percent in
millennial generation. The new brand USD $3.5 billion in acquisitions in 2015 Netflix in “writing its financial script.” this year’s Best Global Brands ranking.
platform brings to life the DNA of the alone. Also in 2015, it announced a new “Capital Creates” has also reinvigorated
company, which is rooted in a culture 10-year sustainability initiative that Morgan Stanley’s recruiting strategy—it
of scientific curiosity, collaboration, and includes doubling its pipeline for diverse resonates strongly with prospective talent
solving problems. It is a worldwide brand talent and achieving “zero-landfill” status attracted to the firm’s positive “impact on
initiative that brings forward the unique at 30 percent of its manufacturing plants. culture, technology and infrastructure.”
culture of 3M with a powerful new visual 3M also donated more than USD $80
and verbal identity, digital media million in cash and products in 2014. Morgan Stanley’s renewed focus has also
approach, and messaging. manifested in the form of its new website.
3M has a promising year ahead with a The enhanced, user-friendly website was
growth strategy firmly rooted in science redesigned with employees’ feedback
and disruptive innovation.

106 #BGB2015 107

61. Visa 62. adidas
Financial Services Sporting Goods
6,870 $m 6,811 $m
+15% -8%

Visa, long known as a payment services Bay Area techies and, in an effort After experiencing a drop in U.S. sales In fact, “creating the new” is what adidas
brand, is investing in products and services to strengthen its global technology in 2014, due to its lagging golf segment, aims to achieve with its new strategic
that create easier, safer, and more resources, Visa opened a Technology the adidas Group made building upon its business plan. Put in place to accelerate
innovative transaction experiences. Such Center of Excellence in Bangalore in strong soccer roots a top priority. Through growth through 2020, the plan focuses
efforts are not only helping to reposition August 2015. This innovation hub in India partnerships with teams (Real Madrid, on three main points: speed, cities, and
Visa as a global payment technology is expected to be fully staffed with more Bayern Munich) and key players, as well as open source, which means it will be
brand, but have also driven its brand value than 1,000 developers by early 2017 and a FIFA World Cup sponsorship, the adidas working toward increasing in-season
upward by 15 percent. signals Visa’s commitment to transform its logo became pervasive on the soccer field creation; implementing growth in key cities
global processing network into an open and beyond. It even managed to secure like Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris,
As it strives to establish itself as the commerce platform. The company has contacts with Juventus (EUR €139.5 and Tokyo; and strengthening engagement
leading global payments technology also brought on senior talent to lead its million) and Manchester United (USD $1.3 with customers, athletes, retailers,
company, Visa has worked with mobile Visa Research Labs and plans to make an billion) after each ended their kit deals with and partners.
payment entrants such as Apple Pay, additional 2,000 full-time tech hires. Nike. Despite slowed growth for the Group
Samsung Pay, and Android Pay—helping last year, adidas brand sales spiked a The brand is quickly becoming a
to ensure the best experience for partners In keeping with its tagline, “Everywhere currency-neutral 11 percent year over year forerunner of sustainability in the
and consumers. Since launching in July you want to be,” Visa has continued to in Q3 2015. sportswear sector—and beyond. It’s
2014, Visa Checkout, a digital payment make strategic endorsements to reflect leading the cross-industry Sports
service designed to simplify checkout the experiences that it can bring to The uptick in sales may be credited to Infinity project, aimed at developing new,
experiences, has accrued more than consumers. In March 2015, Visa renewed recent collaborations and innovation recyclable materials for the production of
seven million registered users, more its longstanding contract with the NFL for efforts. The brand has partnered with top easily customizable sporting goods. In a
than 470 financial institution partners, another five years and announced plans talent like Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, groundbreaking partnership with Parley for
and over 250,000 registered merchants to incorporate new exclusive services for Rita Ora, and Selena Gomez, as well as the Oceans, adidas introduced the world’s
throughout 16 countries. Visa Checkout is fans. In September 2015, Visa, a longtime designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Stella first shoe with an upper made entirely
also featured in Visa’s proof-of-concept sponsor of the Olympics, unveiled its Team McCartney, Jeremy Scott, and Nigo. It’s all from recycled ocean plastics. Including
connected car. At the Mobile World Visa Rio program, which supports more part of adidas’ Sport Style division, which plans to reduce the distribution of plastic
Congress Barcelona in March 2015, than 30 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. is aimed at attracting “style-adopting bags, adidas’ initiatives have earned it third
Visa announced plans to partner with Additionally, Visa (alongside Citibank) is youth”—and it’s working. By broadening place in the Global 100 Most Sustainable
Accenture and Pizza Hut “to develop a set to replace American Express as the and diversifying its portfolio, adidas has Corporations in the World index.
proof-of-concept connected car to test sole credit card accepted at all Costco been able to reach different targets while
mobile and online purchases on the go.” locations. These initiatives have reinforced responding quickly to market changes. By continuing to develop clout among
Visa’s prevalence in diverse users’ lives Innovations like the Smart Run watch sports fans as well as innovation-savvy
But Visa isn’t focused only on mobility. and kept its brand on the rise. (developed with Spotify and RunKeeper), and socially conscious customers, adidas
It is also making significant investments the superlight adizero 99g soccer cleat, is picking up speed as it pursues its new
in real estate and employees to reflect and Primeknit 2.0 keep adidas at pace growth goals.
its repositioning. Its 112,000-square- with—and ahead of—competitors. The
foot innovation center in San Francisco, new Futurecraft 3D, a customizable
California, for example, is attracting 3-D-printed running shoe midsole, breaks
all new design ground while offering unique
user personalization.

108 #BGB2015 109

63. Thomson Reuters 64. Discovery
Media Media
6,583 $m 6,509 $m
-12% +6%

Declining revenues made 2015 a Recent efforts show that the company is Facing consolidation in the cable Discovery is also experimenting with
challenging year for Thomson Reuters. planning for the future by finding new ways business and an industry-wide shift co-viewing strategies. During the 2015
The company has articulated plans to to meet customer needs and expectations. toward streaming content, Discovery season of its highly popular Shark Week,
transform and streamline its business From internally transforming in order to Communications recognizes that quality Discovery expanded the connected TV
and drive growth, but these efforts have go to market as a connected enterprise to content is the linchpin that will draw campaign to Twitter to test out the new
yet to spur a significant turnaround in its targeting emerging markets and industries ratings and drive sustainable advertising “Buy Now” functionality, which lets brands
financial performance, which is reflected in to bringing discrete offerings into revenues. As a top media brand, Discovery and media companies embed buy buttons
consensus analyst estimates. integrated solutions, Thomson Reuters is believes it can meet the need for directly within their tweets. Discovery
looking—and moving—forward. compelling nonfiction programming in Communications also dove headfirst into
This financial forecast is compounded its mission to “satisfy curiosity.” virtual reality with the launch of Discovery
by the headwinds of change faced by To turn forward momentum into financial VR this past August. The engaging
Thomson Reuters and its competitors performance, the company will need to Discovery works to expand its viewership experiences available on the platform
in information solutions and media. execute these efforts seamlessly, quantify while continuing to cater to its core male immerse fans in a wide variety of visceral
New entrants and disruptors continue their value, and, once and for all, find its audience at Discovery Channel and its adventures.
to emerge, ready to deploy large pools voice in the global marketplace. If it can passionate superfans across the brand
of capital to pry open old, high-margin accomplish this, Thomson Reuters is portfolio. The company’s global content Discovery Destinations, which introduces
models with digital-first solutions. At the positioned to disrupt analysts’ forecasts— engine produces programming that customers to a variety of unique vacation
same time, Thomson Reuters continues and industries, as well. appeals to audiences around the world, experiences, is a recent addition to the
to remain relatively quiet in the market, bringing networks such as Discovery brand portfolio. Soon, Discovery will also
perpetuating a lack of understanding Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science have its first adventure park in China.
about the value it provides. These Channel, Investigation Discovery, and Such initiatives reinforce Discovery’s spirit
challenges have created a steep climb Velocity/Turbo to viewers in more than of exploring and embracing adventure—
to sustainable success for the company, 220 countries and territories. and extend the brand into relevant and
and have put significant pressure on the distinctive new spaces.
brand’s valuation. The company has also launched
localized content strategies to appeal Despite a recent slowdown in performance
But Thomson Reuters has a long history of specifically to European, female, and and a drop in stock price last year—which
evolution and growth. Though it has only millennial audiences. For instance, in is expected to recover by late 2015—
existed as a unified organization for seven Europe, Discovery owns Eurosport and Discovery remains an established player
years, the company’s roots date back to is leveraging two direct-to-consumer in the media realm, with three billion
1851 (Reuters) and 1934 (Thomson). It products: the over-the-top (OTT) video cumulative subscribers worldwide.
has, since then, continued to thoughtfully service Dplay, launched in select markets
develop and acquire new capabilities to across Europe, as well as the live and on-
build a global presence and expertise demand subscription service Eurosport
that’s unrivaled in many of its industries. Player. Rounding out Discovery’s
European expansion, the International
Olympic Committee awarded Discovery
and Eurosport all TV and multi-platform
broadcast rights in Europe for the four
Olympic Games to be held between 2018
and 2024.

