Davis Names Top 25
Companies with Most
Brand Capital

Davis Brand Capital today released the 2009 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking, which evaluates brand beyond its traditional marketing function and considers it as an amalgam of intangibles creating value in the intellectual economy.

The ranking compares the five key intangible categories by which the consultancy defines brand capital: brand value; competitive performance; innovation strength; company culture; and
social impact.

“Studies by the Federal Reserve and others estimate that U.S. companies alone invest $1 trillion per year in intangibles,” said Patrick T. Davis, chief executive officer at Davis Brand Capital. “It is through brand, more broadly defined, that the marketplace experiences the impact and value of those investments,” he said.

IBM (IBM) tops the list, with especially strong overall performance. Rounding out the top-five are: General Electric (GE); Hewlett-Packard (HPQ); Microsoft (MSFT); and Cisco Systems (CSCO). More than 25 percent of the list comprises technology leaders. Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) also make the 2009 ranking. “The insight here is not simply that technology companies can manage valuable brands as part of their marketing expertise. Rather, it is that technology leaders tend to understand intangibles better in today’s market, and excel in areas such as innovation strength, company culture and social impact. These are key components of overall brand capital,” said Davis.

While automotive leaders Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) make the 2009 list, the troubled U.S. automotive industry is not represented. In a year of financial collapse, the only U.S.-based financial services company on the list is JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which is joined by U.K.-based HSBC (HBC).

Traditional and online retailers are included, with both Wal-Mart (WMT) and Amazon.com (AMZN) ranking. Beverage giants Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP) continue the cola wars on the ranking, with Coca-Cola in a superior position. In telecommunications, AT&T (T) bests rival Verizon (VZ).

Procter & Gamble (PG) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK), traditionally excluded from other brand rankings, both make the 2009 list. “It no longer makes sense to think brand is valuable only when it builds consumer-facing image,” said Davis. “The Berkshire Hathaway and P&G names are appearing on owned brands and companies to a new degree, and both lead in other key areas, like competitive performance, innovation strength or social impact. They deserve recognition for their excellent approaches to brand capital.”

Conversely, many major consumer brands are notably absent from the list. “Excellence in traditional brand management alone is no longer enough,” said Davis. “Big consumer brands build great value in the marketplace and with the consumer, but that is only one component of brand capital. And it does not necessarily mean the brands reflect truly integrated, brand capital-driven companies. A more holistic approach is needed to earn a place among the extraordinary companies on this list.”

Bryan K. Oekel, senior vice president of brand analytics at Davis Brand Capital, led the development of the 2009 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking, which is based on a study of ten (10) distinct data sets. “Our ranking is an analysis and compilation of available and accepted data sets published in industry-leading and specialized annual lists, plus proprietary processes and data. Our research and valuation experts apply an algorithm to normalize deviations and remove potential anomalies from the sources,” said Oekel. “Each of the five key areas of brand capital is given equal importance to achieve an integrated, balanced analysis. We make no subjective adjustment to the ranking or the Davis Brand
Capital scores.”

Prior to the Davis Brand Capital 25, annual industry and specialized list data sets were not evaluated and aggregated to reveal the comparative strength of companies’ brand capital. “It is essential now for senior executives to understand that brand capital reflects a collection of key attributes determining systemic success. Well-managed brand capital signals the overall health and effectiveness of a business today,” said Davis.

The ranking will be updated yearly, with the 2010 Davis Brand Capital 25 released in December, 2010.

2009 Davis Brand Capital 25

  1. IBM (IBM)
  2. General Electric (GE)
  3. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
  4. Microsoft (MSFT)
  5. Cisco Systems (CSCO)
  6. Intel (INTC)
  7. Walt Disney Company (DIS)
  8. Toyota Motor (TM)
  9. Procter & Gamble (PG)
  10. Wal-Mart (WMT)
  11. Google (GOOG)
  12. Apple (AAPL)
  13. AT&T (T)
  14. Verizon Communications (VZ)
  15. Nokia (NOK)
  16. Coca-Cola (KO)
  17. Amazon.com (AMZN)
  18. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  19. HSBC (HBC)
  20. JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
  21. ExxonMobil (XOM)
  22. United Parcel Service (UPS)
  23. Honda (HMC)
  24. PepsiCo (PEP)
  25. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK)

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