Middle East brands fail to make it into Top 100

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There is not even one brand from the Middle East region in the list of 100 Best Global Brands 2017, released by Interbrand. Apple topped the list as the best global brand, followed by Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola and Amazon occupying the top five positions.

In fact, no Middle East brand has ever been able to make it onto the list of Interbrand top 100 list.

Speaking to GMR exclusively, Eduardo Iñiguez, Interbrand’s EMEA & LatAm Business Development Director, says the reason why there’s no brand from the region in the list is because, to get onto it, brands have to fulfill the following criteria:

– At least 30 percent of revenues must come from outside the brand’s home region.

– It must have a presence in at least three major continents, as well as broad geographic coverage in emerging markets.

– There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.

– Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s operating and financing costs, and

– The brand must have a public profile and awareness above and beyond its own marketplace.

These requirements – that a brand be global, visible and relatively transparent in financial results – lead to the exclusion of some well-known brands that might otherwise expected to appear in the ranking, he notes.

Who’s left out?

The Mars and BBC brands, for example, are privately held and do not have publicly available financial data. Walmart, although it does business in international markets, often does so under a variety of brands and, therefore, does not meet Interbrand’s global requirements.

For similar reasons, brands in several sectors have been excluded. Telecommunications, for example, tends to be strongly oriented to national markets and faces awareness challenges outside of home markets.

The airline industry is highly capital-intensive and, typically, operates o narrow margins. This means that airline brands struggle to achieve positive economic profits over the long term.

Major pharmaceutical companies, while valuable businesses, are also omitted because consumers tend to build a relationship with the product brands rather than with the corporate brand owner and there is insufficient publicly disclosed financial data on pharmaceutical products brands to meet Interbrand’s criteria, Iñiguez says.

Asked if there is any brand from the region likely to be included in the list in the future, Iñiguez says, “We are sure that Middle East brands will appear in the future on Best Global Brands as they are making efforts and implementing initiatives in the good direction.”

“We really cannot say which will be the first, but what we are sure of is that the first brand to appear in Best Global Brands will be the one that truly understands itself as a leverage for growth – that company that puts the brand as the mainstay of its strategy and the people (customers and employees) in the center of everything it does,” he adds.


By Sunil Kumar Singh