110 #BGB2015 111

65. Panasonic 66. Tiffany & Co.
Electronics Luxury
6,436 $m 6,306 $m
+2% +6%

This year, as part of its promise to create Panasonic relaunched its defunct audio The 178-year-old luxury brand has relied As it expands its brand globally, Tiffany
“A Better Life, A Better World,” Panasonic brand, Technics, and recently announced on its rich heritage to cultivate lasting & Co. continues to keep its sparkling
shifted its focus from consumer products the revival of its signature turntables. With relationships. But with net sales recently reputation—and its signature elements—
to the spaces that people thrive in, the goal of delivering a high-impact audio soft in the U.S., Tiffany & Co. is eyeing protected. In September 2015, the
organizing its strategy around three B2B experience to listeners, the brand also growth markets abroad while expanding its company won a trademark case against
markets: home and living, business, and plans to leverage Technics technology in core jewelry lines. CEO Frederic Cumenal, Costco, which threatened to devalue the
automotive. its automotive endeavors. who took over in April 2015, brings with brand by selling lower-cost rings under
him a wealth of experience managing Asia, the “Tiffany” name. Authenticity is Tiffany
To accelerate the shift to B2B, Panasonic People—and partnerships—fueled Japan, Europe, and emerging markets. & Co.’s keystone. Despite the potential
focuses on building its presence in the Panasonic’s recent marketing efforts. As a former LVMH executive, Cumenal of lab-grown diamonds to disrupt the
Internet of Things. It has made a point of Panasonic tapped big names like understands the importance of upholding industry, Tiffany & Co. is committed to
merging its existing abilities with those of Scholastic, Meredith Digital, AARP, the brand’s heritage while modernizing it sourcing real diamonds—sustainably,
high-profile partners. In tandem with its, and SheKnows for a new generation. by working to advance global mining
Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town initiative, Media—as well as its own employee standards through the Initiative for
it announced the development of a “Smart ambassadors—to promote HomeTeam, Tiffany & Co. put a contemporary sheen Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)
City” in Yokohama, a high-tech, eco- a cloud-based service designed to on its classic engagement line with the and sourcing diamonds strictly from
friendly complex that will house Apple’s connect long-distance grandparents socially progressive “Will You?” campaign, countries that participate in the Kimberley
new research and development center. and their grandchildren. The brand also which portrays moments of emotional Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
Panasonic also introduced advanced linked its social initiatives to its social engagement. Launched in January 2015, In April, 2015, Cumenal named Anisa
technologies to support connected media efforts with the interactive “Cut the ads celebrated modern love by Kamadoli Costa the company’s first-ever
vehicles at the 2014 Intelligent Transport Out the Darkness” campaign. Website featuring real-life, same-sex and interracial Chief Sustainability Officer, representing
Systems World Congress (ITS) in Detroit visitors can learn about the plight of global couples. On the product side, Tiffany & a commitment to becoming a “leader in
and is developing a cloud service in communities lacking electricity, and are Co. is furthering the innovative legacy sustainable luxury.”
partnership with Toyota that links cars encouraged to create, share, and vote of former chairman Henry B. Platt, who
to home appliances. Panasonic is also on their own LED lantern designs. passed this year—the man responsible Committed to classic values like quality,
big on wearables—its new robotic suit is for embracing now-iconic designers authenticity, and responsibility, while
designed to help workers do heavy lifting. Panasonic is powered by unceasing like Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso. focusing on contemporary markets,
Robot porters and wearable translation momentum and a broad array of strengths. Francesca Amfitheatrof, who became Tiffany & Co. continues to shine on the
devices are also in the brand’s plans for its The continued execution of a “Cross-Value Tiffany & Co.’s first female design director global luxury stage.
2020 Olympics sponsorship. Innovation 2015” strategic plan and the in 2013, introduced Tiffany T, a modern line
restructuring of unprofitable business designed for the global daily wear market.
While focusing on business partnerships, sectors have driven operating profit up
the brand remains connected to its by 25 percent this year. Tiffany & Co. also continues to open
consumer market. It plans to introduce strategic storefronts, under the guidance
a “Japan Premium” brand in the ASEAN of its new CEO. In 2015, the company
region and create new high-value products opened its first stores in New Zealand
aimed at China’s wealthy class. In 2014, and Chile and added two more to its 30
existing shops in China, which boasts
the fastest growing luxury market. New
markets also pose new challenges for
the brand—in China, Tiffany & Co. faces
anticorruption laws that threaten the
luxury sector, and the devaluation of
the yuan.

112 #BGB2015 113

67. Starbucks 68. Adobe
Restaurants Technology
6,266 $m 6,257 $m
+16% +17%

Starbucks’ growth trajectory is based companies like Spotify and The New York Diversified software company Adobe is Positioning itself as the leader in
on a decidedly ambitious five-year plan, Times. A customer loyalty feature built into becoming increasingly competitive as digital marketing and publishing, Adobe
announced in 2014—one that involves the app offers Starbucks greater insights an end-to-end creative and marketing introduced Adobe Experience Manager
plans for global expansion, new retail into customer habits and preferences, solution. It continues to expand its Screens and Adobe Target, both of which
offerings, and innovation demonstrated so that it can in turn deliver more creative offering, while capitalizing on use the Internet of Things and intelligent
through new products and experiences. personalized offers. new opportunities in digital marketing, location technology to allow marketers
optimization, document management, to create more personalized experiences
Starting with its product strategy, Starbucks continues to grow globally, and publishing. With its brand value in stores, hotels, and elsewhere. From
Starbucks is investing is some key areas— with the goal of increasing its store count experiencing a sharp rise this year, a capabilities perspective, Adobe’s
from the expansion of core products to to 30,000 by 2019. On the heels of a such bets are clearly paying off. partnership with Microsoft Dynamics
the exploration of new ones. This includes European turnaround, it’s setting its sights CRM uses data to inform better
the development of a premium sub-brand on Asia, with plans to double its store A clear sign of Adobe’s responsiveness customer experiences—reinforcing
Starbucks Reserve coffee and its Teavana count in China to 3,000 by 2019 and to to market trends is its development and Adobe’s commitment to helping
tea line, the continued segmentation of acquire the remaining portion of Starbucks rollout of mobile apps to complement enterprise customers drive measurable
retail stores, and ongoing partnerships Japan, in order to expand into markets its Creative Cloud suite. Such apps business results.
with the likes of Dannon and PepsiCo. where tea and coffee culture is rich. The allow users to easily create and share
brand is also enhancing its role as a content back and forth between mobile Rounding out its cloud offering, this year
Access and availability are equally casual community gathering place with and desktop apps. The company is also the company also introduced Adobe
important to Starbucks. The company the introduction of its Evenings menus, making some of Photoshop’s best features Document Cloud, a solution for managing
continues to explore new retail formats, which offer a curated selection of wine, available to outside app developers at documents, aimed at addressing the
like its recent New York City trial of craft beer, and shareable small plates. The no cost—a strategic move meant to waste and inefficiencies associated
an express, or “espresso shot,” store. new venture represents an opportunity for keep the brand’s tools recognized and with document processes. As part of
Designed for speed and convenience, Starbucks to bring in an incremental USD relevant among both enterprise and this offering, Adobe is seeking to bring
the store builds on Starbucks’ success $1 billion by fiscal year 2019, with 2,000 individual customers. Such evolutions in its e-signatures into the mainstream by
with drive-through formats and joins planned Evening stores making up 20-to- business model underscore the company’s delivering free e-signing as part of an
the company’s portfolio of diverse sales 25 percent of the company’s U.S. portfolio. aggressive push to advance its creative integrated solution.
approaches, which also includes immersive legacy, a strategy embedded in its recent
experiences like that of the Starbucks Starbucks is committed to delivering communications, including the creative Adobe’s flexible, business-driven approach
Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, the innovation, execution, and elevated “Make It” campaign. In August 2015, Adobe is proving to be successful. Within the
neighborhood cafés, roadside stores, customer experience necessary to evolved the campaign to demonstrate how last five years, Adobe’s stock price has
and—going a step further—a delivery remain one of the world’s most trusted Adobe tools enable expression anywhere, tripled, its subscriber count has reached
app, as it considers breaking into food consumer brands. at any time, via mobile capture apps. more than 4 million, and it surpassed
and beverage delivery. Artists in remote locations were invited to first-quarter Fiscal Year 2015 goals for
use Shape, Brush, Color, and Comp CC new customer acquisition. Driven by this
With the national rollout of a new Mobile to capture and create what inspires them, momentum, Adobe’s brand value has
Order & Pay feature for its app, Starbucks and their work is being showcased in increased 17 percent in the past year.
engages with consumers even before Adobe’s marketing. The campaign is also
they’re through the door. The app has also informing partnerships—most recently
become a broader publishing platform with the antihunger organization FEED.
for the company, as Starbucks forges Adobe and FEED’s “Make It Challenge”
partnerships with digital music and media invites creatives to compete to design
FEED’s 2015 holiday campaign.

114 #BGB2015 115

69. Prada 70. Santander
Luxury Financial Services
6,222 $m 6,097 $m
+4% +13%

Innovation and uncompromised quality year. The Postman Dreams, a series of 2015 marked a year of transformation for And its innovation fund, InnoVentures,
have historically driven brand success for unconventional short movies by American the Spanish banking giant. Santander’s invested GBP £33 million in U.K. mobile
Prada. These continue to be invaluable director Autumn de Wilde, “stars” Prada’s new Executive Chairman Ana Botín’s payments company Monitise “to drive
assets as customers’ awareness, both in popular Galleria Bag. All of these bold leadership has been defined by a renewed growth in the mobile money ecosystem.”
established and new markets, increases initiatives are part of Prada’s broad and emphasis on customer satisfaction and Santander is even experimenting with
together with their quest for excellence. ever-evolving design. affinity. “The best bank isn’t necessarily bitcoin’s blockchain technology in order
the largest,” she said during a press to lower infrastructure costs and increase
In the face of current market challenges, While unconnected to the business, the conference. “Earning the loyalty of our transaction speeds.
the luxury fashion house has taken time to recent opening of the Rem Koolhaas- customers, that’s our top priority.” Since
regroup and refocus. It’s prioritizing same- designed Fondazione Prada in Milan also taking over for the former Chairman, Ms. Despite the optimism regarding
store sales—therefore delaying some of highly contributed to brand awareness. Botín has undertaken several initiatives to Santander’s newly “Simple, Personal
the new openings scheduled for 2015 The 19,000-square-meter exhibition space reposition the brand for the future. and Fair” corporate culture, it is unclear
and 2016—and strengthening its retail attracted visitors from all over the world how large of an impact this will ultimately
operations, while rationalizing its wholesale and added an internationally recognized Chief among those is the restructuring of have on Santander’s future. Shifting
network. Prada’s current strategy also asset to the city. Santander’s top management and board the internal culture, strengthening its
foresees the optimization of new product of directors, whom critics said were too authenticity among customers, and staying
flow and mix in stores, as well as an Prada enjoys the luxury of a long-standing aligned with her predecessor’s strategy abreast of a rapidly evolving industry will
enhanced focus on customer care and a and resilient brand, rooted in a history of acquisition-driven growth. In late 2014, be Santander’s major challenges in the
strong push on product innovation. of sophistication and elegance. While she appointed CFO and confidante José coming year.
2014 represented a year of pause in its Antonio Álvarez to the position of CEO,
Innovation also applies to the trajectory—with a flat growth in sales and and increased the diversity of the board
communication of the brand’s strong a decline in profits—market specialists of directors. Botín also cut Santander’s
identity. Prada has prioritized projects have predicted a recovery based on annual dividend from EUR €0.60 to EUR
which, every year, strengthen awareness Prada’s shift in strategy. Emphasizing €0.20, signaling a shift toward capital
and convey the brand’s DNA, vision, and quality and innovation, Prada continues discipline and financial sustainability.
history. The Pradasphere exhibition, for to create not only unique pieces, but also
example, immerses visitors in an aesthetic exceptional experiences. Santander is also deeply committed
history of the brand, while the Iconoclasts to innovation in the organization and in
series presents interpretations of Prada the financial sector. Recruiting top tech
collections by celebrated costume talent is a priority and critical to helping
designers, such as Academy laureate the company compete against emerging
Milena Canonero, who created enchanting financial start-ups. To promote agility
scenes for store windows in Paris this and innovative thinking throughout the
organization, some 600 top managers
participated in a start-up pitch process.

