Apple Overtakes Coca-Cola as World’s Most Valuable Brand

Apple has unseated Coca-Cola as the world’s No. 1 brand, as the company founded by Steve Jobs is a leader in design and performance, according to a study of the Top 100 brands by Interbrand Corp.

Apple Inc.’s brand value jumped 28 percent to $98.3 billion and Google Inc. rose in second place at $93.3 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. name slipped from the top spot after 13 years to third place at $79.2 billion.

“Every so often, a company changes our lives — not just with its products, but with its ethos,” Jez Frampton, chief executive officer at New York-based brand consultancy Interbrand, said in a statement. Current Apple CEO “Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact — a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again.”

The annual study, closely watched by the industry, determines a brand’s value by examining its financial performance, role in influencing consumer buying and ability to secure earnings. The Top 10 is rounded out in descending order by IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonald’s, Samsung, Intel and Toyota. The 100 have a combined value of $1.5 trillion, an 8.4 percent increase from last year.

Technology names were among the biggest climbers — and the biggest decliners as well. Google’s brand value rose 34 percent and Samsung’s advanced 20 percent. Meanwhile, Nokia dropped to 57th place from 19th with the largest decline in brand value in the history of the 14-year study. Yahoo and BlackBerry fell off the rankings altogether.

Industry Turmoil

The shifts in many of the brands’ placements reflects the turmoil in the technology industry over the past year. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) — which had the largest share of the mobile-handset market until it was overtaken by Samsung Electronics Co. in 2012 — was split this month whenMicrosoft Corp. (MSFT) agreed to buy the Finnish company’s phone business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.34 billion). As part of the deal, Microsoft licensed the Nokia brand for a decade just for the low-end models. Fancier devices won’t get the Nokia name any more.

Last week, smartphone pioneer BlackBerry Ltd. said a group led by Toronto-based insurance company Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH) signed a letter of intent for a $4.7 billion buyout. The company is cutting a third of its staff and refocusing just on business customers after the products once so popular they were known as CrackBerries lost favor to Apple and Samsung handsets, which offered better Web browsing and wider ranges of applications.

New names on the Interbrand list include Discovery, Duracell and Chevrolet. The fastest-rising brands were Apple, Facebook, Prada, Google and Amazon.

Source: Bloomberg

Liberty Brand Advert – The Sandton Story

The answers start with the right questions. They start with the questions that challenge you; that challenge what you know, and more importantly challenge what you’re going to do with what you know.

Like the question we answered 40 years ago, and which is the basis of the first advertisement of our new campaign. An advertisement that tells the story of Sandton. Itself an answer to an almost impossible question: “Do you know how to grow what little I have, and make it enough for the day I no longer work, or the day I’m no longer around”. A question we answered by taking a horse-farm on the outskirts of Johannesburg, building Sandton City, and in turn the richest square mile in Africa.
It’s the first piece of a fully integrated campaign that will demonstrate in countless ways, how we take our knowledge and put it to work, every day, for real people. People like yourself.

Because after all, that’s the advantage we offer.

Mercedes-Benz TV: MAGIC BODY CONTROL TV commercial

Mercedes has chosen a novel way to promote its Magic Body Control feature.

The technology is likened to a chicken dancing to Diana Ross’ “Upside Down” in a new ad that has racked up close to 1.5 million views in three days and is racing up Unruly’s viral ad chart. The chicken — joined by others — is manipulated by gloved human hands to boogie to the 1980s disco hit.

Magic Body Control, formerly known as Active Body Control, is an active suspension system that employs a computer to offset the vehicle’s body movements for a smoother ride.

Freedom Fridays to celebrate 20 years of democracy

20 years masthead1The countdown to the 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy got underway when government and Lead SA launched Freedom Fridays over the past week.

Speaking at the New Age/SABC business briefing in Johannesburg, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said: ‘We are working with our social cohesion advocates in implementing a build-up programme towards celebrating this milestone (20 years of freedom and democracy). ‘Part of this programme is our partnership with LEAD SA and Proudly South African to launch Freedom Fridays on September 20.’

Next year, South Africa will celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Mashatile said the Freedom Fridays campaign is a call to all South Africans to take pride in their nation and to celebrate the road they have travelled since 1994.

‘This we will do by wearing, every Friday, anything that expresses our pride in being South African, including the colours of the national flag, traditional wear or a jersey of our favourite national team,’ he said.

We at Merloni fully support the campaign and will work with our partners to highlight the celebration both locally and internationally.


South Africa Emerges Africa’s Most Valuable Nation Brand

south_africaOn the continent, South Africa is the Most Valuable African Nation Brand. This was revealed by Brand Africa in conjunction with Brand France at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya last Friday. The event, which was hosted by Brand Kenya was organised by Brand Africa’s secretariat, Brand Leadership Academy and Africa Practise, an investment and development communications advisory practice.

