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BrandFinance® Global 500 2010

17 February 2010
This article is more than 14 years old.

Retail giant Walmart retains top spot and Google climbs to second place as the world's top 500 brands are announced

The Top 500 most valuable brands in the world have grown in value by 26% to US$2,873 billion.

The Enterprise Value of the top 500 brands has grown by 16% to US$18,664 billion.

Walmart holds its position as the most valuable global brand Santander and Apple make huge leaps in brand value

The winners and losers in the global brand war have been announced, with Google climbing, Microsoft slipping back and Coca-Cola extending its advantage over main rival Pepsi.

Retail giant Walmart, whose brand value increased 2% this year, retains top spot in the annual survey, published by Brand Finance plc, the world‟s leading brand valuation consultancy.

Google, which has risen in the table from number five to number two, shares top ten status with other technology brands including IBM (4), Microsoft (5) and hp (9). GE, HSBC, Vodafone and Toyota complete the top ten.

Suffering most were non-essential sectors like airlines and retail. Of the top five airline brands, only Singapore Airlines, which came out top in that sector, climbed the table. The biggest airline „fallers‟ were Japan Airlines, American Airlines and British Airways, down 181, 169 and 117 places respectively.

In the retail sector, excluding Walmart, the picture is grim. The only other retailers to climb in the top ten retail brands were Walmart owned ASDA, up from 107th to 80th ; H&M, which rose from 146th to 93rd and Home Depot, which is up from 24th to 21st in the overall Global 500. McDonald‟s remains the second most valuable retail brand, despite slipping from 12th to 17th in the Global 500.

Tesco, which has aspirations of international expansion itself, is listed in the food sector rather than retail but saw its brand value rise by a significantly higher rate than Walmart – up 26% to US$20.7 billion; however, its brand value remains only half that of its American rival.Of the „new‟ iconic brands, every businessman‟s favourite accessory, Blackberry, appears in the Global 500 for the first time whilst Apple has climbed from 27th to 19th with a 45% increase in its brand value. Santander, the Spanish banking group, rises from 41st to 12th increasing in brand value by 136%.

“During the recession value-for-money brands have done well including Walmart, Coca Cola, Tesco to name a few. Many luxury brands have slipped but a small number of iconic luxury brands have done remarkably well for example Christian Dior and Porsche” explains David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance plc.

Media Contacts

Penny Erricker
Communications Executive
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance for more than 25 years, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organizations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes over 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance also operates the Global Brand Equity Monitor, conducting original market research annually on over 5,000 brands, surveying more than 150,000 respondents across 38 countries and 31 industry sectors. Combining perceptual data from the Global Brand Equity Monitor with data from its valuation database enables Brand Finance to arm brand leaders with the data and analytics they need to enhance brand and business value.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardization of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671 and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.


Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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