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The Most Valuable Brand Sees a Changing of the Guard

November 21, 2013

In the 1890s, the carbonated drink Coca-Cola was introduced. During World War II, Coke announced that it would be anywhere that U.S. troops were. This resulted in Coke developing a global strategy. It’s hard to find any corner of the planet where Coke does not have a presence. This has resulted in unmatched brand recognition.

Since 2000, Interbrand, a corporate indemnity and brand consulting company, has accessed and ranked the global value of company’s brands. For the first twelve years, Coca-Cola held the top slot. In 2000, Interbrand calculated the Coke brand was worth $72.537 million. At that time the Apple brand was worth about 9% of the Coke brand and Google did not even make the list.

Fast forward 13 years. For the first time this millennium, not only does Coke not grab the top spot, but falls to third, trailing both Apple and Google. The founders of these two companies weren’t even alive when Coke quenched the thirst of U.S. troops in World War II.

The top brand for the last 12 years was a sugary drink that costs pennies to consume. This low-priced consumer product was dethroned by two consumer technology organizations whose users needed either the financial resources or the knowledge (literacy) to consume it. Technology that didn’t even exist a few years ago has already spanned the globe.

So what does this mean to us radio guys?

On a broad scale, it is a sign of the times. Technology is changing how we do everything, especially how we run our operations.

More important is the fact that no one can dispute the importance of brand value in our economy. It is even more important in radio since there is no cost for a user to consume, or switch, their radio station.

If you have a great brand today, it does not mean that you will have it tomorrow. Broadcasters need to constantly focus on their brand and what it means to the consumer. In today’s world, the consumer is more than just the listener. They need to be able to be tied into your brand in multiple ways. If they cannot, they will find someone else, and switch their brand loyalty.

If you are trying to build a great brand, look at the winners. There was no demand for a tablet before the iPad. Google has gone from an organization to a verb – “I don’t know, but I’ll Google it.” If you give the consumer what they want, they will come. If you are consistent with your message and what you deliver, your brand will rise.

Coca-Cola remains a tremendous brand with a strong reputation. However, the new world has dethroned this leader.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner