Retails' 10 Most Valuable Brands

A loyal customer is a profitable customer. Building brand recognition and loyalty is a top priority of marketing professionals in every industry. Brand Finance's list of the 500 Most Valuable Brands worldwide ranks the power of individual brands across industries; a large number of major retail players made the list.

Brand Finance calculated brand value to determine the cost a company would be willing to pay to license its brand if it did not own it. In building the annual list, the company estimated future revenue and calculated a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.

A number of retailers made the top 500. Below we will explore the first 10 retailers named to the prestigious list:

Apple. The tech giant took the top spot on the list. It is no surprise that the hardware and software giant is the most valuable brand; whenever a new product is released fans of the brand literally sleep in the street to be the first to get the latest gadget.  Based on data provided by Kantar, iPhone customers have a 90% loyalty rate, significantly higher than the competition, helping propel the manufacturer and retailer to the top of the list. Brand value: $104 billion.

AT&T. A leader in telecommunications with a growing retail footprint, the century-old brand took the 7th spot on the list. Known primarily as a telecommunications provider, the company's retail locations have allowed customers to interact with the brand on a tactile level. The retailer recently opened a 3,500-square-foot store in New York City. The new retail design reflects how customers want to shop for technology, including immersive product experiences and engaging merchandise displays. Brand value: $45 billion.

Amazon. The online retail giant's brand image and value is constantly growing. Whether it is announcing its intention to begin delivering packages via unmanned drone in the near future or patenting anticipatory shipping, the e-tailer is always on the cutting edge. The popularity of its Prime service is a testament to its customers' affinity for the brand and has helped it capture the 8th spot on the list for the second year in a row. Brand value: 45 billion.

Walmart. As the undisputed king of retail, Walmart has revenue north of $300 million and claimed the number 9 spot on the list. With a long tradition in the brick-and-mortar space the brand's physical locations are far and away its most profitable arm. But with a growing e-commerce site and burgeoning fulfillment infrastructure, the retailer has its sights set on online dominance as well.  Brand value: $44 billion.

The Home Depot. The home improvement retailer took 25th place on the list, down from its perch as the 18th most valuable brand last year. The brand has a loyal following in both the do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me crowds and has been making strides in its omnichannel offerings to connect its online and in-store offerings. Over the last several years, the retailer has developed a new supply-chain network with Rapid Deployment Centers (RDCs). The RDC strategy along with improvements in stocking and bulk DCs allowed the retailer to improve in-stock rates and customer service. Brand value: $24 million.

Walt Disney. Disney builds life-long loyalty at a young age, as any parent who has sat through their child's favorite animated film ad nauseam can attest. The 27th place all-encompassing brand has a loyal base as does its retail arm. Disney Stores in North America have posted comp store sales growth for eight consecutive quarters, and the brand's popularity has been leveraged by troubled brands hoping to resurrect themselves. Last October JCPenny launched Disney Shops in 565 of its stores, offering toys, collectibles and children's apparel designed especially for JCPenney.  Brand value: $23 billion.

Nike. The athletic apparel manufacturer and retailer improved to 35th on the list up from its spot in the 60th position last year. The brand has built its reputation on quality products and high-profile athletic endorsements. In Q2 2014 Nike brand DTC revenue increased 19%, driven by 10% comp store growth, new stores, and a strong increase in online sales. Brand value: $20 billion.

IKEA. The global furniture and home accessories retailer came in 53rd place on the list, dropping three places from its perch in the 50th position last year. For the second year in a row the furniture-in-a-box purveyor finished in 1st place in the Nordic 50 subcategory of the powerful brands list. IKEA is undergoing a two-year upgrade to its POS system, installing 12,000 POS systems in 300 stores across 25 countries. Brand value: $18 billion.

CVS. The pharmacy chain improved its standing on the list from 70th in 2013 to 54th in 2014. In February, CVS announced that it will stop selling tobacco products in October of this year. The company is leaving over $2 billion in tobacco sales and an untold fortune in ancillary revenue on the table with the move. The company's stock endured a slight dip following the announcement but has since risen above pre-announcement levels. Brand value: $18 billion.

Target. Despite dealing with the highly-publicized security breach during the holiday season and the ensuing public relations disaster, the discount retailer only dropped 12 positions from 2013 to 56th on the list this year. The latest news on the breach is that the cyber criminals were able to infiltrate Target's POS system by first gaining access to the retailer's HVAC vendor's IT network. Brand value: $18 billion.

For related content:
Why Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Macy’s and Target Matter
Home Depot Bridges Gap Between Online and In-Store
AT&T Goes Big in the Big Apple
Amazon to Raise the Price of Prime; Rumors Fly on POS Offering
JCP Uncovers the Magic of Disney
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