By Barry Janoff
July 19, 2016: For the ninth consecutive year, Coca-Cola has been named the "most powerful brand" in the U.S., topping a list of 100 companies that range from automotive and tech to food and restaurants.
The Top Five brands also include Hersey, Bayer, Walt Disney and Apple, according to Tenet Partners, a research, strategy, design and technology firm based in New York.
Coca-Cola has launched several campaigns that have resonated with the public, including a multi-media effort with Selena Gomez. As part of the brand's "Share a Coke and a Smile" effort, Gomez posted in late June a photo (right, shot by world-renowned photographer Guy Aroch) to her Instagram account, where she has more than 90 million followers, which to date has garnered more than 4.6 million likes, according to Coke.
On the bottle was a lyric from her song, "Me & the Rhythm." Under the photo, Gomez added the caption, "When your lyrics are on the bottle."
According to James Sommerville, vp-global design for Coca-Cola,, "When we compose a shot like this, it feels real and authentic, as well as complementary to the symmetrical Coke bottle."
The Top Ten in the 100 Most Powerful Brands also includes Microsoft, PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and Google-Alphabet Corp.
Five new brands entered this year's 100 ranking: Samsung (No. 39), Hilton Hotels & Resorts (No. 44), Bloomin' Brands Inc. (No. 91), Macy's (No. 95), and American Airlines (No. 99), per Tenet.
"The Top 100 Most Powerful Brands are redefining themselves to remain relevant," Hampton Bridwell, CEO for Tenet Partners, said in a statement. "In this age of disruption, they are successfully aligning their business and brand strategy, creating clarity in the marketplace and winning the customer loyalty battle by delivering consistent results and outstanding customer experiences."
Although the upcoming Summer Games were not factored into the ranking measurement, nine of the International Olympic Committee's 12 top-tier global partners are among the Top 100, which might impact their ranking in 2017: Coca-Cola, Bridgestone, GE, McDonald's, Panasonic, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung, Toyota and Visa. (The other three are Atos, Dow and Omega.)
Tenet Partners said it compiles its annual Top 100 Most Powerful Brands from its "quantitative database" — the CoreBrand Index — which are the "results from continuous benchmark tracking via surveys of nearly 1,000 different companies across 50 industries for over 25 years."
To be considered, brands listed in the Tenet Top 100 Most Powerful Brands ranking must meet several criteria: Be a corporate brand (not a product or divisional brand), be publicly traded in the U.S. and tracked in the CoreBrand Index for five-plus years, according to Tenet.
The most prolific category was retail, with 13 brands, led by Barnes & Noble (No. 32). That was followed by automotive, with ten brands, topped by Harley-Davidson (No. 11).
There were seven brands in the food category, led by Hershey; seven in household, with Colgate-Palmolive the leader (No. 17); six brands from electronics, topped by GE (No. 18); and six in hotel and entertainment, with Disney heading that list.
Nike was the lone representative from athletic (No. 34); Ralph Lauren the only brand from apparel-shoes (No. 66); Allstate (No. 93) the only brand from insurance; and American Airlines the lone public air carrier, although they were listed in a transport category along with FedEx (no. 25) and UPS (No. 35).
After Barnes & Noble, the top retailers were Target (No. 45), Lowe's (No. 48), Walmart (No. 53), Gap (No. 55), The Home Depot (No. 56), Bed, Bath & Beyond (No. 61), JC Penney (No. 72), Kohl's (No. 75), Best Buy (No. 87), CostCo (No. 88), Macy's and Tiffany (No. 96).
Behind Harley, the top automotive brand was BMW (No. 20), followed by VW (No. 37), Honda (No. 40), Toyota (No. 43), Volvo (No. 51), Yamaha (No. 71), GM (No. 74) and Nissan (No. 89).
Among other categories, Bank of America was the top commercial bank (No. 68); McDonald's the leader in restaurants (No. 15); and AT&T tops in telecom (No. 33), with rivals Verizon (No. 77) and Sprint Nextel (No. 100) far behind.
According to Tenet, the brands that had the biggest improvement from the 2015 list were Amazon (No. 54, +15), Bank of America (+12), Macy's (+12), eBay (No. 29, +11) and Clorox (No. 47, +11).
The brands that experienced the steepest decline from last year were Western Union (No. 84, -13), Eastman Kodak (No. 59, -12), Nintendo (No. 94, -12), General Motors (-9) and Walgreens (No. 41, -8).
The Top 100 Brands of 2016 was compiled before Nintendo's Pokémon Go platform took the nation by storm, and now expanding globally, which should impact its spot in the 2017 report.
Tenet said that after examining the movement of this year's Top 100 Most Powerful Brands year-over-year, "three macro trends emerge that reveal how leading brands are building competitive advantage:
"Companies that are staying ahead of the curve are doing so by knowing when and how to launch new business models or transform old ones.
"Companies working hard to improve performance by deploying innovative ways to improve brand loyalty through enhanced customer experience," with Lowe's given as an example.
Google, which broke into the Top 10 for the first time, "has built a powerful ecosystem of products and services, including Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Drive and Chrome that have helped to solidify its brand globally. The company's new holding company, Alphabet, was introduced to create greater brand clarity as well as operational efficiency, separating Google's core business from its innovative initiatives," according to Tenet Partners.
See the Top 100 here.
Back to Home Page