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The Business of Top 100 Brands.

For the last decade, Interbrand has been producing an annual report on the top 100 ‘Best Global Brands’. It makes interesting reading.

It doesn’t make truly compelling reading though, and it doesn’t offer much in the way of deep insight. Perhaps that’s to be expected – it’s the nature of the beast. When you’re looking for trends across 100 global brands it’s no real wonder that the common ground ends up being generic.

It’s a bit like the ‘Top 100 TV Moments’, and the ‘Top 100 Movie Moments’, and all the other ‘Top 100 Moments’ that exist as TV scheduling fillers. While the journey through the respective ‘Top 100 [insert filler of your choice]’ can be an interesting one, you can be fairly certain that your personal favourite isn’t going to be number one.

It is a source of constant disappointment to me, for example, that the angelic harmonising of the Von Trapp Family in the classic Sound of Music never actually makes it to number one anywhere except in my dreams.

And so, because we all kind of knew the report findings this year – the economy’s in the shitter, the financial brands have taken a pasting, no one trusts anyone anymore, social media and the digital landscape’s a bitch and none of the big brands really know how to deal with it globally… – I thought it might be helpful to offer an additional insight from Interbrand’s work that may offer some hope to the B2B community.

Seven of the Top Ten Global Brands achieve a significant proportion of their revenues from the B2B sector. Seven. Of the top ten. B2B.

I thought that was pretty impressive for the Business to Business market. IBM, Microsoft, Google, General Electric, Intel, Nokia, HP – they’re all big B2B players. Using Interbrand’s statistics, they have a combined brand value of over $300bn. That means those seven B2B brands in the Top 10 have a higher brand value than all the other B2C brands in the Top 20 combined ($271bn). Not too shabby.

So whilst we’re all scrabbling around in the muck and bullets of day-to-day B2B marketing life, it’s worth remembering that we have a significant pedigree to live up to. The next time someone tells you that ‘brands’ are things they buy in supermarkets, just remind them that, actually, the top brands are mainly B2B. (Then sniff the air, turn on your heel and exit leaving only a ‘talk to the hand’ gesture for them to remember you by…)

Scot McKee