The Most Valuable African Nations Brands presented by Brand Africa, are derived from Brand Finance’s Global Nations Brand League, now in its fifth year, which covers a global sample of 138 nations, including 36 African nations.

Africa Nation Brand list now in its second year features new entrants like Ethiopia, which replaced Libya on the tenth spot. While the rest of the countries remained in the same position as last year’s rankings, the Nation Brand list this year shows a change in position between Ghana and Kenya as Ghana replaced Kenya in the ninth position while Kenya moved one spot up.

The Global Nations Brand League is based on Brand Finance’s comprehensive analysis of the impact that a country’s reputation and image have on foreign consumers and investors. It combines a range of economic, demographic and political factors, and is based on in-depth research by Brand Finance’s global network of offices.

At the end of the exercise, which features the use of multiple methodologies that includes qualitative, quantitative and secondary research; each nation brand is given a brand rating – a summary measure of the financial potency based on their strength, risk and future potential, as well as brand value.

Founder and Chairman of the Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said, “More than half of the world’s fastest growing economies are from Africa, paving the way for Africa to transform itself from being a net importer of goods and services to being self-sufficient and a contributing rather just a consumer member of the global economy… The Top 10 Most Valuable African Nations are without question among the most dynamic African nations at the forefront of re-inventing the Africa’s image, reputation and competitiveness.”

The top ten Most Valuable African Nation Brand for 2012 are:

Ranking Country Brand value Brand rating
1 South Africa 218 A

2 Egypt 109 A-

3 Nigeria 88 BBB

4 Morocco 48 A-

5 Algeria 45 BB

6 Angola 31 B

7 Tunisia 24 A

8 Kenya 19 A-

9 Ghana 18 A-

10 Ethiopia 12 BBB

BBM will be available on Android & iPhones by this weekend.

BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins speaks at the company's annual meeting in WaterlooThe struggling Canadian smartphone maker had announced plans to open up the service, often referred to as BBM by both fans and the company, back in May.

Once a unique tool to send short messages without running up SMS charges, BBM now competes with mobile instant messaging products from Facebook, Apple and others, and less directly with the micro-blogging service Twitter.

Android users will be able to download the application on Saturday, while iPhone users can get it on Sunday.BBM

Heart-Tugging Thai Ad Tells Epic Story in 3 Minutes

The spot weaves a story about kindness rewarded over the course of 30 years. While the tale could have been rendered maudlin, it instead receives a cinematic treatment that is genuinely affecting. Many commenters raved that the ad is “better than a Hollywood movie” and that it made them cry.

Famous Brands buys stake in Nigeria fast food business

Kevin+Hedderwick+Famous+Brands+high+res+XXXJohannesburg – South African fast-food restaurant operator Famous Brands said on Monday it would buy 49 percent of the restaurant arm of UAC of Nigeria Plc to bolster its presence in Africa’s most populous country.

Famous Brands said the cash deal for an undisclosed amount gives it a wider footprint in Nigeria, where it has operated for the past 11 years through licence and franchise agreements, and is part of its strategy to expand further into Africa.

Stuck with slower growth at home, South African companies are increasingly looking to fast-growing Sub-Saharan markets.

UAC Restaurants has 165 franchised restaurants in Nigeria, with 57 of those in Lagos.

That includes the popular Mr Bigg’s brand, Famous Brands said.

Famous Brands operates the Steers and Wimpy fast-food restaurants in South Africa. – Reuters

Shoprite stores shut over old food scandal

shoprite_nigeriaThe closure of five Shoprite stores in Mozambique stemmed from the dismissal of an employee weeks ago, the supermarket giant said on Tuesday.

“The [Shoprite] Group believes that recent inspections and the current closure of five stores stem from a personnel dismissal some weeks ago after a member of management was caught selling expired margarine through the back door,” the company said in a statement.

The Mozambican government’s National Inspectorate of Economic Activities closed down the stores in Maputo, Boane and Chimoio for selling old food.

Inspectors would on Tuesday and Wednesday go through the stock in the supermarkets and remove everything that was not in a good condition to be sold. The company said it had a “very strict” policy not to sell any product past its expiry date.

Removed and destroyed

“Shelves and refrigerated areas are inspected on a daily basis in order for products that have reached their sell-by date to be removed and destroyed, or held in storage until they are uplifted by the supplier or city health officials to destroy.”

The company had various internal procedures in place in Mozambique to support this policy, it said.

“However, with stores stocking in excess of 22 000 items on average, it was possible that staff may from time to time miss a few products that should have been removed from shelves.”

The INAE would be issuing a report on Wednesday, after which Shoprite would take appropriate action.

The supermarket chain was co-operating with the inspectorate on the matter, it said.