116 #BGB2015 117

71. Xerox 72. Caterpillar
Business Services Diversified
6,033 $m 5,976 $m
-9% -12%

With increasing business complexity— improving efficiency and relevancy of In spite of a challenging environment approach. However, the ongoing
including the demand for companies to products; and sustainable enterprise and for heavy equipment brands—and at a campaign is enabling far more integrated
integrate their business systems and to society. And as it pushes toward becoming time when the operational focus for the and consistent communications, covering
process and interface with new sets of a more service-oriented business, organization has meant cost reductions its breadth of offerings, with a focus
data—Xerox is helping businesses work Xerox has acquired companies such as and job cuts in response to falling global on developing markets under a single
better. In the last few years, Xerox has Intrepid Learning, which features cloud- demand—industry veteran Caterpillar narrative. This focus is also vital for the
gone from a company focused primarily based learning technology that offers is attempting a fundamental change. company’s internal culture, as it recovers
on document and information management organizations a way to train at scale at It continues to take a friendlier and from cuts and aims to both retain and
to one that supports critical business a reasonable cost, and RSA Medical, a slightly unexpected approach with its attract great talent.
processes for enterprises of all sizes in leading provider of health assessment “Built For It” campaign, which was first
a wide spectrum of industries. Business and risk management for health and life launched in 2013 as a means to focus the Within the business, Caterpillar launched
services now make up about two-thirds insurance companies. brand’s efforts and expand the scope of a new division that will focus on data
of Xerox’s nearly USD $20 billion customers it reaches. analytics to make the most of the vast
annual revenue. Xerox also redesigned to amounts of data it collects through
be content and social driven, enabling This year, “Built For It” was expanded its machines and engines. By doing
This is evident in its most recent B2B engagement from any device. It further via the digital campaign “Built so, Caterpillar can add value and build
brand campaign. Xerox launched “Work includes shareable stories that highlight For It Trials,” a series of videos designed stronger relationships with customers,
Can Work Better,” a new brand platform Xerox clients and their industries in a to take more of an offensive stance helping them to fully utilize their assets
that describes what’s possible when personalized and user-centric way. This against competitors, showing Caterpillar and optimize their activities.
business solutions are designed around is on the heels of efforts to embrace a equipment taking on big jobs with
both new technology and human insights. fresh content strategy approach, including precision and high performance—as well
The effort features new advertising the “30 Seconds to Know” partnership as warmth. The initial video in the series,
and digital campaigns with initial spots with NBCUniversal, launched in 2014, “Stack”—which featured construction
describing how Xerox works behind that explains complex topics in quick machines playing a giant game of Jenga—
the scenes to improve how work gets 30-second snapshots. This, together went viral within days, garnering more than
done, and will move into specific industry with other publishing initiatives, shows 2.6 million views. Recent videos include
issues regarding customer care, human how Xerox is finding new ways to the visually arresting “Lantern Festival,”
resources, healthcare, and transportation. engage—and reiterate its transformation— featuring generators powering a remote
with its audiences. village in China, and “Driving Range,”
It has also invested heavily within its challenging pro golfers to hit a hole-in-one
business, with USD $577 million going to on a portable, moving green.
RD&E in four focus areas: usable analytics,
turning inert data into actionable insights; Historically a highly siloed organization,
agile enterprise technology, concentrated Caterpillar used separate taglines and
on automated processes and cloud- strategies for each business unit, which
based software; personalization at scale, resulted in a fragmented marketing

118 #BGB2015 119

73. Burberry 74. Kia
Luxury Automotive
5,873 $m 5,666 $m
+5% +5%

Amid tough times in the luxury fashion Burberry became the first branded Kia, South Korea’s second-largest automotive brand, its tone is far less
industry, Burberry’s Chief Creative and channel to launch on Apple Music. This automobile manufacturer, had yet another playful and instead features a middle-
Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Bailey, series of digital initiatives has garnered strong year, winning accolades, including aged man in a suit. And its high-profile
has upheld the strength of the brand the brand a massive following of 36 million two coveted Red Dots for the Kia Soul EV sponsorships of lifestyle and sporting
by promoting its British luxury heritage social media users. and the Kia Sorento, as well as Vincentric’s events continued, with presences at the
through innovative digital content. Best Value in America award in the FIFA World Cup and the Australian Open.
With a constant eye on enhancing its Electric/Plug-in Hybrid Category, also for Kia also joined a roster of digital and
A top global luxury brand with a brand experience, Burberry continues the Kia Soul EV. technology companies like Twitter and
reputation for craftsmanship and to fuel awareness and recognition. “My Panasonic at VidCon, a conference for
innovation, the new challenge for Burberry Burberry”—the brand’s most personalized In combination with strong annual sales, online video.
is leading the charge against an overall and most successful campaign to this recognition validates Kia’s decision to
slowdown in global luxury sales. Despite date—has been lauded and received focus on creating affordable, well-designed Given the growing importance of customer
market challenges, the brand posted an numerous awards. Global events like cars. In the words of Design Chief Peter experience in the automotive sector, Kia
11 percent revenue increase, up to £2.5 “London in Los Angeles,” which garnered Schreyer, “Kia is a brand underpinned by also ramped up employee and dealership
billion, for the 2014/2015 fiscal year ending a record amount of press coverage and quality and reliability. Now on top of that training programs, culminating in its
in March—thanks largely to the popularity social media engagement, promote the comes this emotional element of distinct largest-ever gathering of global dealers in
of its British-made trench coats and brand’s heritage worldwide. Burberry also design.” Kia prioritized this design focus in Seoul, with more than 260 representatives
cashmere scarves. celebrates the universality of its pieces the global rollout of its “Re:Design” brand from 110 countries. Its twin investments
on its own digital properties. Its Art of campaign—designed for every moment in Kia University in the U.S. and the BIS
While rooted in heritage, Burberry has the Trench social platform, for example, that people spend with their cars. training program in Europe were further
forged a reputation for digital innovation showcases the classic coat being modeled manifestations of the brand’s employee-
in the fashion sector. Last year, Burberry in various settings around the world, and That focus was reinforced in its dual- engagement efforts. In a similar vein,
became the first luxury brand to use has attracted more than 25 million page design cars like the Optima K5, special initiatives like My Sales (for salespeople)
Twitter’s “Buy Now” function, letting views in over 221 countries since launching editions of select models, and sales and and My Kia (for dealership owners) proved
followers purchase right from the runway in 2009. Burberry is also expanding its service programs customized for specific to be fresh, digital-first platforms that
by clicking on products featured in personalization efforts with the launch target audiences. With a wide portfolio— strengthened bonds with the brand.
Tweets. Burberry has been livestreaming of the “Scarf Bar,” in-store and online, ranging from the funky Soul to the luxury
its runway shows since 2010 and, this offering monogramming options for more K900—this thinking will be important
year, launched a series of platform firsts than 30 variations of the brand’s iconic to creating consistency and coherence
in collaboration with social media leaders Scottish-made scarf. across its broad set of customers.
like Snapchat, LINE, Kakao, and Periscope,
amongst others. It created the Snapchat As e-commerce grows ever more relevant Customization has extended to localized
Show, inviting the platform’s 100 million in luxury fashion, Burberry is in a strong communications, aimed at reflecting the
users to preview Burberry’s Spring/ position, with a refined presence in the preferences of the many regions the
Summer 2016 womenswear collection the digital sphere. company serves. In the U.S., for example,
day before launch and also released live Kia rolled out a new iteration of its popular
images from its latest advertising photo “Animals” campaign, featuring animated
shoot on the platform. With a history of hamsters, this time in a tech lab for the
collaborating with British musical talent, Kia Soul EV. Whereas in China, where Kia
positions itself as a premium and reliable

