The Best Global Brands Think Big, Act Big, and Lead

Want to know what it takes in 2013 to lead a successful brand and practice marketing well? For the best answer to this question, one need look no further than Interbrand’s “2013 Best Global Brands” report. Below is a brief video introduction:

Every year I look forward to reading this comprehensive report (as it was first introduced to me in early 2000) to learn more about what makes the best global brands successful. What’s interesting about this year’s results is that for the first time in 13 years, Coca-Cola is no longer the #1 global brand, but rather #3. The top two brands are now Apple and Google.

Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer Jez Frampton makes a wonderful case summarizing why some brands are succeeding and others are falling behind, which can be found in the executive summary of the report. Below is an excerpt, which is well worth the read from start to finish:

Driven by rapid technological advancement, the digitization of nearly everything, and the ever more intricate interdependencies of the global market, the business landscape has transformed over the past two decades. Operating in a bewildering new environment in which little is certain, the pace is quicker and the dynamics more complex. Those who lead today’s brands can no longer rely on once immutable truths or principles of leadership honored in times past.

It is a new world. And as purchasing increasingly shifts from a physical experience to a virtual one and transaction-based interactions between brands and consumers shift to relationship-based interactions, new skills and sensibilities are needed. Leadership roles are converging, traditional structures are crumbling, the consumer’s voice carries more weight than ever, and less tangible strengths like emotional intelligence and psychological insight are just as key to leading a brand today as the ability to generate high ROI and increased shareholder value.

Because of these new realities, the game has clearly changed and continues to change for what it takes to be a successful brand in today’s global marketplace. According to Frampton, it is more important than ever to think big, act big, and lead.

Some of the key top-level findings and insights from this report for marketers include:

  1. Imagine and advance a vision
  2. You can’t control the conversation – so join it
  3. Don’t wait – innovate
  4. Lead through design
  5. Invest in people
  6. Get comfortable with Big Data
  7. Don’t dominate, co-create
  8. Make CSR strategic, and make a real difference
  9. We are all leaders

To learn more about what each of the top global brands are doing to remain or become most successful, you can download the report here.

Alternatively, you can watch Interbrand’s playlist summarizing all of the best global brands here.


The Interbrand 2013 Best Global Brands report takes into consideration a variety of metrics to arrive at its global brand rankings. The three key components include 1) analyses of the competitive strength of the brand 2) the role the brand plays in the purchase decision, and 3) the financial performance of the branded products or services. More information about the specific methodology is available at the back of the report.

Now it’s your turn! What do you think it takes to make a brand successful? Do you agree with all of the findings in this report? Are you surprised by any of the results? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.

(Image source)

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