Understanding the Essence Behind a Brand

European Perspective Brand consultancy Interbrand has come up with its first ranking of Europe's top performing retail brands, and its findings have some great pointers of best practices for all brand owners.

April 6, 2018

Understanding the Essence Behind a Brand

European Perspective

Brand consultancy Interbrand has come up with its first ranking of Europe's top performing retail brands, and its findings have some great pointers of best practices for all brand owners.

The consultancy, which also produces an annual ranking of global brands with

Business Week

magazine, uses a methodology of valuation for intangible assets and criteria to come up with a value for the brand. Interbrands' survey to create a top 25 list of retail brands–the top 10 ranked are shown in the accompanying table–revealed a number of elements that can be attributed to the most successful retailers. The Interbrand findings include the following:

  • Top retailers generate value for their brand because they understand the importance of brand building and investing in their own-brands. Three of the top five brands are own-brand only, and 60 percent of retailers it surveyed have own brands that contribute between 30 percent and 10 percent of their revenues.
    • The top retailers know how to extend and when to extend into new categories. They have moved from being "passive host" to "active customer owners," which has allowed them to transfer brands across markets and categories.
      • International expansion is more successful when the brand itself is the key driver. Operational obstacles are lessened when the brand is the passport to new territories.
        • Top retailers have different store environments that maximize brand experience and financial performance.
          • Top retailers have "good corporate citizenship," participate in debates that their customers care about and create an emotional distinction with consumers.

            Interbrand global chief executive Jez Frampton said: "Retail brands provide the most comprehensive opportunities for brands to truly come to life. The scope of retail brands goes from the insights that create a robust brand strategy, into store design, engagement of people and in many cases the creation and supply of own-label produce."

            One of things that struck

            me was that tiny Sweden is the home country of two out of the top three retail brands, and I am sure that this is because of the unwavering focus H&M and Ikea put on their brands. And as Interbrand also points out, these businesses have become truly international without worrying too much about different national or regional market differences.

            Retailers are able to bring their own brands to life in a way that consumer brands relying on third-party retailers can sometimes only dream of. But as direct-to-retail deals proliferate, the benefits of co-branding may come to the forefront.

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