120 #BGB2015 121

75. KFC 76. MasterCard
Restaurants Financial Services
5,639 $m 5,551 $m
-7% +17%

KFC has long been the leader in fast Part of KFC’s efforts included reclaiming The brand that pioneered a people-centric Now in its 18th year, “Priceless” has
food fried chicken. However, the growing its full name, Kentucky Fried Chicken, approach in one word, “Priceless,” is evolved from a brand promise into a
Chick-fil-A chain is proving to be serious and the brand is refurbishing its stores now catering to a new wave of users. A platform for delivering unique experiences.
domestic competition, surpassing KFC in by incorporating classic décor, red-and- Top Riser among this year’s Best Global The brand’s 160 marketing platforms
2014 to become the number one chicken white striped packaging, and old-timey Brands, MasterCard has focused on have been consolidated into just four:
chain in the U.S. by sales, with just a uniforms to accompany its updated menu. becoming an integral part of people’s “Priceless Surprises,” “Priceless Causes,”
fraction of the number of stores. With In April, parent company, Yum! Brands, experiences by expanding its “Priceless” “Priceless Cities,” and “Priceless Specials.”
lagging relevance amongst millennials— announced a USD $185 million investment campaign into a more holistic platform for MasterCard has earned unprecedented
research suggests that some 60 percent to support the store makeovers, update engagement. Championing safety, utility, engagement with “Priceless Surprises,”
of this audience has never eaten KFC— restaurant equipment, and drive additional and ubiquity, MasterCard continues to which cultivates shareable stories through
and a challenging year behind it, KFC is advertising. A turnaround is well underway evolve along with CEO Ajay Banga’s vision experience-driven giveaways. In May 2015,
rebooting its brand by returning to in the U.S., where KFC just closed its fifth of a global, cash-free economy that is both as part of “Priceless Cities,” MasterCard
its roots. consecutive quarter of growth in same- personal and inclusive. launched its first cashless pop-up
store sales and transactions. restaurant on a rooftop in Milan, Italy,
KFC celebrated its 75th birthday by Positioning itself as a leader in innovation, causing significant buzz among customers
bringing back the Colonel Sanders However, KFC has faced its greatest MasterCard is fostering mutually beneficial and consumers in Europe. The brand is
mascot, who had a widely positive appeal challenge in China, where it is the largest partnerships with digital commerce also redefining its cause-based marketing
and strong association with quality, restaurant chain, with more than 4,500 start-ups through its Start Path Global by banding with its customers to support
according to the company’s research. locations. Yum! Brands was amongst the program. It’s also joining with smartphone laudable partners like Stand Up To Cancer,
Announcing the Colonel’s return on many companies affected by the country’s companies to test biometric technologies World Food Program, and Best Buddies.
Twitter in May, KFC launched a series of widespread meat contamination scandal. that let users verify mobile payments with
humorous, vintage-inspired ads in which KFC suffered a steep drop in Chinese the tap of a finger or the (literal) blink of While pursuing a lofty global vision,
the Colonel, played by Saturday Night Live sales, which fell 14 percent in the third an eye. These slick security measures MasterCard stays focused on engaging
alum Darrell Hammond, claimed that he quarter of 2014. A turnaround in China has replace clumsy password authentications the individuals it serves. Security,
was back to ensure that his chicken was been sluggish—in September 2015, same- and appeal to younger users—who are no seamlessness, and a legacy of
just as “finger lickin’ good” as he left it. The store sales rose a modest 3 percent from strangers to snapping selfies in a store. understanding people’s values are strong
campaign was polarizing, but drew a huge the previous quarter. To manage a slower- assets in today’s expectant market. In
spike in sales in the four weeks following than-expected recovery, Yum! Brands MasterCard has also become an integral fact, for the fast-rising MasterCard brand,
its launch. KFC revived the buzz in recently spun off its Chinese businesses player in the expanding mobile payments they’re priceless.
August with new ads featuring a different into the new franchise, Yum! China, which market with its MasterCard Digital
Colonel—this time played by another SNL is “working with urgency” to improve sales Enablement Service API (MDES). The
alum, comedian Norm Macdonald. In a for all brands. proprietary technology fuels Apple Pay,
comic twist, Macdonald’s Sanders claimed Samsung Pay, and Google’s Android
that the previous Colonel was an impostor. Meanwhile, KFC itself has been working Pay, as well as MasterCard’s own mobile
hard to earn back the trust of consumers. wallet, MasterPass. Samsung and Android
In an attempt to do so, each KFC will have also signed on for the new Digital
display the regional farm where its chicken Enablement Express service, which makes
is sourced, and it has added new items like digital payment even more efficient.
rice bowls to its menu. By returning to its
“original recipe” of quality, and engaging
consumers, KFC hopes to regain its
number one spot in the U.S. and remain
a finger lickin’ favorite around the world.

122 #BGB2015 123

77. Johnson & Johnson 78. Shell
FMCG Energy
5,533 $m 5,530 $m
+7% -12%

Johnson & Johnson has long been the the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute As the world’s population continues And Shell is also improving its social
brand that evokes some of the most Workout App into the store’s Balance to grow, Royal Dutch Shell faces the strategy. In 2014 it began ramping up
cherished childhood experiences. A staple Rewards for healthy choices program. challenge of an impending energy crisis. its social game, buying ads on Swarm/
in baby care and beyond, the Johnson & In Brazil, the company sponsored the With this in mind, the organization is Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter. And
Johnson portfolio includes recognizable 2014 Caring Tour, one of the country’s focusing on developing a future energy its loyalty-based effort with Influenster—
sub-brands like BAND-AID, Neutrogena, largest blood drives, which exceeded a system that will drive economic progress a platform that connects brands with
and Listerine, whose products have goal of 20,000 donations. Expanding in a sustainable way. consumers who are active influencers in
become constants in people’s daily lives. its partnership with Save the Children, their social networks—helped increase
Johnson & Johnson recently announced a Most recently, Shell chairman Chad social media mentions for its Fuel Rewards
Johnson & Johnson understands the USD $1.75 million donation to aid children Holliday, alongside leaders from Statoil Network program by 385 percent.
power of connection and champions affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. and RWE, was amongst a list of
those who provide care. The Campaign commissioners acting in a personal These efforts are important as Shell
for Nursing’s Future was established These collective efforts have helped the capacity to advise governments on how experiences a stock price decline,
more than a decade ago to address a 129-year-old company build a foundation to change their energy markets without attributed to slow oil price recovery: The oil
profound shortage of nurses in the U.S.— of goodwill that has kept the brand damaging the environment. This comes industry anticipates a prolonged downturn
particularly pressing as the baby boomer resilient in the face of product recalls and on the heels of the push by energy firms, due to plummeting prices. While car
generation ages. The campaign elevates regulatory scrutiny—which has supported including Shell, to become more proactive owners may be rejoicing at the pump, this
the profession in the public eye and serves a 7 percent rise in brand value this past on climate issues. means Shell will be cutting its workforce
to recruit new nurses, while retaining year. For CEO Alex Gorsky, continued and reducing capital investment. With
those currently in the laudable line of resilience comes down to decades of This also arrives on the heels of Shell’s the oil price downturn potentially lasting
duty. A 2015 campaign documentary, cultivating trust among consumers as estimated $70 billion acquisition of BG several years, Shell estimates gradual
Nurses: Their Vital Role in Transforming well as patients, doctors, and nurses Group, the most aggressive step yet in the recovery in the next five.
Healthcare, highlights the importance of around the world. competition to be the world’s dominant
nurses to families, communities, and the supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
U.S. healthcare system. With the aim of With the recent divestiture of its Splenda The acquisition, projected to be complete
generating more conversations around brand, speculation has arisen around the by early 2016, still requires regulatory
the positive influence of love and care, M&A strategy for the Johnson & Johnson clearances from all of the countries in
Johnson & Johnson launched the global consumer businesses, with strategic which BG operates. Once complete, it will
“For All You Love” campaign in 2013. deals that provide scale and innovative place Shell far ahead of rivals in the race
Its 2014 film Distinctly Dad is a moving technologies expected. Bolstered to build market share for LNG—a fuel with
exploration of the impact that fathers by general recovery in the consumer a fast-growing and increasingly global
have on their children’s development. segment, and unwavering dedication to market. It’s a strong bet on China, India,
children and their families, Johnson & and other developing countries that are
The company infuses an ethos of care Johnson will continue to feel the brand moving toward cleaner burning fuels amid
throughout its business, with initiatives love in return. growing pressure to curb emissions.
that promote wellness, protect children,
and celebrate caregivers. It continues to
invest in partnerships and programs that
burnish the brand on the ground where
people live. Johnson & Johnson worked
with Walgreens, for example, to integrate

124 #BGB2015 125

79. Harley-Davidson 80. DHL
Automotive Transportation
5,460 $m 5,391 $m
+14% +6%

In May 2015, Matt Levatich, a 20-year and the NFL in support of the Wounded By focusing on innovation and a customer- through the exploration of alternative
veteran of Harley-Davidson, assumed Warriors Project (WWP). As well, the centric strategy of business excellence, fuels. DHL’s commitment to a sustainable
leadership of the 112-year-old motorcycle brand is responding to emerging eco- DHL is using “The Power of Global Trade” future means that business doesn’t stop
brand. With a new CEO in place, the consciousness with its “Renew the Ride” for the greater good—demonstrating that at the corporate balance sheet or, for
company seems all the more ready to initiative. The goal? To plant 50 million businesses crossing borders can impact that matter, with green initiatives. DHL
expand beyond its core demographic trees by 2025 in partnership with The opportunity, prosperity, and optimism. is also committed to helping employees
and attract more riders. By focusing Nature Conservancy. give back. In 2014, more than 108,000
on accessibility and innovation, Harley- This is the focus of DHL’s global brand employees in 117 countries participated in
Davidson is tapping into the young adult By carefully selecting which products are campaign. With print and online ads, the brand’s annual Global Volunteer Day
marketplace on a global scale and the placed in the spotlight (and where), Harley- as well as TV spots shot by the award- initiative, and the company encourages
results are telling: Harley-Davidson’s brand Davidson has been able to showcase its winning director Frederic Planchon, DHL year-round volunteer activities as well.
value rose 14 percent this year. bikes from the past and present—and tells the story of how logistics power
even bikes of the future. For example, in global trade and enrich people’s lives. The Innovation has proven vital for DHL, as
Many of Harley-Davidson’s leaders and this year’s summer blockbuster Avengers campaign underscores DHL’s ability to the brand works diligently to expand in
employees operate with the brand’s 2, Chris Evans, playing Captain America, connect, from its Global Connectedness this area, with recent experiments from
core tenet in mind: Anyone can fulfill the rode a Street 750. The bike is part of Index to its Disaster Response Team— drone delivery trials of urgently needed
desire for personal freedom on a Harley. Harley’s Dark Custom lineup, inspired by which was in Nepal 48 hours after the medication and goods to delivering
This fundamental belief has proven to dirt bikes and drag racers and marketed to devastating April 2015 earthquake. packages into the trunks of cars in
be true as ridership continues to surge modern, budget-savvy consumers. Scarlett cooperation with Amazon and Audi. By
across various demographics—women, Johansson, meanwhile, represented the With this new purpose and ambition in rethinking what it means to be where its
young adults, African-Americans, and brand’s rising female ridership in Captain mind, DHL is increasing efforts to ensure customers are, DHL is building the global
international riders. Harley-Davidson’s America—as the Black Widow, she rode that its existing infrastructure can meet the strength of its brand.
recent “Roll Your Own” campaign actively Project Livewire: the company’s first ever-increasing demands of international
breaks down motorcycle stereotypes even electric prototype. e-commerce and global trade. It’s investing
further by showcasing the ways in which hundreds of millions of dollars in utilizing
all kinds of riders enjoy their Harleys. Harley-Davidson’s internal mantra, “We ride faster, more efficient aircraft; expanding
with you,” not only signifies a commitment the capabilities of its American, European,
Social initiatives, strategic partnerships, to its customers, but also suggests that and Asian hubs; establishing a new South
and smart product placement are driving Harley-Davidson considers them fellow East Asian hub in Singapore; and launching
awareness across new and existing riders. The fact that Harley-Davidson an expansion program in the Middle East
audiences. A longtime champion of still possesses such a consumer-centric and North Africa. Through these initiatives,
freedom, Harley-Davidson launched philosophy is perhaps what continues to DHL seeks to bolster its image as the
Mission Open Road in 2015, providing free inspire deep loyalty among consumers leading international logistics brand.
rider training to active U.S. Military and worldwide.
veterans. It also aligned itself with more As the world’s largest logistics specialist,
youthful, sporty brands like Under Armour however, DHL knows its efforts to stay
innovative and relevant will be futile if it
doesn’t prioritize sustainability. That’s why
the company’s GoGreen program works to
improve its carbon footprint, for example

