Lego becomes world's most powerful brand

Latest Brand Finance index also finds Woolworths is Australia's top brand despite losing value year-on-year

Lego has become the world’s most powerful brand while Woolworths is still Australia’s most valuable, according to the latest results from Brand Finance.

The strategy consultancy’s new Global 500 Report has listed Lego as the world’s most powerful brand, taking the top stop off Ferrari for the first time this year. Core reasons include the critical and commercial success of the Lego Move last year, which brought in nearly US$500m, as well as the company’s lingering appeal as a creative and immersive toy.

In contrast, Ferrari dropped from first on the list for several years to ninth position in 2015, even as it saw an 18 per cent increase in its total brand value to US$4.7bn.

On the home front, Woolworths was again the top Australian brand, despite a 17 per cent drop in brand value year-on-year to $8.9bn. Second was Telstra, with a 5 per cent brand value increase to $8.7bn.

Related: Woolworths trials beacon technology for click-and-collect service

The country’s four major brands dominated the top eight brand spots locally, led by Commonwealth Bank. BHP Billiton and Coles took fifth and sixth position in Australia, respectively. Like Woolworths, Coles also saw its brand value dip 8 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

“Australia has seen a decline in retail led by the two biggest players,” Brand Finance Australia managing director, Mark Crowe, said. “Woolworths has lagged behind Coles in terms of growth because it over expanded into categories that haven’t grown, such as home improvement.

“The fierce competition between both has led to branching out into new segments, namely finance. Both have insurance and banking offerings [on top of petrol and liquor]. All in the name of increasing loyalty and share of wallet – but it remains to be seen if these investments will pay off.”

Apple remains the most valuable brand globally still, and saw its brand value increase 23 per cent this year to $128.3bn. Rounding out the top five were Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Verizon.

Twitter was also noted as the world’s fastest growing brand, tripling its brand value in the past year to $4.4bn, while Baidu and Facebook also saw strong growth of 161 per cent and 146 per cent, respectively.

The list is produced using Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index, which factors in a brand ‘royalty rate’, brand revenues and the strength of the brand in terms of equity, performance and investment.

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