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Millward Brown announces World's Most Powerful Brands

3 April, 2006

A new ranking of the world’s most powerful brands was announced today by global marketing research firm Millward Brown. Developed by Millward Brown Optimor, the company’s specialist financial and ROI arm, the BRANDZ™ Top 100 Most Powerful Brands study utilised BRANDZ™ data that provides brand equity measures for more than 30,000 brands. The new brand ranking is unique because it is the first to combine consumer research with public financial data to measure the contributions brands make to the bottom line. Additionally, it is the only ranking to quantify consumer sentiment about a brand’s momentum and future prospects, and the first to focus on "market facing" brands as opposed to corporate brands.

BRANDZ™ Top 10 (value in $million): 1. Microsoft - 62,039 2. GE - 55,834 3. Coca-Cola - 41,406 4. China Mobile - 39,168 5. Marlboro - 38,510 6. Wal-Mart - 37,567 7. Google - 37,445 8. IBM - 36,084 9. Citibank - 31,028 10. Toyota - 30,201 Source: Millward Brown Optimor (including data from BRANDZ™, Euromonitor International, and Bloomberg)

The ranking shows that Microsoft is the world’s most valuable brand at $62,039 million followed by GE ($55,834), Coca-Cola ($41,406), and China Mobile ($39,168). Millward Brown Optimor also found that:

1. Europe leads the world in luxury brands: Louis Vuitton ranked (24), Mercedes (28), Porsche (44), Chanel (75) and Cartier (82). The study shows that demand for luxury goods is growing rapidly, fuelled by the rise in global wealth, and the increase of "super-affluent" consumers in developing countries.

2. Chinese brands are gaining global power: The rise of Chinese brands such as China Mobile, which was (4) in the ranking — and rapidly emerging brands like Lenovo — reflects both the size and growth of the Chinese market as well as the ability of these companies to run global operations.

3. Retail brands are becoming a more important factor in driving consumer shopping behaviour: Many retailers show strong brand contributions, which in some cases are higher than those of the products they sell. This proves that shopping is a "branded" experience e.g., Wal-mart ranked (6), Tesco (30), eBay (38), and Amazon (78), and puts retailers in a position of power to exert pressure on suppliers of branded products.

4. New economy, new business models and new money: New business models have enabled new brands such as Starbucks, ranked (48), and Zara (87) to establish their positions not only in the market but in consumers' minds — creating a strong foundation to help them earn lead positions among "old" brands. With the increasing acceptance of digital lifestyles, brands that enable customers to lead them such as Google ranked (7) and eBay are growing fast. The challenge here is continual innovation.

"This is the first study that goes beyond financial data and ‘expert opinion’ to include in-market insights about a brand’s strengths and momentum from potential customers," said Andy Farr, Executive Director at Millward Brown Optimor and lead researcher on the study. "It proves that investing in brands is key to a company’s long-term success."

Joanna Seddon, EVP, who heads up Millward Brown Optimor globally added: "We've seen that strong brands can create very real financial value in many ways. The best brands drive revenues and profits, reduce risk and cost of entry into new markets and attract talented staff to companies."

Commenting on the launch of the BRANDZ™ Top 100 ranking, Bob Meyers, global CEO of Millward Brown said: "We have built our organisation by helping clients make better brand decisions. While this ranking is interesting in itself, it is important to remember that it is even more useful when it leads to business decisions. With the BRANDZ™ Top 100 ranking method, marketing and finance executives can better understand and leverage the value of their brands to grow their businesses and improve their Return on Marketing Investments".

Acrobat Document MillwardBrown_PressRelease_MillwardBrownannouncesW.pdf

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