126 #BGB2015 127

81. Sprite 82. LEGO
Beverages FMCG
5,365 $m 5,362 $m
-5% New

Sprite is reviving its historic partnerships with the basketball star, which include the Earlier this year, the LEGO brand was The LEGO Group’s strong commitment
with hip-hop and basketball stars in order new Nike LeBron Zoom Soldier 9 “Sprite” deservingly named the “greatest toy of to innovation goes far beyond product
to create a cohesive brand identity. With sneakers. The shoes, which feature the all time” by executives from toy companies expansion. The company that made more
the shift of its creative business in the brand’s standard green, blue, and white in the U.K. The company has experienced than 60 billion elements in 2014 recently
U.S. to a new agency for the third time in coloring, are designed to turn the heads an impressive rise—from its humble announced plans to replace the oil-based
four years, the brand is focusing on what of basketball fans, shoe enthusiasts, and 1930s Danish origins to its modern-day raw materials used for manufacturing
matters most to its audiences when they lovers of the classic Sprite drink. global presence. LEGO bricks with a more sustainable
“obey their thirst.” substance within 15 years—an investment
While Sprite is forging ahead with A philosophy of “good quality play” has of approximately DKK kr1 billion.
Sprite is proving its potential by creating cohesion and clarity, some consumers are defined the LEGO Group’s business
authentic campaigns that are relevant pushing back—more and more people are operations since it was founded. With its Its ability to harness crowdsourcing to
to—and successful with—a young target cutting soda out of their diets in an effort meticulously quality-controlled building provide a platform for fans to showcase
audience, devoted to music and sports to improve their health. The backlash is bricks, the brand has continued to their creativity with LEGO bricks is also of
culture. The brand is strengthening its creating a struggle for the entire industry, provide creative play through hands-on note. In February 2015, the LEGO Group
historic relationship with hip-hop artists including Sprite’s parent company, building experiences. With technology launched “LEGO Ideas,” a crowdsourcing
and celebrating its place as one of the first Coca-Cola, causing a decline in soda as a new powerful enabler, the LEGO website where LEGO users can submit
mainstream brands to acknowledge the consumption for the 10th year in a row. Group is taking the continued pursuit ideas for the company to consider.
genre’s social and political impact. Sprite’s Sprite, however, forges ahead with health- of its philosophy into unexplored digital
#ObeyYourVerse campaign highlights conscious releases like its no-calorie realms as well. Still, the company’s core The LEGO brick has been hailed the
inspirational lyrics from talent like Drake, Sprite Zero and its smaller-sized mini cans. contribution to society is the classic greatest toy of all time, but that is not the
Nas, Rakim, and the late Notorious B.I.G., The classic beverage brand continues LEGO brick. only recognition the LEGO Group is being
which are printed across Sprite cans. to appeal to individuals’ tastes, through accorded: This year, the LEGO brand
music, style, creativity, and the pursuit The spirit of innovation is embodied in the became a new entrant on the Best Global
Sprite is also working to nurture its of self-expression. LEGO Group, best demonstrated by the Brands report, debuting at #82.
longer-term partnerships in the world of company’s ability to launch new, creative
basketball. In 2014, LeBron James teamed products frequently, with which children LEGO and the LEGO Logo are registered
up with Sprite to create Sprite 6 Mix by all over the world love to play. The LEGO trademarks owned by the LEGO Group
LeBron James, and the limited-edition Group’s trendsetting instinct is largely and used here by special permission.
flavor returned for a time this summer responsible for the company’s integration
as Sprite LeBron’s Mix. The brand’s of rapidly evolving digital technologies
collaboration with LeBron has allowed it into its real-life products. However, it
to create experiences that no other brand remains to be seen whether the new digital
can offer. Building on the success of that initiatives will prove to be as lucrative as
partnership, Sprite is finding even more the brand hopes.
creative ways to leverage its association

128 #BGB2015 129

83. John Deere 84. Jack Daniel’s
Diversified Alcohol
5,208 $m 5,161 $m
+2% +6%

With the launch of its Intelligent Solutions Even as the brand finds new relevance With tastes changing, and the global its digital efforts. Its online content
Group (ISG) in 2010, John Deere through technological advancement in demand for whiskey and whiskey-based highlights stories from the brand’s home
reinforced its commitment to developing developed markets, John Deere must spirits on the rise, Jack Daniel’s has base in Lynchburg, Tennessee, while
advanced products that, at a glance, are fight heavy competition in emerging continued to extend its offerings to a also tapping into its consumers’ core
more Silicon Valley than farming heartland. markets from heritage brands with long- growing customer base by aligning its passions, particularly music. In its global
Equipped with intuitive crop-management standing connections to customers. Core portfolio to their desires. communications, Jack Daniel’s still
tools and logistic systems, John Deere equipment offerings in both agriculture underscores the brand’s emphasis on
customers can now sit in a self-driving and construction better address the needs While remaining loyal to its heritage, craftsmanship and its humble roots, but
combine and sift through real-time data of these customers, including those who Jack Daniel’s is working to better reflect acknowledges its provenance more subtly,
that is analyzed to enhance next are switching from non-mechanized to consumer trends and interests across its in contrast with more overt American-
season’s planting. mechanized approaches to farming. new whiskey products—as evidenced by based spirit brands.
its recent release of Tennessee Fire, a
The unveiling of an integrated technology Despite decreases in sales and a recent cinnamon-flavored whiskey-based liqueur. Jack Daniel’s is maintaining momentum
strategy during its 2014 investor road show shutdown of their plant near the Chinese Positioned to compete against Sazerac’s by capitalizing on flavored whiskey’s
demonstrated John Deere’s commitment port of Tainjin, due to an explosion, wildly popular Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, increasing prestige and the general
to customers in its innovation pipeline. Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen remains it built upon the successful release of its perception of whiskey as an aspirational
As more customers need complete optimistic that these markets will catch Tennessee Honey Whiskey in 2011, which, drink—a status symbol connoting
systems instead of individual pieces of up to the brand. In his 2015 third-quarter in a few short years, earned the rarefied air socioeconomic prosperity. Recent data
equipment, John Deere is extending a earnings report, he said: “In our view, of being one of the few spirits to sell one suggests that flavored whiskey is moving
brand synonymous with performance, favorable trends based on a growing, more million cases a year. These innovations toward a premium position worldwide,
durability, and reliability to one that delivers affluent, and increasingly mobile population have provided significant incremental encouraging higher prices for new
integrated analysis, proactive planning, and have ample staying power. For all these growth without disrupting the sales of its and unusual variations that appeal to a
user-friendly design. reasons, we have confidence in the more traditional products. In June 2015, wider and more sophisticated consumer
company’s present course and its ability to it was reported that the Jack Daniel’s demographic.
deliver significant value to customers and family of brands grew underlying net
investors in the years ahead.” sales by 8 percent and hit the 12 million The development of new flavors is
case milestone in sales of its signature enabling Jack Daniel’s to continue
Tennessee Whiskey. expanding its reach, while its strong brand
identity and storytelling style enable it to
Jack Daniel’s has also been optimizing both engage new consumers and remain
its digital strategy and engagement connected to its roots.
techniques. The brand, known for
storytelling, makes this the core of

130 #BGB2015 131

85. Chevrolet 86. FedEx
Automotive Transportation
5,133 $m 5,130 $m
+2% +16%

Over the past five years, the 104-year-old With these changes and additions, In an ongoing bid to increase its reach, The company is also expanding its
Chevrolet has made significant strides in including the launch of the Colorado FedEx continues to widen its scope investment in customer-centric technology.
updating its image and positioning itself in 2015, Chevrolet has addressed the around the globe, expanding services to With the development of Workbench
as a pioneer. market’s desire for a smaller vehicle new global markets through its pending (FedEx’s IT solution that revolutionizes
with cargo practicality. In doing so, it USD $4.8 billion acquisition of Dutch aircraft maintenance) and its acquisition
One of this year’s big reveals was the has demonstrated its ability to respond packaging delivery firm TNT Express— of GENCO (the largest third-party logistics
announcement of an all-new 2016 Cruze quickly to evolving consumer demands, just two years after the E.U. moved to provider in North America), FedEx is
that will build upon the car’s position as all while invigorating its icons. Its efforts block UPS from taking over TNT. gearing up to attract customers looking
Chevrolet’s global best seller. Following have also extended into personalization for logistics solutions and faster product
up on the expansion of its small-car and keeping people connected. In With TNT, FedEx now has access to an delivery—including more consumer and
portfolio, Chevrolet also took the Toyota 2015, Chevrolet became the first car extensive system of European distributors, small businesses.
Tacoma head-on in the underserved manufacturer to roll out connected cars, as well as a significant foothold in the
midsized pickup market. In another move trucks, and crossovers with high-speed U.K. and French markets. To amplify its With competitors like UPS and DHL
to keep one if its midsize classics current, 4G LTE wireless connectivity. OnStar with new acquisition and signal an increased also increasing their footprints, focusing
Chevrolet updated the Malibu, which it 4G LTE—the in-vehicle service powered presence across Europe, FedEx will on social responsibility, and pursuing
first introduced in 1964. The roomier, by AT&T—along with a big investment sponsor the UEFA Europa League, a innovation around e-commerce and digital
upscale 2016 Malibu is longer, lighter, and in app development, is further proof major football competition that involves platforms/services, FedEx is focusing all
has a wider wheelbase. And thanks to its that Chevrolet is focused on helping its 54 teams. Meanwhile, FedEx has also the more intently on differentiation, as it
Volt-inspired power train, the new Malibu customers “Find New Roads.” positioned itself as a partner with easy continues to expand at its present pace.
Hybrid offers about 48 mpg, thereby access to the global marketplace by
posing a formidable threat to Looking ahead, Chevrolet announced supporting small businesses, such as
its competitors. that the Bolt EV is on track to roll out small hot-pepper sauce maker Llewellyn
by 2017. Touted as the future of electric Clarke in the Caribbean. FedEx has also
vehicles, with an estimated electric range recognized the impact of its carbon
of 200 miles and a price tag of around footprint: It recently purchased 100
USD $30,000, the Bolt could pose serious Boeing 767 Freighters in a distinct effort
competition to the Tesla Model 3, the to improve its fuel efficiency.
Nissan LEAF, and the BMW i3.

