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April 6, 2018
Disney has unseated LEGO as the world's most powerful brand, thanks in large part to the record-breaking success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, according to Brand Finance's annual Global 500 report.
Rankings are based on familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investments, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
The report concludes that while Disney’s strength is founded on its rich history and original creations, its now dominant position is the result of its many acquisitions and the powerful brands it has brought under its control including ESPN, Pixar, The Muppets and Marvel, and most importantly last year, Lucasfilm. With box office proceeds grossing nearly $2 billion and toy sales generating more than $700 million, Brand Finance has estimated the value of the Star Wars brand to be more than $10 billion, dwarfing the $4.05 billion Disney paid for Lucasfilm in 2012.
All this has hoisted the studio to the top of the list followed by LEGO, L'Oreal, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey (in order) rounding out the top five.
Additional findings from the Brand Finance Global 500 study include:
LEGO Loses Ground–The LEGO Company's position on the list was also impacted by a series of controversies. The company has been fined by German regulators and is currently trying to prevent Chinese artist AI Wei Wei from using LEGO in his work. However, the brand still remains very powerful and retains its AAA+ brand rating.
Apple Not Rotten Yet–In terms of brand value, Apple is still on top. According to Brand Finance’s findings, Apple’s brand value is up 14 percent. The company has maintained its dominance after its huge success with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.
China's Fantastic 4–Four of the top 10 performing brands are Chinese due to its growing market. For example, brands such as "WeChat," a popular messaging app in China, experienced a user base growth of 40 percent between 2014 and 2015 and brand value is up 83 percent to $6.5 billion.
Volkswagen Goes in Reverse–The car company is among this year’s worst performing brands. In December, Brand Finance estimated that VW would see its brand value fall by as much as $10 billion. But, this year’s evaluation found brand value is down by $12 billion, leading to a fall in rank from 17th to 56th.
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