best brands and companies lists

Have you ever wondered how closely a company’s brand value and revenue are correlated?  Or perhaps how well a company ranks as a place to work and how it ranks on innovation are correlated?  

I compiled data from the following “best” lists*:

The results are really interesting.  Take a look.

I’m still processing the findings but a few quick highlights of what I found:

  • There is a lot of disparity between different brand valuation lists — Intel, for example, is ranked #7 by Interbrand, #18 by Brand Finance, #58 by Millward Brown Optimor, and not even listed by CoreBrand.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a correlation between brand value (based on any of the lists) and company size (from Fortune 500).
  • Very few of the top brands (in terms of value) or companies (in terms of size) are ranked highly as places to work or as innovative companies.
  • Only a few brands/companies appear on nearly all the lists — Microsoft, Apple, American Express, and UPS — and only one appears on all of them:   Google.

I’m curious to hear what you see in the data  — and what implications and conclusions you draw from it.  Also I’d love to see one of my information designer colleagues do a graphical interpretation of this data — any one interested?

Please leave comments or email me (mail AT deniseleeyohn DOT com.)

*some notes:

  • I realize I’m mixing apples and oranges by comparing brands and companies.  I did try to connect the two where appropriate (linking the KFC brand rankings with the Yum! Brands company rankings.)  If I’ve failed to indicate a connection properly, please let me know.
  • Some of these lists are global while others are U.S. only, so some of the disparity is derived from the different scopes.
  • I chose to rank order the list based on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands list — an arbitrary decision, but one that makes sense given my brand-orientation and the broad awareness of that list.
  • I’m sure it would be illuminating to include other “best” lists — please let me know suggestions and I can update and republish this comparison.

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  • Denise, you are doing such great work applying business thinking to the world of brands and marketing. Well done!

    I wonder whether the underlying variable in all of the lists is simply the amount of case the businesses spend on branding? More expenditure might equal higher ranking on branding ratings which, if true, would be a marvelously navel-gazing metric for brand value, eh?

    Anyway, keep up the good work!


  • Thanks for the feedback, Jonathan — you raise a good point but I wonder how we would define “spend on branding?” We can’t only include advertising and public relations/social media spend is difficult to pin down — and we can’t really quantify the cost of the operational aspects of brand-building. Hmmmm….