This year, Chevrolet also kicked off a new

advertising and social media campaign
to get consumers to rethink the brand.
The “Real People, Not Actors,” the
“Best Day Ever” YouTube livestream,
and partnerships with the likes of the
American Cancer Society, United Way,
and Manchester United have let the world
know that Chevrolet is back in a big way.

132 #BGB2015 133

87. Land Rover 88. Huawei
Automotive Technology
5,109 $m 4,952 $m
+14% +15%

With its updated Range Rover and Range #FeelWimbledon social media campaign, A global telecommunications powerhouse, It partnered with Google to launch the
Rover Sport models delivering strong which used cutting-edge sensors to Huawei is also the only Fortune 500 all-aluminum Nexus 6P, which is attracting
sales performances last year, the heart of analyze the spectrum of unique emotions Chinese company to earn more revenue new and existing Nexus users with its
the Land Rover brand was beating strong generated at the legendary tennis abroad than in China. After debuting in impressive speed, security, and seamless
in 2015. Land Rover continues to define tournament. 2014 as the Best Global Brand’s first Google integration. The mobile devices
the luxury 4x4 segment and remains a Chinese entrant, Huawei has risen 15 are making a mark globally—as of Q3
benchmark for the rest of the industry. With the launch of justDrive, a voice percent in rank this year. Cutting-edge 2015, Huawei had surpassed Xiamomi,
activated in-car app integrator, and the technology, a customer-centric approach, its main smartphone competitor in China,
Despite slowing business in China, Land development of a new attention sensing and partnerships designed to enhance and become the third-largest smartphone
Rover launched a partnership with Chinese technology intended to prevent accidents its capabilities have expanded Huawei’s manufacturer worldwide, with 26.5 million
manufacturer Chery Automobile Co. and caused by distracted or drowsy drivers, influence among both business and shipped—up 60.9 percent from last year.
hired Mark Bishop, previous Managing Land Rover’s commitment to continually consumer clients worldwide. With plans for a new user experience
Director for Porsche China, as its new improving drivers’ experiences is clear. design studio in the U.S., Huawei will
head of sales. Furthermore, Jaguar Land Rover is set Huawei is striving to advance connectivity, continue to pioneer new design concepts.
to invest GBP £3 billion in its product and not just in terms of its own services,
As competitors ramp up their facilities in Fiscal 2015/16 and plans to but across the greater ICT industry. It’s Huawei’s customer focus is inherent in
environmental commitments in develop a National Automotive Innovation partnered with fellow innovators focusing both its integrated services offerings
response to increasing concern about Centre, set to open in 2017. on 5G, network functions virtualization and its experience-oriented product
the environmental effects of CO2 and (NFV), software-defined networking design. The telecom giant is also in the
greenhouse gas emissions, Land Rover’s These investments are paying off: Jaguar (SDN), big data, and cloud computing midst of creating emotionally resonant
investment in sustainability stood out Land Rover’s global employee headcount technologies. Huawei is creating a robust, ad campaigns that demonstrate a true
this year. Jaguar Land Rover—the has doubled over the past few years to cloud-based ecosystem that includes commitment to its customers. Engaging
combined entity under which both U.K. nearly 34,000, sales have more than infrastructure providers, channel partners, customers on a personal level is important
auto brands operate—has reduced doubled since 2009, and plans have been application developers, integrators, and in order for Huawei to remain competitive
CO2 emissions 25 percent since 2007 made to expand production into Brazil independent software vendors. While in consumer markets where it’s still gaining
and received the Queen’s Award for and Slovakia. The Land Rover brand positioning itself for growth, it is attracting global recognition, and to allay security
Enterprise in Sustainable Development continues to rise with continued product enterprise customers through proactive concerns that exist in certain markets
in 2015. Land Rover’s Ingenium diesel innovation and laudable efforts to keep efforts to offer them the greatest value like the U.S., surrounding the company’s
engine also became an unlikely symbol of its environmental impact in check, while going forward. enterprise businesses.
that sustainability effort, with lower fuel growing its footprint globally.
consumption and reduced emissions. Land The company’s carrier business has With annual revenue at USD $46.5 billion
Rover has displayed a commitment to also seen significant growth due to in 2014, Huawei announced plans to reach
growth despite environmental regulation, strong investments in 4G technology and USD $100 billion in five years. The brand
uneven global markets, and technological the expansion of its network capacity. is cultivating a focus on creating value to
innovation. This success is further supported match its financial ambitions as it seizes
by a commitment to the research opportunities for growth.
A Life Extraordinary, a documentary and development of fixed broadband
film focused on extraordinary individuals technologies.
from the world of music, sport, design
tech, and conservation, brought Land In the consumer sector, Huawei is
Rover’s innovative spirit to life, as did its setting itself up for sustained growth
by competing in the mid- to high-range
smartphone market with releases like its
P8, Mate7, Mate S, and Honor phones.

134 #BGB2015 135

89. Heineken 90. MTV
Alcohol Media
4,822 $m 4,763 $m
+14% -7%

The HEINEKEN company is the world’s The Dutch brewer has also experimented With today’s young audiences looking journalist Jose Antonio Vargas explored
most international brewer, with more with new bar design concepts through its for new kinds of content served to them race in the network’s documentary White
than 250 brands in over 70 countries. Its Pop-up City Lounge, and released THE across new channels—and in an effort to People. MTV also debuted its Video
flagship beer brand, Heineken—along SUB, a premium draught-beer system adjust to lower ratings and viewership— With a Social Message category at the
with its competitors—faces the challenge designed to do for at-home home beer MTV is focusing on mobile and streaming 2015 Video Music Awards, bringing real-
of competing in a category that’s mature drinking what Nespresso did for domestic video while making strides to relate to world relevance to the program. Though
and overcrowded in certain markets, while coffee consumption. audiences across platforms and cultures. viewership was down 18 percent for the
engaging a highly expectant audience. In keystone event, video streams were up
spite of challenges, Heineken’s brand value Heineken is also a front-runner in International audiences are being offered 55 percent over last year and MTV app
has risen 14 percent this year. adaptive, digital marketing strategies and greater control over how and when they streams rose 643 percent—evidence of
partnerships. Data from its 2014 UEFA get their MTV. Brand-new mobile apps where audiences are truly engaging.
Creativity is one of the HEINEKEN Champions League marketing campaign MTV Play and MTV Trax, both released
company’s founding principles. The led to a five-year sponsorship deal with in Europe, let smartphone users play the Following Viacom’s recent restructuring
communication challenges that Heineken U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS). Building network’s most popular shows and stream efforts, MTV continues to position itself as
faces as a global alcohol brand inspire on an 18-year partnership with the James curated music playlists. As part of an “the world’s premier youth entertainment
more innovative thinking. This was Bond franchise, Heineken’s “Spectre” international rebrand, the “I Want My MTV” brand,” with new programming, platforms,
demonstrated at the Cannes Lions in campaign became the brand’s largest slogan officially became “I Am My MTV.” and social initiatives.
2015, where HEINEKEN became only global marketing platform of 2015. Along This audience-centric initiative coincides
the second company to be awarded the with a TV spot, social content, and limited- with #MTVBump, which attempts to merge
Creative Marketer of the Year award twice. edition products, the campaign will feature digital and traditional broadcast by pushing
“Spyfie,” the world’s first selfie from space, user-generated social content onto the
The Heineken brand is centered on created in partnership with Urthecast. airwaves and across all outlets.
innovation, smart marketing, and
knowledge of consumers’ needs. HEINEKEN uses its leading beer brand Its content strategy is informed by
According to research, Heineken to advocate responsible consumption. market research, which reveals that
consumers typically exhibit two personality Its globally successful “Enjoy Heineken today’s teens are edgier, more selective,
types: quiet and introspective or outgoing Responsibly” campaigns include “TALENT and more socially aware. Recent shows
and adventurous. With this in mind, LAB: Moderation,” which gives creatives like Scream contain more complex plot
Heineken focuses on enabling its target in five countries the chance to work lines, while the network’s new YouTube
audiences to cross their own borders and with the brand on a new responsible channel, MTV Braless, probes gender and
experience new adventures. Heineken drinking activation. A commitment to sexuality issues, and Pulitzer Prize–winning
also focuses on those who appreciate the livelihood of both people and their
all-new beer experiences, aiming for 6 environments informs the brand’s recent
percent of its sales to be derived from digital campaign, Legendary 7, featuring
innovative products and services by 2020. seven farmers who supply the barley
It launched the Innovators Brewhouse and hops used to brew Heineken beer.
platform in 2012 and, most recently, The campaign highlights Heineken’s
Frontier, which calls for “pioneers of ingredients and sustainability efforts—the
innovative technology and services to company plans to obtain 50 percent of its
expand and emerge on a global scale, raw materials from sustainable sources
through a partnership with Heineken.” by 2020. Having announced a recent
organizational restructuring, with a focus
on becoming more agile and embracing
growth opportunities, the company is
poised to empower its namesake brand
and remain competitive in the global
beer market.

