Best Global Brands 2012 logoJez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand, followed Fareed Zakaria in the morning session of day-2 of the 9th World Business Forum with a presentation his company’s latest Interbrand  report, released yesterday.

“Great branding is business strategy brought to life”, said Frampon. In between discussing the winners and losers in the Interbrand league table, he disclosed the agency’s simple three-factor method to discover the estimated value of the brands it watches:

  1. Firstly, look at the finances of the business. What is the economic success of the company and how does that support the brand?
  2. What proportion of the company’s income is due to the brand itself? To what degree did the brand contribute in converting the company’s sale to you?
  3. How far into the future might the brand’s loyalty be sustained?

Mr Frampton views technology as a megatrend driving the growth of the most valuable upward-moving brands in the Interbrand tables.  “Technology companies are doing so well because they’re showing real understand[ing] of human beings”, said Frampton.

As an experienced and award-winning branding agency in the Chinese context, Allegravita’s views Mr Frampton’s contention that the brand is the business strategy brought to life as somewhat accurate — however as is often the case in the Chinese context, its not the whole story.

Western brands which wish to enter and prosper in China’s marketplaces must view the localization of their brand as a separate process in their global business strategy.  The Chinese market has been exposed to western ideas for such a short time that the shared B2B and B2C zeitgeist in China is extremely undeveloped when it comes to many western concepts. This is especially so in less developed cities (which represent gigantic spending power, especially on newly-available western products).

The process of localization requires a clear-eyed and expert discovery of the market positioning opportunities of the newly-available western brand in China’s weird marketplaces. For example, cheap and cheerful brands from the west (such as Buick, Pabst or Pizza Hut) have successfully and correctly positioned themselves as desirable luxury brands in China*. To view these brands’ China positioning and localization only according to their global business strategy is unhelpful — its just that different in China.

The full 2012 “Best Global Brands 2012” report can be downloaded at the Interbrand website.

*Buick is viewed as a great luxury marque, blue collar favourite Pabst Blue Ribbon beer costs over $40 per bottle in China, and Pizza Hut is viewed as a world-class Italian restaurant.

Thanks to the World Business Forum 2012 team which which kindly invited me to represent Allegravita and attend the conference as their guest.

Please consider all our blogged stories from the World Business Forum 2012:

Management guru Jim Collins, on “return on luck”
NYC property mogul Barbara Corcoran on her top-8 lessons learned from her career as an entrepreneur
MIT psychologist professor Sherry Turkle on the danger presented to society by being always-connected
Interbrand CEO Jez Frampton on what makes a great brand
Nissan SVP Andy Palmer on the importance of melding engineering with marketing and communications
Legendary GE CEO Jack Welch’s choicest quotes from the conference
Harvard Business School’s Prof. Michael Porter on ‘Shared Value’ for-profit CSR
Inspirational entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s choicest quotes from the conference

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