As soon as a recession bites, those of us in branding automatically start scratching our heads to try to remember what happened last time. Which brands struggled along, which fell by the wayside and which managed to tap-dance their way through without losing a sequin?
Well, Interbrand's Top Global brands for 2009 is now in and a quick perusal of the tables shows us that the biggest losers are the financial services. UBS (-50%), citi (-49%), American Express ( -32%), Morgan Stanley ( -26%) and HSBC (-20%) are most certainly not in the money any more. The USA as a whole has taken a beating with some heavy declines on classic US brands such as Marlboro, Harley Davidson, Starbucks and Gap.
But it's not all doom and gloom for US-origin brands, especially some of the new-ish kids on the block (or at least those who still behave as if they were): Google (+25%), Apple (+12%) and amazon.com (+22%) have seen good growth.
And some of the best news comes from Europe. Food companies such as Nestle and Danone have shown respectable growth in double figures. And the smart Euro retailers Zara, H&M and IKEA have grown at +14%, +11% and +10% respectively, showing us all how you don't have to be in so much money to have style.