136 #BGB2015 137

91. Ralph Lauren 92. Johnnie Walker
Apparel Alcohol
4,629 $m 4,540 $m
-7% -6%

The brand that has represented classic As the brand makes positive changes Sold in more than 180 markets globally, technology to transmit sound to the inner
American style for nearly 50 years is within, its also keeping the evolving Johnnie Walker is the world’s largest ear, allowing drinkers to hear a tune that
striving to expand its global presence. wants of today’s customers top-of-mind. whisky brand and in 2014 surpassed emits from the glass itself as they sip.
Ralph Lauren, the founder and CEO of Ralph Lauren became an innovator in the sales of 20 million cases for the first Whether “The Boldest Glass” is eventually
the eponymous fashion empire, recently wearable technology sector with PoloTech, time. Johnnie Walker celebrated in 2015 deemed gimmicky or cutting-edge, it
announced that he will hand over the title which was developed in partnership with its largest global campaign yet, represents the company’s openness to
of CEO to Stefan Larsson—President of with the biometric smartwear company adding “joy” to its long-running “Keep exploring new technological experiences.
Old Navy and a former H&M executive—in OMsignal and made its retail debut this Walking” campaign. The company is also fostering some
November 2015. While Mr. Lauren remains August. Ralph Lauren touted the shirt at interesting partnerships, like “Join the
as Executive Chairman and Chief Creative the 2014 US Open as “the first item of The new campaign, “Joy Will Take You Pact” in the U.K. with Uber, which offers
Officer, driving all aspects of design, the tech apparel introduced by a mainstream Further. Keep Walking,” highlighted a free rides to people who make a pledge
addition of Mr. Larson, a fast-fashion fashion label.” Conductive silver threads key move for the brand in its support never to drink and drive.
expert, is intended to bring a “fresh and subtly woven into a nylon Polo shirt of individuals’ aspirations, shifting the
exciting global perspective,” one that measure an athlete’s heart rate and track focus of its message from hard work To address its presence in East Asia,
will help the luxury label flourish among his or her performance. This refined and perseverance to promoting joy as the company opened up brand embassy
today’s fast-paced, worldwide consumers. effort to make technology more personal an impetus for progress. Guy Escolme, houses in Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and
is just one of the ways Ralph Lauren is Global Brand Director for Johnnie Walker, Chengdu—luxurious tasting centers where
In an effort to integrate its multi-label attempting to win over tech-savvy told Ad Age that the campaign is meant key opinion leaders go to sample and learn
fashion house, Ralph Lauren is adopting early adopters. to convey the idea “that if you start from about whisky. Some 10,000 influencers
a new global brand management a place of happiness, optimism, and joy, have already visited the houses, which tap
business model. In April 2015, former EVP Weaving its way into consumers’ lives it is a big accelerator of people’s progress into Asian luxury consumers’ aspirations
Christopher H. Peterson stepped into the remains a priority for Ralph Lauren, as and success in their lives.” for global travel and learning. And in
newly created position of President, Global evidenced by the opening of its Polo Singapore, the company built an interactive
Brands. The Ralph Lauren veteran—who Bar Restaurant in New York City and the This new position has come at a time website and tablet app that offer millennial
helped unite Procter & Gamble’s regional release of its Ralph’s Coffee brand. With when overall sales have slowed, owing consumers at high-end bars and tasting
organizations—will play a central role in a fast-fashion veteran poised to take over largely to challenges in emerging markets, events both entertainment and information
the transformation. Ralph Lauren hopes and a new global brand-management such as fluctuating currencies, stocks, about the whisky and the brand. The effort
its restructuring efforts will reap savings, business model taking shape, Ralph and consumer demand. In 2014, sales rolls out globally in late 2015 to target a
especially given a 44 percent drop in Lauren appears prepared to offer new in the U.S. were partly boosted by the new generation of whisky drinkers.
shares this year, while positioning the brand experiences—while remaining successful launches of two innovative
company to maximize its potential in true to its classic American heritage. products: Johnnie Walker Platinum and Johnnie Walker remains strong, despite
global markets. Gold Label Reserve. short-term challenges, with a resonant
new campaign that aims to secure the
Recently, Johnnie Walker has been brand’s position within the global pantheon
experimenting with technology to captivate of beloved spirits, for years to come.
consumers. Its parent company, Diageo,
unveiled a “smart bottle” with electronic
stickers that enable its whisky bottles to
communicate with users’ smartphones.
Johnnie Walker also introduced a new
drinking glass that uses bone conduction

138 #BGB2015 139

93. Corona 94. Smirnoff
Alcohol Alcohol
4,456 $m 4,407 $m
+2% -4%

Corona Extra, which has maintained its One of the challenges that the brand Nightlife culture is traditionally surrounded The 150-year-old brand stays relevant
position as the top-selling beer import will face going forward is keeping up by allure and exclusivity. Smirnoff, however, by crafting campaigns that respond to
in the U.S., continues to communicate with projected beer market growth, aims to dismantle this perception with contemporary global issues in real time.
a consistent message around carefree especially in developing regions like Latin the claim that it’s a drink for “czars, stars, In 2015, Smirnoff launched the “We’re
enjoyment and the beach state of mind. America and the Middle East. That’s and thirsty grandmas.” This message Open” campaign in the U.K., a direct
Recently, Corona has begun to target why, in 2014, Corona was launched in undergirds its 2014 “Exclusively for response to global LGBT discussions
a broader, more diverse audience by Brazil and reintroduced in Argentina, Everybody” U.S. campaign featuring a and legislation. The campaign combats
expanding those laid-back experiences as well as in Canada and China. While three-minute video, broken up into a series prejudice with feel-good messaging—
beyond the beach. the brand continues to be a favorite in of 30-second spots, that parodies VIP highlighting a universal desire to simply
Australia, Chile, and Western Europe, and mixology pretensions and promotes have a good time that spans age,
Corona, the star brand of AB InBev, has Corona can stay competitive by exploring Smirnoff’s greater accessibility. orientation, gender, race, and creed.
become a patriotic Mexican icon and the further expansion opportunities in
symbol of a leisurely lifestyle. Corona growing markets. In the U.S., Corona Smirnoff’s democratic approach also Engagement is key as Smirnoff faces
continued to expand upon its “Find Your saw the opportunity to grow its business extends to its digital presence. Picking up increased competition and changing
Beach” campaign this year, bringing to by relaunching the Corona can, which on key insights from its global marketing trends in vodka consumption, which led
life the emotional benefit of the brand in a is under-indexed versus the beer team, Smirnoff focuses on being present— to a slight dip in U.S. sales in early 2015.
manner that only Corona Extra can deliver. category. In March 2015, the brand at the right place and the right time. However, Smirnoff No. 21 Red Label
The brand’s advertising highlighted a introduced redesigned packaging, which Avoiding platforms like Snapchat, where gained U.S. shares this year following the
variety of occasions where consumers was supported by a robust marketing sponsored ads potentially interrupt what launch of the “Exclusively for Everybody”
can shed their worries and responsibilities campaign, including dedicated TV and people are choosing to engage with, campaign, the introduction of new
and enjoy a lighthearted moment. digital advertising. the brand instead favors its own video packaging, and targeted price promotions.
platforms and promotes a less invasive Smirnoff also grew net sales in European
The brand’s increasingly strong By expanding its brand presence and approach to storytelling, tailored to the countries like the U.K. with the launch of
connection with consumers has relied appealing to universal desires, Corona cultures and subcultures it wants to reach. the “We’re Open” campaign. Net sales
heavily on engaging experiential is furthering its status as a beloved were also up in Latin America, most
campaigns—all based on people’s shared beer and lifestyle icon worldwide. Through a partnership with Live Nation, notably in Brazil, and Smirnoff had a
affinity for the beach, music, and sports. for example, Smirnoff is sponsoring 26 very strong year in South Africa.
In Mexico, for example, Corona sponsors musical festivals around the world that
Copa MX, a popular football competition highlight EDM (electronic dance music), With a focus on inclusivity, engagement,
involving some of the best teams in the which Smirnoff sees as a highly inclusive, and universal good times, Smirnoff
country. In the U.S., Corona focuses on global style that resonates with millennials. maintains its position as the world’s best-
boxing and sponsors a number of major The Smirnoff Sound Collective is a selling vodka brand.
fights throughout the year. Corona also program designed to bring music fans
continues to sponsor the Corona Capital closer to their favorite artists, launched
music festival, a summer event in Mexico in partnership with Spotify Australia.
City that attracts close to 170,000 fans. It It’s also backing up its Formula One
also backs a music-driven series of beach (F1) sponsorship of the Sahara Force
festivals, Corona SunSets, which inspire India team with a comedic Web series,
people to unplug, unite, and celebrate the #BeyondTheGrid, aimed at breaking down
energy and spirit of sunsets. the elitism behind F1, while reaching more
racing fans.

140 #BGB2015 141

95. Kleenex 96. Hugo Boss
FMCG Apparel
4,330 $m 4,270 $m
-7% +3%

Since Kleenex introduced the facial tissue six times the level of Kleenex’s average Hugo Boss’ precise tailoring and crisp Hugo Boss has also developed into
more than 90 years ago as a convenient social media engagement. To appeal to aesthetic has fueled decades of success a global player with a more balanced
way to remove cold cream, the brand has millennial consumers, Kleenex worked in European and North American footprint. Europe remains the largest
prided itself on continued innovation and with designers like Betsey Johnson in menswear. The company’s expansion business overall, yet the U.S. has now
domination in the category it created. Most the U.S. to bring new package designs to beyond just classic menswear and its become its single biggest market. Asia,
recently, however, innovations in personal market. On the product innovation side, the ability to retain impressive, steady growth China in particular, has also become a key
care and the increasing commoditization brand launched something new for finicky in the retail space position the brand as a contributor to Hugo Boss’ success story.
of the category have led the company to noses: Kleenex Sensitive. Its favorable true fashion force and lifestyle brand with The company’s own retail store network
reexamine its functional messaging and reception helped Kleenex maintain its staying power. grew to 1,105 in 2015, with flagships in all
infuse stronger emotion into the brand. position as the number one tissue brand metropoles like New York, Los Angeles,
in the U.K. In late 2014, Hugo Boss announced Paris, London, Beijing, Shanghai, and
The new direction is based on a Kleenex ambitious growth targets in its Growth Hong Kong. As a result of expansion and
study, in which some 50 percent of At a time when brands across categories Strategy 2020. This includes a concerted improvements in sales productivity, the
people in the U.S. reported that they’ve are striving to be perceived as more push into womenswear, the expansion share of its own retail grew to 57 percent
missed opportunities to show someone human, Kleenex is absorbing user insights of omnichannel offerings, realigning its of HUGO BOSS Group sales in 2014—a
they care, especially when it comes to to merge utility and emotional resonance. business model with the requirements level that is expected to further increase
everyday moments. Based on this insight, of its own retail business, and achieving in the years to come.
Kleenex shifted the brand to stand for a greater regional balance with a strong
gesture of care—a tool for forging greater focus on under-penetrated markets Together, these efforts are helping to
connections between people that can be outside of Europe. generate the impressive growth seen in
associated with the Kleenex product. the first three quarters of 2015. Sales
Womenswear, which long constituted a for Hugo Boss’ retail business (including
This led Kleenex to revamp its website weak spot in Hugo Boss’ offerings, has outlets and online stores) are up by 8
to include “messages of care,” making it reemerged as a strong sub-brand under percent while its online channel showed
a place where visitors can send a loved the BOSS core brand following the hiring the strongest surge, up 22 percent.
one a Kleenex-branded message and view of designer Jason Wu as Art Director in
videos of others’ dedications. In June of 2013. Wu has pushed toward a unified
2015, this alone garnered approximately brand aesthetic by channeling the spirit
of the brand’s menswear into a modern,
feminine women’s line, which reported
10 percent growth over the first three
quarters of 2015. The company’s new
focus on womenswear reflects a desire
to expand its offerings and become
more luxurious.

