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ICT firms dominate global brand rankings

NAIROBI, September 20 – Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies have once again shown their dominance among the top most valued brands in the world according to a recent study by an international branding company.

The annual Global Brands survey, which assesses the financial value of leading brands across the World, showed that three out of the top five brands listed in the firm\’s latest ranking of the best global brands came from the ICT sector.

"The ranking looks at the value of the brand or the value of future earnings that can be attributed to the brand," explained Tom Sitati the Executive Director of Interbrand Sampson East Africa.

Sitati told Capital Business that IBM, which was third in 2007, moved one slot up to overtake Microsoft at the second place. According to the findings, the company posted a three per cent increase in its brand value of $59,031 billion. Microsoft\’s brand value went up by one per cent to register $59, 000 billion.

Google, which was ranked in the 20th position in 2007, had moved up by 43 percent to position 10 in 2008 after registering a brand value of US$.25, 590 million.

"This tells us that the internet is still big, it\’s still growing by leaps and bounds," he added.

Soft drink conglomerate, Coca Cola however retained the top slot after its brand value grew by two per cent from US$.65.324 billion to US$.66.667 billion.

Sitati explained that the financial crunch that is being experienced around the world had also impacted on top brands as evidenced by the fall of Citigroup and Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch is one of the world\’s leading financial management and advisory companies, providing financial advice and investment banking services, was the worst hit of financial services brands. The company registered a 21 per cent decrease in brand value.

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"There is a very direct correlation between brand valuation and therefore the ability of the brand to create future revenue and the ability to remain sustainable and profitable," he stressed.

A key criterion is that a company has to make at least 30 percent of its revenues outside its home market.

This explains why some big brands in Africa are not considered for the valuation.

Sitati however added that they have plans to introduce valuation of East African brands in the next 12 months.

This he noted would help them demonstrate the importance of embracing branding.

Speaking during the press conference, Interbrand Sampson East Africa Chief Executive, Richard Mukoma said that the Best Global Brands survey had become a crucial tool in successful businesses.

Mukoma noted that the aim of the survey was to validate to the business community that brands are very important business assets and in many cases the single most valuable company asset.
"The survey has now become a very useful tool among international companies as a way of measuring their value outside their home territories as well as benchmarking the brand value against the ever changing lifestyles and brand loyalties." said Mukoma.

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