2012 Best Retail Brands of the World

Brand consultancy Interbrand, has released its 2nd annual global report dedicated to the retail sector. The Best Retail Brands report ranks the top 50 US retail brands by brand value, as well as the top retail brands from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and the Asia Pacific region.

And once again Private brand plays a prominent role in the report, with more than twenty mentions and significant roles at retailers around the world including: Walgreens, Publix, Costco, Autozone, Buckle, Morrisons, Sephora, LIDL, dm, Mercadona, Woolworths, MUJI, Belle, Ito okado, Aeon and ABC-mart.

My favorite quote comes from the write-up on #12 Florida-based grocer Publix: “Its award-winning private label strategy is the brand’s “secret weapon.” By differentiating its products according to its consumers’ preferences, it has competitive private label products that cannot be copied by national chains.”

The US retail brands are valued for the fourth time in collaboration with Interbrand Design Forum. Findings show that US retailers are continuing on a path of steady growth, with online retail spending making up to almost 9% of all US retail sales, a jump from 7 percent from 2011.

Looking beyond the US list, Tesco (UK), Carrefour (France), Aldi (Germany), Zara (Spain), and Woolworths (Asia Pacific) are ranked as the number one retailer in their respective markets – all holding their top spots from 2011. Across Europe, leading retailers are gaining a competitive edge and winning customers by investing in new omnichannel strategies and in the overall in-store brand experience. In Asia, retailers are placing a renewed focus on quality, personalization, and after-sales services in an effort to rebuild and bolster consumer confidence following the natural disasters and economic turmoil that plagued the region in the past year.

Retail is a highly competitive marketplace. Consumer spending is scattered due to the myriad ways of making purchases. Manufacturers are becoming retailers, and new rivals – often in the form of both small companies and international players entering new territories – are continuing to fragment the market. In such a climate, every customer interaction becomes crucial.

“Today’s retailers have entered an era of infinite competition,” said Jez Frampton, Global Chief Executive of Interbrand. “These Best Retail Brands understand that every channel matters in the new landscape – and prove that though a multichannel approach is certainly more complex, if done strategically, it pays off.” Brand-led companies are proving to be resilient by continuing to bolster their digital experience, while simultaneously finding new ways to reinvigorate the in-store brand experience.

“One of the most compelling lessons from the list is that the best brands didn’t stand idly by, waiting for further signs of recovery. They contributed to it by anticipating their customer’s desire to return – not to shopping as usual – but to something better,” said Bruce Dybvad, CEO of Interbrand Design Forum. “For the most part, companies have invested in better store experiences and put more capabilities into the hands of their shoppers.”

“The retail world is shifting outstandingly and the digital landscape has catapulted retail brands to another level. Retailers now have personal relationships with their consumers and opinion is established instantaneously through the likes of Facebook and Twitter.” Says, Jeremy Sampson, Group Chairman of Interbrand Sampson.

The most prominent global retail trends gaining relevancy across the sector include:

  • The Need to be Agile: Now that consumers decide how, when and where to interact, the only location for retail is where the customers are. Responsiveness trumps efficiency and adds value for customers. Brands like Uniqlo and Tesco are experimenting with new ways to better engage with customers. Tesco created a virtual grocery store in a Seoul subway station and Uniqlo built a summertime roller-rink and pop-up store in Manhattan.
  • Focus on the Path to Purchase: By returning their attention to the way consumers make purchase decisions, top brands find opportunities to innovate around pain points and build relationships. Today’s pathway is more complex, with digital tools enabling customers to conduct more robust research to identify the best value.
  • Every Brand is a Story: While retail has historically been extremely operationally focused, more retailers are looking to brand to build value. A brand must develop a theme beyond a shopper’s need for function and identity by adding even more emotion and dimension. The trick is to find the value beyond the transaction. The world’s best brands know what the customer values, and work relentlessly to provide it for them.
  • Leverage Design to Build Brand Value: Experience is the defining element of any brand. It provides the memory that prompts repeat use, or doesn’t. Shoppers expect their favorite brands to speak in a consistent voice, in-store, online and in traditional and digital channels. In retail it is extremely difficult to get all the customer-facing components to talk the same talk to convey consistency and relevancy. Design is the ticket to breaking out of an old brand identity to re-inspire your customers. It can help add excitement and drama to routine transactions and its storytelling ability can energize brand culture.
  • The Promise of Omnichannel Retail: A successful omnichannel strategy has the potential to revolutionize retail, but the typical state of cross channel commerce remains poor, plagued as it is by information silos, organization issues, and non-interoperable programs that frustrate customers. Brands like Walmart, Boots, and Macy’s are aggressively taking steps to master the new omnichannel world. The challenge it represents is great, but so are the rewards.

Global key findings from the study include:

  • Walmart maintains its #1 position on Interbrand’s US Most Valuable Retail Brands list for 2012, with a brand value just over US 139$m, but down 2% from last year.
  • Amazon.com maintains the #9 position, and increased its brand value by 32%-the largest riser amongst all countries’ brand rankings.
  • eBay moves into the top 10 for the first time, replacing Dell on the US Most Valuable Retail Brands list. Dell fell off the list due to the fact it no longer meets the report’s criteria. (To be defined as a retailer, a brand must generate at least 50% of its revenues from sales through its branded retail locations). Dell is continuing to focus more on its enterprise business, which occurs through direct sales channels rather than retail locations.
  • Across all the global lists found in this year’s report, the overall top risers include Amazon.com (US; up 32%) Lerory Merlin (France; up 22%), Mercadona (Spain; up 22%), Lidl (Germany; up 20%), Tractor Supply (US; up 18%), and Sephora (France; up 18%). \The top new entrants include Guess (US: 1,748 $m), Bershka (Spain; 873 $m), and Muji (Asia Pacific; 355 $m).

5 Most Valuable US Retail Brands for 2012 (Top 50 at www.Interbrand.com)

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Walmart

$139,190

-2%

2

Target

$23,444

1%

3

Home Depot

$22,020

8%

4

CVS

$17,343

5%

5

Best Buy

$16,755

-11%

 

5 Most Valuable UK Retail Brands for 2012 (Top 10 at www.Interbrand.com)

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Tesco

$11,011

9%

2

Marks & Spencer

$6,256

3%

3

Boots

$2,852

15%

4

Asda

$1,576

13%

5

Next

$1,319

0%

 

5 Most Valuable French Retail Brands for 2012 (Top 10 at www.Interbrand.com)

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Carrefour

$11,076

-17%

2

Auchan

$3,155

10%

3

Leroy Merlin

$1,930

22%

4

Sephora

$1,549

18%

5

L’Occitane

$1,475

10%



5 Most Valuable German Retail Brands for 2012 (Top 10 at www.Interbrand.com)

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Aldi

$3,152

-11%

2

Edeka

$1,433

8%

3

Lidl

$1,414

20%

4

Media Markt

$1,340

0%

5

Kaufland

$538

3%

 

5 Most Valuable Spanish Retail Brands for 2012

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Zara

$8,065

8%

2

El Corte Inglés

$1,827

-23%

3

Mango

$1,199

12%

4

Bershka

$873

NEW

5

Mercadona

$844

22%



5 Most Valuable Asia Pacific Retail Brands for 2012 (Top 15 at www.Interbrand.com)

2012
Rank
BRAND 2012 BRAND
VALUE $m
% CHANGE
(BRAND
VALUE)

1

Woolworths

$4,203

5%

2

Uniqlo

$2,949

13%

3

Harvey Norman

$873

-3%

4

Myer

$599

13%

 

 

 

 

READ THE ENTIRE REPORT.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.