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Smirnoff remains top brand

Driven by its modern, cool image Smirnoff has retained its number one position in the fifth annual survey of the world’s leading drinks brands published this week by Intangible Business.

Intangible Business, researched nearly 10,000 spirit and wine brands across the globe to produce the league table. It assesses both the financial contribution of each brand alongside its strength in the eyes of the consumer and is compiled by combining scores from a panel of leading drinks industry experts with hard data.  The brands are rated according to share of market, future growth, premium price position, awareness, relevance, heritage and brand perception.

Smirnoff achieved an overall score of 93.6%, giving it a significant margin over the other brands that make up the top ten.

Johnnie Walker remains the world’s leading whisk(e)y brand in second place in The Power 100, despite seeing its score fall by 20%, keeping it ahead in the whisk(e)y sector from Jack Daniel’s (sixth overall), Chivas Regal (eighth overall), Ballantine’s (10th overall) and Jim Beam (15th overall).

Bacardi, the number one rum brand and third in the overall The Power 100, came narrowly behind Johnnie Walker, but comfortably ahead of Martini Vermouth in fourth place and Hennessy in 5th place.

The biggest climber in the Top 20 is Chilean wine brand Concha y Toro, which climbs five places to 17th. Other big climbers in The Power 100 include Cuban rum brand Havana Club (up seven places to 25th);  Cognac brand Rémy Martin (up six places to 27th) and American wine brand Robert Mondavi, which climbs six places to 31st on this year’s table and Australian wine brand LINDEMANS, which climbs eight places to 55.

There are nine new brands in this year’s The Power 100, the highest of which – Swedish vodka brand Svedka – comes straight in at 46. Others include Russian Standard (54), Wyborowa at 59, Aperol (70), Clan Campbell (73), William Lawson’s (78), Clan MacGregor (89), Three Olives (94) and Wild Turkey (100). They replace established brands in The Power 100 including Banrock Station, Dom Perignon, Kumala, Lanson and Tattinger.

The US is the country with the most brands in The Power 100 with 18 brands, led by Jack Daniel’s, Gallo and Jim Beam; Scotland has 16 brands in The Power 100, led by Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s, and France with 14 brands, led by Hennessy, Moet et Chandon and Ricard, although France has four fewer brands in this year’s table compared to last. 

Stuart Whitwell, Joint MD of Intangible Business, comments: ‘The biggest brands have taken quite a battering, marking the end to a 15 year drive to premiumisation. This has been replaced with a drive to value which new entrants are taking advantage of. Vodka is still a high growth area with fewer barriers to entry and greater consumer choice emerging from both established companies and new value entrants.

“It will be interesting to see if consumers return to the big brands once their economic situation improves. Or perhaps greater choice and innovation has changed the landscape for good.”

The scoring process

Hard measures

• Share of market: volume-based measure of market share
• Brand growth: projected growth based on 10 years’ historical data and future trends
• Price Positioning:a measure of a brand’s ability to command a premium
• Market Scope: number of markets in which the brand has a significant presence

Soft measures

• Brand Awareness: a combination of prompted and spontaneous awareness
• Brand Relevancy: capacity to relate to the brand and a propensity to purchase
• Brand Heritage: a brand’s longevity and a measure of how it is embedded in local culture
• Brand Perception: loyalty and how close a strong brand image is to a desire for ownership

A panel of leading experts in the drinks industry independently ranked each selected brand out of 10 on the above measures (10 = high, 0 = low). The scores given by the individual panel members were aggregated and averaged to reach a total score for each brand. A total score was achieved by multiplying a brand’s weighted volume by its brand score, within a defined range. The weighting is designed to adjust the volumes to a comparable level. Brand score is a derivate of the 8 measures of brand strength. This results in a ranking of the world’s most powerful alcoholic drinks brands.

About Intangible Business

Intangible Business was established in 2001 to provide an independent approach to brand valuation, brand strategy and brand development. As well as experts in brand valuation, Intangible Business is now an internationally recognised leader in all IP valuation, including copyright valuation, trademark valuation, valuing websites, valuing databases and software.
Brand value, along with other intangible assets such as patents, copyrights, licenses and intellectual property, is often a company’s most valuable asset. Given this importance, a brand valuation is critical to fully understand and monitor brand equity and to identify opportunities to realize growth potential. In legal issues, such as trademark disputes, or brand transactions such as M&A and licensing, a sound brand valuation can also help you make more informed decisions or negotiate better deals.
 What qualifies Intangible Business in brand valuation is its global network of people who all focus on brand valuation from various complementary angles – brands and marketing, finance and accounting, brand management and brand strategy. This focus draws on many years’ experience, both in business and as brand consultants and has been of measurable benefit to some of the world’s biggest brands.

1 May 2010 - Felicity Murray