Free «Best Global Brands 2012» Essay
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The position of the outstanding world brands is the essential issue studied by the economists and marketing experts yearly. Among the greatest brand consultancies, one should point out Interbrand as the company focused on the analysis and evaluation of brands in different areas. With the aim of creating a monopoly in the market sector, numerous well-known producers advance their brands by various means. Based on the example of Apple and Microsoft, this paper is aimed to show how the success of the brand, mainly the financial statistics and brand value, is dependent on various communication strategies and influential yearly trends.
The Interbrand report of 2012 provides much information about influences on various industries and all of the 100 greatest brands. With regard to changes in the brands’ results in comparison to the previous year, Jez Frampton defined the transition to 2012 as entering the new complex and confusing world (Interbrand 3. These changes let only the brands, which became able to pace with the rapid changes in human lives, grow or at least keep their positions on the same level. A number of possibilities for the brands that became successful in 2012 were predetermined by strong connections between various parts of the globe. In other words, the world globalization gradually gathers pace each year. As the consumers always predetermine the market demand, the growth of digital consumers was one of the main reasons of the radical shift in the market dynamics. The importance of the information and data saving has become even timelier in 2012. However, the human factor with particular emphasis on personalization has become another trend that deserved special attention and gave power to the brands. As a result, the most successful brands of 2012 can be defined as those that followed the changes in human lives and evoked emotions. Moreover, they supported interaction between people without any harm for their personal peculiarities and stayed loyal to their consumers.
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The technological sector is distinguished as one that got new rise with the digitalization of the world (Interbrand 7). The report pays particular attention to Facebook flourishing, Silicon Valley and Wall Street clash, decline of the British Petroleum and corporate citizenship as the crucial components of the brands success in 2012. Providing the information on 100 best brands, the report covers the changes in various market sectors separately. Although all of the industries underwent changes under the influence of the digital customers’ appearance, necessity of personalization and providing new opportunities of different origin, the technological, media and telecommunication sectors have obviously become one of the most rapidly developing ones. With the new variety of human media consumption habits, the platforms increased and served as navigation for a number of conflicting views. The titans of the technological sector were characterized by a dizzying success and filled the industry with plenty of new devices. As for the telecom industry, with its contribution to the revolution, it was defined as the “heart of innovation” (Interbrand 131). Brand evaluation presented in the report explains how the changes and the reactions of the world prominent companies contributed to their positions among other brands in the same or other sectors. Based on the financial, demand and competitive analysis, the brand value characterizes its advantage in contrast to others. In addition, the brand strength based on the internal and external factors is an essential indicator that let one conclude about the advantages and disadvantages of the brands.
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Comparison and Contrast
With the crucial importance of the technologies development in the 21st century, there are good reasons to pay particular attention to the titan of technologies such as Apple Inc. and well-known Microsoft Corporation. Although both of the brands were included in the list of 100 best brands of 2012, there are great differences in their positioning and communication strategies. One of the greatest differences in these brands performance was reflected in the brand value change, which was +129% for Apple and -2% for Microsoft (Interbrand 26). With the brand value 76,568 $m, Apple has risen up to six rank point in comparison to the previous year while Microsoft comprising the value 57,853 $m appeared two positions lower. As for the financial aspects that reflect the effectiveness of companies’ management in different spheres, one can find the similar difference. For Microsoft, the revenues grew to $73,7 billion with cash flow from operations $31,6 billion (Microsoft Corporation 1). It also showed 17 % increase in comparison to the previous year. At the same time, the growth in the Apple revenue showed 59,5%, which made up $40 billion (Apple). The total revenue of Apple was $155,9 billion (Apple). Such income indicators show twice more sales for Apple. Finally, the gross income of Microsoft, which equaled $56,2 billion, was more than $10 billion less than the one of Apple ($68 billion). Hence, one can see that business strategies applied by Apple were obviously more effective and provided three times greater profit growth than Microsoft.
According to Wonglimpiyarat’s research, both companies have their strengths and weakness. Marking out the main advantages of Apple, one should refer to high-tech visionary CEO, its value as a well-established IT brand, continuing product development, and iTunes music stores. Microsoft’s strengths are the following: ability to forecast technology trends, power in the operating system market and multi-function product bundling (Wonglimpiyarat 98). Hence, one can see that the achievements of the two brands are initially different. The weaknesses are also originated from different focuses and orientations. For Apple, the narrow product portfolio is considered to be the main flaw while Microsoft is not distinguished by software security and reliable network connection and devices (Wonglimpiyarat 98). Although both of the brands tend to imply the innovative strategies, to upgrade the platform advantage consistently.
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Apple is obviously a more powerful brand than Microsoft. Its main achievement in communication strategies is that it produces items that consumers feel they must own to correspond socially (Interbrand 26). Mainly the emotional level of the company that was created by Steve Jobs is the one that makes it not only associate with the luxury sector to a great extent, but also ensure business success. Apart from the technological achievement and high quality, the value of the Apple products are based on the producers’ abilities to pace with the trend to humanize business and recognize the consumers’ minds. At the same time, the same year Microsoft has lost its position for inability to trace the demands of the customers. With weak computer demand, they failed to create the necessary OS that would become a good platform for tablets that became interest number one for people. However, there are good reasons to mark the development of Windows 8 that would let computer ecosystem get revitalized. At the same time, the strategies, which let Microsoft follow the interests of the consumers, were based on its inroads into the healthcare market, serving on Live@edu, and pushing Xbox (Interbrand 28). In addition, the brand focused on business users and launched a refresh of its corporate identity. Furthermore, the attempts to get back the positions could be followed with its Surface tablets.
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To sum it up, the brand value presented in the Interbrand report is reliable in reflecting the brands progress and regress. Based on the example of the technological sector brands Apple and Microsoft, this paper has showed how the brand value change reflected the priority of the Apple brand. Mainly the inability of Microsoft Corporation to follow the consumers’ demands and changes in their life in time led to decrease in the financial indicators like total revenues, gross income and others. Special attention of Apple to such trends as personal security and personification were also essential communication strategies that let it upstage Microsoft.