India Inc as a global brand seems to be losing steam. Tata, which climbed to 34th worldwide from 39th in 2013, with a brand value of $21.1 billion, according to a global survey, though, is an exception.
According to Brand Finance Global 500, an annual study conducted by a brand valuation consultancy called Brand Finance, the Tata group improved its own brand value from $18.16 billion in 2013 and its brand rating from AAA- to AA+. The report also said one Indian brand had dropped out of the table and several of those that remained had fallen in rankings.
India's largest lender, State Bank of India, Airtel, Reliance and Indian Oil Corporation also figure in the list, the only ones from this country. However, all these have seen a significant fall. SBI's position has dropped to 347 from 177 in 2013. Its ranking in the Banking 500 has dropped to 54 from last year's 38. Airtel has moved to 381 from 314, Reliance Industries dropped from 172 to 413 this year and IOC ranked 474, from 313.
The report also paints a dismal picture for companies in the BRIC nations. Russia, India and, in particular, Brazil, have also fared relatively poorly; the number of Brazilian brands in the table is down from nine to five, and those that remain have all lost over 20 per cent of their brand value. Tech toppers
Globally, it is the tech giants such as Apple and Samsung that rule the chart. Italian car maker Ferrari is the world's most powerful' brand but is some way off from being the most valuable. Its $4-billion brand value puts it at 350th in brand value terms.
Apple and Samsung continue to hold to their earlier positions of being the highest-valued. Apple's earlier dominance is being challenged by Samsung. The Korean giant's improving reputation for reliability, a faster pace of innovation and wider range of devices are among many factors that have seen its brand value increase by $20 bn to $79 billion year, said the report.
Brand Finance's chief executive, David Haigh, states: "Apple also has a powerful brand, rated AAA by Brand Finance. What sets it apart is its ability to monetise that brand. For example, though tablets were in use before the iPad, it was the application of the Apple brand to the concept that captured the public imagination and allowed it to take off as a commercial reality."
This is only one of the factors responsible for its $105-bn brand value; Apple is the world's most valuable one for a third year in a row. The report also said tech brands, in general, had tightened their grip on the Brand Finance Global 500. Walmart is the only non-tech brand remaining in the top 10.
Once the world's most valuable one, it is now at ninth position, overtaken by Amazon. The usurpation of the world's biggest retail brand by the biggest online retailer represents another coup for tech brands over real-world' businesses. Country of origin
In terms of nations, US brands continue to dominate the list, occupying 185 of the 500 spots. Japan is second. Despite seven Japanese brands having dropped out of the table, the total for the country as a whole is up, thanks to brand value increases of about 30 per cent from Japan's three biggest brands - Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. Germany, France and Britain complete the top five. Despite China's status as the world's second biggest economy, it is sixth in terms of total brand value; its brands are still developing. Huawei and Baidu have both increased their brand values by over 50 per cent.
While controversial for their close associations with the Chinese government, both are likely to exert increasing influence around the world in the next few years.