January 16, 2018

2017 has been amazing for all the brands spread across the entire globe. From unveiling jaw-dropping new products to integrating state-of-the-art technology – brands have crafted their stories in many different forms and amazed customers across all categories. And most importantly, several brands have grown to unmeasurable heights within the span of a year. Their revenues sky-rocketed, they came closer to their customer and they have created a true sense of identity among their employees.
This article serves as a concise overview of a report published by Interbrand – one of the world’s leading brand consultancies. We take a closer look into the quest of how several prominent brands have successfully managed to adapt, change and evolve in the past year.


As times have changed, so did the process of nurturing the holistic brand identity of a company. With the advent of multi-faceted, dynamic technology, the strategies behind crafting the perfect story of a brand have also reached new heights.
The primary objective behind creating and sustaining the brand identity has been to create a synergy between the brand itself, the people who are engaging with the brand via several platforms and the technology that is being used to levitate the brand. And to make things more interesting, the brand is not just about the customers anymore. Rather it has evolved into an “inside-out” process, where the brand represents both the people that are behind the brand (the employees) and for whom the brand has been created (the customers). From the employee viewpoint, a brand tries to inject a sense of purpose within the employees’ minds. Workplaces are now not just about lavish cubicles and shiny elevators; rather employees these days have started weighing the company in terms of the ‘brand’ of the company, the diversity and self-development opportunities that it offers. So, a massive cultural shift in the workplace has been observed in the last few years; a shift fueled by the organization’s brand value.


As stated earlier, the brands or the entire process of branding nowadays has been revolving around a few fundamental elements. Chinese rideshare brand Didi Chuxing and Indian online marketplace Flipkart have reached valuations of $50 billion and $11 billion; all due to their digital-first strategy and constantly embracing new technologies. And this trend seems to be just the very beginning. According to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide 2017, the global spending on Internet of Things (IoT) was expected to grow 16.7% by the end of 2017, reaching more than $800 billion. And apart from the optimum use of technologies, another trend has also been quite regular in 2017 – acquiring, investing in, or partnering with younger, faster brands. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, Walmart’s acquisition of Bonobos, and the partnership between Target and Casper are all examples of the massive increase in the implementation of such strategies.

But this does not necessarily mean that the days of brick and mortar experience for a brand are over. Rather, both online and offline platforms are intertwining to craft a holistic brand experience. IoT, AI, Cloud technology and data analytics are being used together to create surprising connections and capabilities. And with mobile devices being almost omnipresent, brands are forming, utilizing as many technological platforms and tools available, to strengthen their presence both in the lives and the minds of the customers.


According to the Interbrands report, these are the brands that have managed to be the most dynamic and highly equitable brands of 2017. They span across a wide variety of sectors, many might belong to the same product or service category, but every brand has a unique, well-knit identity of its own.


With most of the companies embracing technology to their very core, these brands have resulted in holding around 42% of the Best Global Brands total value.


What is the reason behind these brands being so dynamic, enthralling and powerful – transcending cultures and geographical barriers? What exactly makes these brands tick? The secrets have been revealed below:

Obsession towards customers
All of the top 10 brands share this similar trait – they put their customers in the center of their universe. Their customers are the ones that govern, predict and change their approach as a brand. Whether it’s about devising an engineering-based solution or to simply understand the consumer mindset better, these brands go to unsurmountable lengths to reiterate and execute the holy grail of marketing – to pinpoint the needs and wants of the customer and to satisfy them via providing it.

Embracing technology like never before
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook – these brands are sheer embodiment of ‘technology’ as we know it. An interesting fact is that these brands have either moved up or remained in the same place over the last year. This goes on to prove how effortlessly they have managed to merge their constant innovation and newly-found wonders with their holistic brand experience and thus achieve continuous momentum.

2017 was indeed a happening year. In the midst of the countless events that have taken place all across the globe, these brands were the ones that adapted to the scenario and better serve their customers. And it’s not just about camouflaging with the global events. It’s about responding to the changes in customer preferences as well. What was foundational one day can become outdated in the very next day, but the ones in the top of the list possess enough brand equity to maintain strong relationships with their customers despite many such fundamental changes. And Flexibility also involved “doing the impossible”. Many of these brands have challenged the status quo and went to explore the untreated paths, with tech giants becoming grocery stores, food and beverage companies becoming lifestyle brands, phone manufacturers pioneering Artificial Intelligence and many more.



In a world where brands fight to achieve the lion’s share of the customers’ market and the mind, an astonishing number of 16 brands have managed to achieve spectacular double-digit percent growth in the last year.

Of these 16, the ones most notable are Facebook, Amazon, Adobe, Adidas and Starbucks. During its F8 2017 conference, the globally renowned social networking platform revealed its three strategic pillars for the future – connectivity, artificial intelligence and virtual reality – all working together to massively contribute to Facebook’s mission to cultivate communities and bring the world closer. In the last year, Amazon has achieved magnanimous growth in three key areas – Amazon Prime, it’s brick-and-mortar stores and the ongoing innovation in its logistics services.
Adobe has leveraged the benefits of digital marketing in 2017 like no other. The software giant has efficiently utilized personalization, content, data analytics and advertising to create a roadmap for itself which has helped to account for its massive 19% growth rate.


Many of the brands that made it to the list of top 100 brands have been there for a good number of decades. Yet as markets and customer preferences are changing, a handful of brands have started to emerge in the scene. Game-changing brands like Netflix and made their first-ever appearance among the Best Global Brands in 2017.


As seen in the top 10 Best Global Brands list, technology has been dominating as a sector with high growth rate as well. But brands from few other industries have also making their mark in 2017.

Retail brands are putting convenience at the core of their experiences. Introducing ramps up city-center pickups, e-commerce stores introducing their brick-and-mortar versions, delivery drones – all are being established based on one common principle of enhancing value in people’s everyday lives.

Sporting Goods
Brands in the sports goods category have started combining fashion, sports and lifestyle with the aim of expanding their target market. And it also gives them an additional opportunity to partner up with culture icons and sports icons; thus, widening their periphery in terms of brand identity. And with the economic and environmental issues lately, many of the brands have devised equality-driven campaigns as well as innovative eco-offerings. Technological advancements were quite visible as well, with massive experimentation with new materials and design equipment.

At $675,239 million, technology reigns as the sector achieving the highest amount of growth in the previous year. One of the core reasons of such massive growth is the ability of the technology companies to diversify their portfolios. These expansions have not only resulted in competitors becoming partners, but has helped to create connected and user-first brand experiences as well.


It has been an eventful year for all the companies out there. From embracing new technology to finally being able to turn revolutionary ideas into reality, brands in 2017 have come a long way indeed. Customers have not only been delighted, but have forged stronger connections with many brands as well. Marketing specialists, Advertising maestros and Brand strategists all across the world have been at the apex of their skills and creativity – portraying the stories of brands in ways many have never witnessed before. May the year 2018 also see a bedazzling amount of magic from brands seen in various geographic regions, spoken about in all languages and loved by humans all across the globe.

With a network of 21 offices in 17 countries, Interbrand is the leading global brand consultancy, the publisher of the highly influential annual Best Global Brands and Interbrand Breakthrough Brands reports, and Webby Awardwinning brandchannel.
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