Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS among most valuable brands

Three metro Atlanta-based companies have something in common when it comes to their brands’ ability to add value to their business.

Coca-Cola, UPS, and Home Depot are among the Top 50 most valuable brands globally, according to the latest BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. The brands of all three companies increased in value from last year, pushing them higher on this year’s list.

Coca-Cola, with a brand valued at $78.4 billion, moved up one spot and now ranks fifth on the list, behind Apple, Google, IBM and McDonald’s restaurant. Coke’s value rose 6 percent from last year. Coca-Cola and Diet Coke also rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, among soft drink brands.

Sandy Springs-based UPS, with a brand value of $42.7 billion, also moved up one spot to rank 15th on this year’s list. The package delivery company’s brand value rose 15 percent from the previous year.

Atlanta-based Home Depot, whose brand is valued at $18.4 billion, jumped the most among the Georgia companies on this year’s list, ranking No. 41, compared with its No. 62 spot last year. Home Depot’s brand value rose 43 percent from last year’s value of $12.9 billion. The home improvement retailer also ranks No. 3 among retail brands.

Both UPS and Coke were also singled out as two of the top 15 companies where brands contribute the most to their business. Brand contribution measures the influence of the brand alone on earnings. Companies are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest. Both Georgia companies received 5s, with UPS ranking No. 6 and Coke No. 12 in brand contribution.

BrandZ said the best brands have “discovered important customer needs that they’ve filled in ways that make the brand stand out and keep customers returning.” It’s not so much about price, but what consumers get for their money.

The strength of the brands can be seen in their ability to make money for their companies. BrandZ began its Top 100 list seven years ago and it said the market value of the Top 100 has increased 58 percent since then, compared with a 23 percent increase for the S&P 500.

Among other findings:

• The top technology brand is Apple, followed by Google, IBM, Microsoft and SAP.

• The top apparel brand is Zara, followed by Nike, H&M, Ralph Lauren and Adidas.

• The top auto brand is Toyota, followed by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Nissan.

• The top retail brand is Amazon, followed by Walmart, Home Depot, eBay and Tesco.

• The top fast-food brand is McDonald’s, followed by Starbucks, Subway, KFC and Pizza Hut.

• The top luxury brand is Louis Vuitton, followed by Hermès, Gucci, Prada and Rolex.

Among different categories, technology brand values remained flat and would have shown a decline had it not been for higher values for Apple and Facebook, BrandZ said. Consumer and retail brands experienced the strongest appreciations with apparel brand values rising 21 percent, retail 17 percent, car brands 5 percent and luxury brands 6 percent. The highest brand value appreciation in the food and drink category was among beer companies, which increased 36 percent.

BrandZ said its ranking is the result of ongoing consumer research and financial analysis involving 2 million consumers and more than 10,000 brands in over 30 countries.

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