142 #BGB2015 143

97. PayPal 98. Mini
Financial Services Automotive
4,251 $m 4,243 $m
New New

PayPal, the pioneer of digital payments, PayPal is adeptly positioning itself MINI owes much of its incredible longevity To support the Clubman launch, MINI
has split from eBay and is forging a new to compete in mobile payments with and success to the quirky and timeless rolled out a new campaign called “Go
future built on a long-standing reputation. acquisitions like Braintree and Venmo. appeal of its iconic outline. Since joining with Your Gut.” Consisting of a series of
With 160 million active accounts worldwide, It also launched One Touch, a mobile the BMW Group in 1994, the brand has shorts that examine the inspirations and
PayPal facilitated about four billion checkout service that activates payments steadily evolved from a niche vehicle processes of notable creatives, MINI is
payments last year. It’s now free to pursue with a single click. With its recent purchase for “enthusiasts” to become far more telling buyers to “defy convention and
partnerships with eBay rivals like Alibaba, of Xoom, PayPal is also poised to become a mainstream—all the while gaining a logic” and live life—and purchase their
which could accelerate growth. force in the global remittance market, now reputation for creating eye-catching next car—not based on reason, but
dominated by Western Union. Next up, it’s guerrilla marketing and offbeat campaigns. instinct. Meanwhile, for its Countryman
In 2014, PayPal debuted its first-ever global planning a PayPal chip card reader that will model, the brand launched a more
brand campaign, “Powering the People also accept contactless mobile payments, The brand is set on solidifying a reputation mainstream national TV spot featuring
Economy.” Its “We the People” ad, printed including Android Pay and Apple Pay. For that goes beyond buzzworthy marketing, Tony Hawk, whose previous collaborations
in the New York Times around the release PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, it’s all part and has been hard at work to ensure that with the brand had been focused on
of Apple Pay, positioned PayPal as safer of a broader mission to “democratize the it remains relevant. In the first nine months videos and events.
than its competitor. The larger campaign movement and management of money” of the year, BMW sold more than 246,426
highlighted real people—and their real and become a full-service operating MINI vehicles globally, and in the U.S. The brand is finding steady footing
need for security—to deepen awareness system for commerce. alone, year-to-date MINI sales were up between its niche roots and its
of the things PayPal can actually deliver, 14.8 percent from 2014. But the brand isn’t mainstream aspirations, staying focused
under the simple tagline “People Rule.” done yet. Earlier this summer, it unveiled on a streamlined portfolio of well-defined
the 2016 MINI Clubman, a six-door estate models that tell a cohesive story while it
And people will be vital in order for PayPal that marks its entry into the premium attracts different audiences.
to retain its edge as consumers switch compact segment, an area predicted to
from shopping on their computers to grow to make up 27 percent of global car
mobile commerce, which makes up almost sales by 2020. The Clubman signals its
a third of PayPal’s business. It’s a world realigned strategy for MINI to “concentrate
populated by big players like Apple, Google, on five core models with strong
and Samsung, as well as new services like characters.” To that end, a redesigned and
Square and Stripe. It also faces a whole simplified logo was rolled out midsummer,
new sector of businesses that provide and two of the brand’s models—the Coupe
methods to authenticate and secure and the Roadster—were retired.
payments, as well as financial institutions
and banks that are working to keep up.
Not to mention what crypto currencies like
Bitcoin may—or may not—mean for the
way people think about money in
the future.

144 #BGB2015 145

99. Moët & Chandon 100. Lenovo
Alcohol Technology
4,131 $m 4,114 $m
New New

More than 308 million bottles of for Moët & Chandon states it is “the In a constantly shifting tech marketplace, heart of uniting devices and communities.
champagne were sold in 2014, the second luminously innovative new side of Moët & Lenovo’s brand transformation has This includes a concentrated foray into
highest number on record. And Moët Chandon’s signature night atmosphere.” centered on its message to “Never the broader Internet of Things (IoT);
& Chandon, one of the most beloved stand still.” The global technology leader building infrastructure; integrating
champagnes in the world, has further In June 2014, it unveiled its first artistic unveiled a new brand platform in 2015, a hardware, software, and cloud services;
reason to celebrate as it makes its return collaboration with Milan-based Marcelo signal of its renewed energy and updated and facilitating reliable and ubiquitous
to the Top 100 Best Global Brands 2015. Burlon. The Argentinean “cultural positioning in a post-PC world. connections that make people’s
According to parent company LVMH, wanderer,” who is at once a creative experiences with their devices richer and
across the Moët Hennessy portfolio, director, fashion designer, DJ, and social Lenovo has built itself into a USD $46 more intuitive.
champagne volume was up by 3 percent media maestro, designed limited-edition billion diversified technology company.
in June 2015. masterpiece bottles for Moët & Chandon As of August 2015, Lenovo was number Through an array of acquisitions, Lenovo
Nectar Imperial Rose: the Tiger Collection. one in worldwide PC sales, holding a has actively invested in its white spaces.
Moët & Chandon turned some heads in record 20.6 percent share of the PC Its newly established subsidiary, ShenQi,
2013 when it named tennis star Roger And then of course there’s the highly market. It also held the number three spot for example, represents a push to bolster
Federer as its global brand ambassador— anticipated launch of its new high-end in global tablet sales, with a 5.6 percent its mobile Internet standing, primarily in
a disciplined athlete and reserved family bubbly dubbed the MCIII, a hybrid creation market share. As of September 2015, the China, by focusing on the new Internet
man. For the 273-year-old brand, that that combines several vintage wines company had become the world’s fourth- business model there. Lenovo is also
was the point. It wanted to connect with matured in three different universes: steel, largest smartphone company, rising on organizing its brands (ThinkPad, Motorola,
millennial consumers who reward brands oak, and glass. After more than a decade the strength of its own emerging markets System X, Medion, and NEC, to name a
that feel authentic and celebrate genuine of development, the company describes business, as well as that of Motorola few) to ensure that its investments are all
achievement. MCIII as “an unprecedented champagne Mobility, which it acquired last year. well aligned under the Lenovo brand.
concept,” and “a champagne experience Lenovo also boasts one of the industry’s
Since then, Moët & Chandon is embracing that represents the third millennium,” and best R&D departments, with locations With unmatched diversity of businesses
its heritage of excellence, boldness, and describes a brand new chapter in its story. throughout North Carolina in the U.S., in the global tech market—and a
daring spirit. It has spurred innovation Yokohama in Japan, and Beijing in China unifying brand identity that speaks to
that’s led to new products and new ways As Moët & Chandon continues to expand (making up what the company calls its entrepreneurialism and constantly testing
to engage consumers. It reinforced its its sales in markets outside of France, this global “Research Triangle”). A commitment boundaries—Lenovo has earned a position
place in the nightlife scene with “Bright new chapter is marked by its continued to innovation, combined with enhanced in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking
Night,” the first-ever luminous champagne pioneering spirit, and by connecting with credibility in the enterprise server market for the first time in its history.
bottle. Arnaud de Saignes, International people in every #MoetMoment. following the acquisition of Big Blue’s x86
Director of Marketing and Communications server business, put Lenovo in a strong
position to compete aggressively.

Despite a recent decline in profits and

the continued contraction of the global
PC market, Lenovo is moving forward
with its current bet: connectivity. Lenovo
is aiming to become the company at the

146 #BGB2015 147



148 #BGB2015 149

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one-off business case modeling performance. compliant with the requirements of analysis delivers an insightful snapshot
can be conducted to evaluate brand ISO 10668 (requirements for monetary of the strengths and weaknesses of the
strategy options—such as positioning, • Economic profit must be expected brand valuation) and has played a key brand and is used to generate a road
architecture, and extension—and make to be positive over the longer term, role in the development of the map of activity to enhance the strength
the business case for brand change. delivering a return above the brand’s standard itself. and value of the brand in the future.
cost of capital.
Finally, when Interbrand conducts There are three key components in Data Sources
valuations for financial reasons, • The brand must have a public profile all of our valuations: an analysis of the We believe that a robust brand valuation
we provide strategic branding and awareness across the major financial performance of the branded requires a holistic assessment that
recommendations, in addition to economies of the world. products or services, of the role the incorporates a wide range of information
delivering a rigorously analyzed and brand plays in purchase decisions, and sources. In addition to our extensive
defendable valuation number. This These requirements—that a brand be of the brand’s competitive strength. desk research and expert panel
delivers value to the business—beyond global, visible, and relatively transparent assessment, the following data feeds
the knowledge of the valuation amount. with financial results—lead to the Financial Analysis are incorporated into our valuation
exclusion of some well-known brands This measures the overall financial models:
Best Global Brands Criteria that might otherwise be expected to return to an organization’s investors, or
for Inclusion appear in the ranking. its “economic profit.” Economic profit Financial data: Thomson Reuters and
To be included in Best Global Brands is the after-tax operating profit of the company annual reports
a brand must be truly global, having Methodology brand minus a charge for the capital
successfully transcended geographic Having pioneered brand valuation in used to generate the brand’s revenue
and cultural boundaries. It will have 1988, we have a deep understanding of and margins.
expanded across the established the impact of strong brands on the key Consumer goods data: Datamonitor
economic centers of the world and have stakeholder groups that influence the Role of Brand (brand volumes and values)
entered the major markets of the future. performance of your business, namely Role of Brand measures the portion
In measurable terms, this requires that: (current and prospective) customers, of the purchase decision attributable
employees, and investors. Strong brands to the brand, as opposed to other
influence customer choice and create factors (for example, purchase drivers Social media signal: Twitter
loyalty; attract, retain and motivate like price, convenience, or product
talent; and lower the cost of financing, features). The Role of Brand Index (RBI)
and our brand valuation methodology quantifies this as a percentage. RBI
has been specifically designed to take determinations for Best Global Brands
all of these factors into account. derive, depending on the brand, from
one of three methods: primary research,
a review of historical roles of brands for
companies in that industry, or expert
panel assessment.
150 #BGB2015 151

Andrea Sullivan
Chief Marketing Officer

Paola Norambuena
Chief Content Officer

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