Page last updated at 05:40 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 06:40 UK

Brands add value despite slowdown

Stay at home brands
The recession has prompted more people to shop from home

Brand names have shown distinct staying power despite the recession, the annual Brandz top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands survey shows.

The brand value of the top 100 grew by 2% to $1.95tn (£1.32tn), while the six UK brands featured increased by 11%.

Google remained number one - becoming the first $100bn name. Vodafone became the first UK brand to make the top 10.

But the downturn has taken its toll on carmakers and finance groups - pushing many names out of the table altogether.

Overall, 15 names dropped out of the Brandz league table.

Those noted by their absence included Chevrolet, Ford and Volkswagen in the automotive arena; and Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and AIG on the finance front.

The Brandz Top 100 is compiled by the consultancy Millward Brown Optimor, which combines balance sheet values with consumer sentiment.

From the UK, Vodafone was ranked ninth, gaining in value by 45% to $53.7bn. The jump - along with a strong performance from devices like the iPhone and Blackberry - also helped make the mobile sector the strongest brand sector in the world.

Recession effect

Despite good news for mobiles, the 2009 survey did feel the effect of the global slowdown, noting that it had led to the development of three key trends - value, vice and stay at home brands.

"In the current environment, where the value of many businesses has fallen, brand has become even more important because it can help to sustain companies in tough times," said Millward Brown Optimor chief Joanna Seddon.

Value for money brands

With consumers concerned about getting the most for their money, value brands have had a big impact - and not necessarily cut price names.

On the back of this trend, German supermarket group Aldi has made its debut at number 74 as its value surged 49% to $8.64bn.

Fellow value-for-money retailer and Asda owner Wal-Mart also gained in value by 19%, but Tesco slipped 1%.

Meanwhile, Swedish clothing chain H&M - famed for its cheap chic focus - was named number one apparel brand rising eight places to 58 in the league and increasing in value by 8% to $12bn.

Treats

The poll also found consumers are increasingly turning to "tempting treats" despite money being tight - with McDonald's, Marlboro and Budweiser all doing well rising 34%, 33% and 23% in value.

Vice brands

Another finding was that many people are now trying to emulate the High Street experience, and save money, by taking the stay-at-home option.

A boom in online shopping has driven Amazon 85% higher in value to $21.3bn, while eBay also jumped 16% to $13bn.

Meanwhile, those seeking a coffee shop experience in the comfort of their own home helped Nespresso to jump in value by 27%.

Conversely, the Starbucks brand sank 40% over the year to $7.3bn - dropping 33 places to 89.

Nintendo also managed to make its debut in the top 100 at 32 with a brand value of $18.2bn, as the popularity of video games prompted more people to stay at home.



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