Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH — Tech, telecom & wheels, oh, my, rule top 50 brands

TODD SMITH — Tech, telecom & wheels, oh, my, rule top 50 brands

TODD SMITH

What’s in a brand? The good ones smell sweeter than a rose, to borrow from the famous William Shakespeare line.

Brands – and names – are big business, and getting bigger by the year. Companies spend copious amounts of time, positioning and money to build their brand identities and establish their brand voice – especially the big consumer companies.

Recently, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Global 500 2019, the annual report on the world’s most valuable and strongest brands, published by British business strategy consultant Brand Finance.

Brand value is determined by reviewing a range of factors, including how much it would cost to license a particular brand in a given industry and calculating how much of a parent company’s revenue comes from a particular brand. Past financial performance and future forecasts also play into the rankings.

The top 50 include 13 tech brands, five telecom brands and five car brands. Many of these companies have launched their brand values through enterprising product development. Many companies on the list rank among the world’s 50 most innovative companies. Here are the top 10:

10. China Construction Bank

» 2019 brand value: $70 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +22.8%

» Sector: Banking

» Country: China

The world’s second largest bank by assets also has the second most valuable banking brand. Like other big Chinese banks, state-owned CCB has faced profitability headwinds as China’s economic growth slows and the government’s push for its banks to extend more small-business loans.

9. Verizon

» 2019 brand value: $71billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +13.3%

» Sector: Telecom

» Country: United States

Verizon Communications, the world’s second largest telecommunications company after China Mobile by market capitalization, recently reported a decline in wireless customers. But the New York City-based company is rapidly deploying its high-speed 5G wireless networks in the U.S. market.

8. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

» 2019 brand value: $80 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +34.9

» Sector: Banking

» Country: China

State-owned ICBC is the world’s largest bank by assets and owner of the most valuable banking brand. Like China’s other top lenders, ICBC is under pressure both to extend loans to smaller businesses and to speed up the process of recognizing and disclosing non-performing loans.

7. Facebook

» 2019 brand value: $83 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +8.7%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: United States

Facing a global backlash for how the platform helps spread fake news and collects data on its users, Facebook is working to reinvent itself as a more privacy-oriented service. But the company’s efforts to consolidate its services are raising antitrust concerns.

6. AT&T

» 2019 brand value: $87 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +5.6%

» Sector: Telecom

» Country: United States

The world’s third largest telecom company by market capitalization recently reported losing TV customers and subscribers to its DirecTV Now streaming service. The company, which acquired Time Warner (Warner Bros., HBO) last year, says it is focusing on building its high-bandwidth 5G networks and paying down debt.

5. Samsung

» 2019 brand value: $91 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: -1.1%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: South Korea

The consumer technology giant and world’s top selling smartphone maker has been moving in recent years into automotive semiconductors and sensors. In April, Samsung announced it would indefinitely delay the release of a foldable-screen smartphone due to quality deficiencies.

4. Microsoft

» 2019 brand value: $120 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +47.4%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: United States

Last year, Microsoft regained its place as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company by market capitalization, shooting past Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet (Google). The Seattle-based software giant has been expanding aggressively into cloud services, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

3. Google

» 2019 brand value: $143 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +18.1%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: United States

The flagship brand of Alphabet Inc. maintains its leading position in internet search as well as strong positions in apps, laptops, and mobile phones. Google released a lower-priced smartphone (the Pixel 3a) this year and overhauled its voice assistant platform

2. Apple

» 2019 brand value: $154 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +5.0%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: United States

The world’s third largest smartphone seller and tech titan is facing headwinds from the increasingly heated U.S.-China trade dispute that threatens to raise costs and lower revenue. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month customers could sue Apple over its App Store monopoly.

1. Amazon

» 2019 brand value: $188 billion

» 2018-2019 brand value change: +24.6%

» Sector: Tech

» Country: United States

The online retail and cloud-computing giant is pumping $800 million into making next-day delivery a standard in another blow to brick-and-mortar retailers seeking to expand their e-commerce services. It is also mulling robots to box orders to replace employees at its warehouses.

Local TV one of most trusted news sources

Local TV is one of the most trusted news sources in the U.S., according to the 2019 RTDNA/Hofstra University survey of local TV news directors.

The report also found that local TV news employs more people than local newspapers. Here are top findings from the survey:

» The number of people working in local TV news is only 100 below its all-time high of 27,900 a decade ago, with 700 new jobs added in the past year.

» The amount of airtime given to local news each weekday is also up, by 18 minutes, for a record 5.9 hours of news per weekday.

» Investigative reporting is getting more attention from news directors, with over half of stations saying it’s the top area they’re focusing on more.

» TV stations say they’re going to push out less and take in more: Push alerts will be toned down (or at least more strategic), and they plan to lean on community engagement: “While fewer TV News Directors in each of the past two years have reported trying something new on social media, social strategy is maturing and changing for local broadcasters, who now are more likely to report incorporating social listening, groups and live discussion or engagement.”

» A majority — 55 percent — of local TV stations now have at least one drone, up from 45 percent last year and less than 20 percent in 2017.

Starr Mic | Legendary QB built the foundation for today’s NFL

Bart Starr – the legendary Hall of Fame quarterback for the Green Bay Packers who recently trotted onto the gridiron beyond the Pearly Gates – helped build the foundation for the NFL brand.

Starr was the first QB in history to win five NFL championships, and was the hero of the infamous Ice Bowl, that iconic championship game in 1967 between the Packers and Cowboys, where his game-winning quarterback sneak on the Frozen Tundra became lore.

Starr graduated from the University of Alabama and was a 17th round pick in the 1956 NFL Draft.

He won three NFL championships (for the seasons played in 1961, ’62 and ’65) in the pre-Super Bowl era, and then the first two Super Bowls, in January of 1967 and ’68. That Packers’ run of NFL championships helped bring new attention to professional football as it moved into the Super Bowl era.

Starr was named the league’s most valuable player in 1966 and received the same honor in Super Bowls I and II. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. And on a team known for running – with the flashy Paul Hornung and the rugged Jim Taylor (who died in October) – Starr was one of the league’s most efficient passers. He led the NFL in that crucial category in three seasons and, on average, for all of the 1960s – even though his rival Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts was often viewed as better. Starr set career records for completion percentage, 57.4, and consecutive passes without an interception, 294.

He was a shining Starr and luminary in professional sports.

» 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, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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