LEGO has overtaken Ferrari as the top brand in the world in Brand Finance's annual Brand Strength Index, which evaluates brands based on familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.
In a tech-saturated world, Brand Finance found that parents approve of the back-to-basics creativity LEGO encourages and have a lingering nostalgia for the brand. The Lego Movie, which has brought in nearly $500 million since its release a year ago, captured this cross-generational appeal and helped propel LEGO from a well-loved, strong brand to the top in the world.
The world's former No. 1 brand, Ferrari, remains strong, but after going several years without an F1 title the sheen of glory from the 1990s is beginning to diminish. Meanwhile the departure of Luca di Montezemolo heralds a change in strategy at Ferrari’s road car division.
“Ferrari is still in a strong position, and its brand value has actually increased 18 percent this year to $4.7 billion," says David Haigh, chief executive officer, Brand Finance.
Brand Finance's report also combines information on a brand’s strength with financial data to calculate its commercial value. Though not quite on a par with Ferrari or LEGO in terms of brand strength, Apple comes in as the No. 1 brand commercially. With its knack for popularizing, and hence monetizing, existing technology, Apple is a true leader in this arena. Critics have been silenced by the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which helped Apple set records for quarterly profits ($18 billion) and company value ($710 billion).
“The Apple brand is worth US$128 billion," says David Haigh. "That value is huge not just in its own terms but also as a proportion of Apple’s record-breaking corporate valuation. It goes to show how valuable brands are as business assets and how important it is to manage them well.”
Twitter is the fastest growing brand with a value that has almost tripled in the last year, while fellow tech giants Baidu and Facebook have also grown strongly.
Chipotle stands out among the many successes from the tech and telecoms sectors this year. Its brand value is up 124 percent, eating into McDonalds’ market share by positioning itself as a healthier, tastier and more ethical alternative. The McDonald's brand has lost $4 billion in value this year.