Todd Smith’s Spin Cycle — Google takes a bite out of the Apple, supplants Top Technology Co. as most valuable brand

Google has taken a big bite out of the Apple – and has knocked the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant off as the most valuable brand in the world, according to a recent branding study.

Millward Brown, a national brand and marketing research company, has ranked Google as the top brand in the world in its annual rankings, as the shining Apple loses a bit of its luster to the search behemoth.

According to the survey results, Apple’s brand value has diminished by

20 percent to $148 billion in the last year. Meanwhile, Google’s has vaulted 40 percent to $159 billion. Here are the Top 10 brands as ranked by Millward Brown:

» Google – $159 billion brand value

» Apple – $148 billion brand value

» IBM – $108 billion brand value

» Microsoft – $90 billion brand value

» McDonald’s – $85 billion brand value

» Coca-Cola – $81 billion brand value

» Visa – $79 billion brand value

» AT&T – $78 billion brand value

» Marlboro – $67 billion brand value

» Amazon – $65 billion brand value

All brand categories were up, and 10 of them increased value by more than double digits. While tech brands dominated in the top of the chart representing nearly a third of all brands, apparel business lead growth overall with a 29 percent rise, followed by cars, up 17 percent, and luxury and technology up 16 percent each. The geography of the brands is quite diverse. Brand value of two thirds of brands originates in North America, and all of the Top 10 brands are from the U.S. European brands grew brand value 19 percent, outperforming any other region, and brands from other regions like China, Russia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also gaining strength.

New brands on the list include Twitter, PayPal, Ford and LinkedIn among others. The report also reveals 13 cross-category trends that are now influencing the growing value of brands. These are:

Trust – brands are to keep their promises

Share of life – to be present in more ways in a consumer’s life, making it simpler and easier

Seamlessness– to make transition between physical and digital

Personalization – celebration of a consumer’s uniqueness

Customization– to enable consumers unleash their self-expression

Authenticity – selling goods in the regions where they originate from

Convenience – to make shopping truly convenient

Multi-functionality – adding extra benefit

Healthiness – responding to consumer concern with health

Localization – adjusting to local tastes and sourcing local ingredients

Technology – adding a tech twist to just everything

Payment options – diversity of payment methods, shifting to pay-as-you-use model

Male shoppers – turning to male consumers in each of the categories.

The report has also revealed 10 “takeaways”, insights for growing brand value. These include “standing for a purpose beyond profit,” “being meaningfully different,” “being agile,” and more.

 

How Twitter Prepared For The World Cup

Twitter was all atwitter as it prepared for this year’s World Cup – the world’s biggest sporting event. The offices of the San Francisco-based social media company had a countdown to the global shindig. Because the event consists of fewer matches than the Olympics, it generates more Internet traffic, in shorter bursts.

More than 3.2 billion people watched at least a minute of the World Cup live in 2010. For Twitter, Facebook, ESPN, YouTube, and a host of regional social media sites from Brazil to Russia, the World Cup means engineers frantically working overtime to prevent outages and site overloads.

Twitter learned this the hard way in 2010. Facing an unprecedented surge of user traffic, in amounts of more than 150,000 tweets per hour, Twitter crashed repeatedly during the 2010 World Cup. Users constantly encountered the “Fail Whale” (to be fair, Twitter has crashed a lot less so far in 2014) and Twitter’s engineers admitted to “periodic high rates of errors.” In a now-deleted post on Twitter’s engineering blog, the popular social networking service said the huge traffic influx from the 2010 World Cup created unspecified network issues.

A big goal in this year’s World Cup is to prevent another replay of the 2010 World Cup tech troubles. They’re a publicly traded corporation now, and one that wants to take on Facebook and even SMS text messages as the way the world communicates.

According to social media experts, Twitter’s engineering problems are incredibly specific and difficult because they occur in real time. While a service such as Facebook or Reddit can get away with having messages posted 30 seconds or even a few minutes late, Twitter has built their service model (and business model) around real-time communication. This means setting up a system of “shock absorbers” – redundant servers designed only for service when the network is extremely busy – around the world that kick in during extremely high traffic periods, and lots of planning at Twitter headquarters for different scenarios. Twitter performs tests to figure out which servers best serve specific users, and how to scale out their global server infrastructure to serve new markets.

Beyond bracing for an onslaught of traffic, Twitter is also embracing the World Cup and its swarm of users during crucial points in games as a marketing and growth opportunity. To this end, it has implemented new touches and updates designed to attract and retain new soccer-loving users. For example, Twitter’s sign-up process has been retooled for the World Cup, primarily with fans in non-U.S. markets in mind – the sign-up process now includes the option to select your favorite team and choose national flags and patriotic header photos to represent your team on your profile. Twitter rolled out new notification features leading up to the games. New, customizable Cup and game-specific timelines are also being rolled out. Teams are getting their own Twitter web profiles which will include player and scorecard information. During the last World Cup, Twitter unleashed “hashflags” – hashtags that include a corresponding country flag icon – and is making the feature available during the 2014 games, as well.

 

Sick Mic | V.A. Hospital Waiting List Is Poor Rx For Veterans

According to an audit of 731 Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics, 57,000 patients are still waiting for their initial appointment, and 64,000 who have enrolled over the past decade have never actually been seen. V.A. hospitals and clinics are dealing with a massive backlog that makes the 14-day goal for seeing first-time patients unreachable, the V.A. Department admits. The audit also states that 13 percent of staffers reported they were told by supervisors to falsify appointment dates to make wait times seem shorter. This makes The Spin Cycle ill, and if this is the way the government handles our health care, we will be looking for another doc! For this continued failure to the men and women who have fought for freedom around the world, the V.A. Hospital system gets a quarantined Sick Mic.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

 

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm – based in Nashville, Tenn. – is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, follow him @spinsurgeon and like the ageny on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanesmithpartners, and join us on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/company/deane-smith-&-partners

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