Sunday, May 31, 2009

Apple owns 3 of top 10 social brands, 2008

I don't know what a vitrue is, but they've done a Top 100 brands list of American Brands. 9 of the top 10 (except Starbucks) relate to media/entertainment/electronics. (Starbucks is about lifestyle/relaxation/socialisation.) Microsoft comes in with Xbox and it's own brand name at 5 and 11. Apple has 1, 3, 7 and 16. Note that Disney at #4 is to a large part due to Pixar which was Steve Jobs' baby too. The iPhone, iPod and Xbox brands are less than 10 years old and all appear in the top 10. Of course, the average age of people online tends to be the low to mid-20's, and hence the relative youthfulness of the brands too.

But the point also is that brands find it difficult to make the transition from one generation to the next. Further, it is possible to establish a whole new brand with a whole new generation (besides, a whole new market segment, as in the case of 'Google', 'Facebook', 'Amazon', 'Nokia'). But it's got to look authentic: people -- especiall young people -- can easily see through old brands trying to dance like they were young -- the brand begins to look pathetic and ridiculous.

A dual-branding strategy typically works well -- one for corporate, one for the product/service -- so that even if the corporate brand ages, the product/service brand can remain fresh and relevant for a specific generation. IBM, for instance, couldn't possibly succeed in the consumer market on the strength of its brand alone -- it's brand is perceived as corporate-conservative. Microsoft isn't perceived as 'cool' but 'Xbox' works fine; indeed, anything with an 'X' in it seems de riguer for perceived coolth.

Anyway, the point of my post is that Apple has been remarkably successful in creating and promoting brands; that requires a special kind of creativity. Sony is a highly innovative corporation -- yet, it is no longer able to maintain a 'cool'/'hip' perception in the marketplace; the times when the 'Walkman' was the epitome of cool are long gone. The iPod & iPhone today are what the Walkman used to be 25 years ago.

Apple -- in particular, Steve Jobs -- has done a lot to maintain the 'cool' perception in the market by relentlessly releasing new products annually, and in a highly dramatic fashion. Apple has a very limited range of products, and thereby avoids brand dilution. It's hard to tell what would happen if/when Steve Jobs passes on (given that he is very ill presently).

The Vitrue 100 of 2008

  1. iPhone
  2. CNN
  3. Apple
  4. Disney
  5. Xbox
  6. Starbucks
  7. iPod
  8. MTV
  9. Sony
  10. Dell
  11. Microsoft
  12. Ford
  13. Nintendo
  14. Target
  15. PlayStation
  16. Mac
  17. Turner
  18. Hewlett-Packard
  19. Fox News
  20. BlackBerry
  21. ABC
  22. Coke
  23. LG
  24. Best Buy
  25. Honda
  26. eBay
  27. Sharp
  28. Lincoln
  29. NBA
  30. Pepsi
  31. General Motors
  32. McDonald's
  33. General Electric
  34. Walmart
  35. NFL
  36. Mercedes
  37. BMW
  38. Samsung
  39. Nike
  40. Subway
  41. Dodge
  42. Pandora
  43. CBS
  44. Mercury
  45. NBC
  46. Disneyland
  48. Toyota
  49. Cadillac
  50. Chevy
  51. Jeep
  52. Netflix
  53. Nascar
  54. Suzuki
  55. Red Bull
  56. Wendy's
  57. Burger King
  58. Volkswagen
  59. REI
  60. Nissan
  61. T-Mobile
  62. Verizon
  63. Macy's
  64. AT&T
  65. Guess
  66. Victoria's Secret
  67. Walt Disney World
  68. Audi
  69. TBS
  70. Cartoon Network
  71. IKEA
  72. SEGA
  73. Kia
  74. Porsche
  75. Fox
  76. Intel
  77. IBM
  78. VH1
  79. MLB
  80. Cisco
  81. Oracle
  82. Saturn
  83. Sprite
  84. Subaru
  85. Adidas
  86. BP
  87. AMC
  88. Chili's
  89. The Gap
  90. Capital One
  91. Hyatt
  92. Costco
  93. KFC
  94. Adult Swim
  95. Jet Blue
  96. Taco Bell
  97. Converse
  98. Sirius
  99. Puma
  100. Sears

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