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Since 2000, Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy, has made the commercial success of brands a core part of what they do. There are incredible complexities that go into valuing a brand that I will not go into here but with the release of their 15th annual Top 100 Best Global Brands report we get a renewed sense of what it means to drive brand value through connecting with consumers and their needs.

There are six alcohol brands in the Top 100 this year which is great to see from a personal perspective, but only three of them are spirits brands and two of those are owned by Diageo.

Budweiser ranks the highest of the alcohol brands, placed 34th on the list valued at $13billion, followed by:

  • Jack Daniels ranked number 73 worth $5.6billion
  • Johnnie Walker ranked number86 worth $4.8billion
  • Smirnoff ranked number 90 worth $4.6billion
  • Corona ranked number 93 worth $4.4billion
  • Heineken ranked number 95 worth $4.2billion

No surprise really that Apple ranks number one, beating Google and Coca-Cola who make up the top three.

The iProducts are ubiquitous in our lives and many of us would find it hard to switch from iPhone as it connects so well and intuitively to our working and personal digital ecosystems. But what this does say is that despite some rocky investor confidence and a continued lack of a renewed ‘wow’ product we came to expect from the Steve Jobs era, the average consumer cares more about being seen to own and accessorise Apple products than the myriad of cheaper, albeit arguably superior products as it simply has desirability even if there is virtually no exclusivity nowadays.

I would like to see more presence from the alcohol brands though, particularly spirits and specifically whisky. 

In truth I did think and hope that with the incredible growth of the whisky category through the emerging global middle classes, primarily in Eastern Europe and China, along with consumers developing an appetite for more refined spirits at earlier ages and the reality of spirit brands you drink being a reflection on where you stand in society in many cultures around the world.

Maybe next year eh? I guess that’s partly my job to help move these brands forward both as a writer but also as someone who consults with them for a living.

Overall, when you look at Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands you can see that the brands that have gained in value have either always been ruthlessly customer focussed or have renewed their focus in recent times to put the customer first. Great to see and a sign that the brand strategists out there, myself included, are doing their job right and steering brands towards experience-centric deliveries of their brand promises vs. the product-first approach of yesteryear.

See the full list and explore what it means for each of the Top 100 Best Global Brands here

Disclosure: I am currently an Associate Director of Brand Strategy with Interbrand, but all views are, as always, my own.

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