Top 10 Most Powerful Retail Brands

Nothing is more valuable to a retailer looking to build and maintain a loyal and profitable customer base than its brand. In fact, as consumers continue to change the way they shop, having a strong brand image that is synonymous with your offerings can often make or break a retailer.

For the past 25 years Tenet has been tracking nearly 1,000 different companies across 50 industries to develop the benchmark data for its CoreBrand Index. And for the ninth consecutive year the marketing agency has been publishing its findings in its annual "Top 100 Most Powerful Brands" report.

The cross-industry ranking explores companies from various disciplines including consumer goods, technology, chemicals, restaurants, electronics, retail, etc. The entire list can be viewed for free here. Below is a quick look at the first 10 retailers named to the list.

Apple. When it comes to powerful brands it doesn't get much better than Apple. Anchored by the runway success that is the iPhone, Apple is the poster child of mobility and its products are recogniziible around the globe. On the retail front Apple has 479 retail stores in 18 countries and an e-commerce site that is available in 39 countries. Tenet Power Ranking: 5th.

Starbucks. Another retail brand that has become synonymous with its product — Starbucks means coffee. With a cafÉ on seemingly every corner, in every city around the globe the retailer has massive brand presence. Starbucks continues to innovate, and despite its reliance on its physical footprint — tough to fulfill a drink order over the Internet —is one of the leaders in the digital retailing space with a market-leading mobile app that provides real-time personalization and its own payment infrastructure. Tenet Power Ranking: 22st.

eBay. eBay improved 11 positions over last year's ranking, claiming the 29th position overall. As the popularity of online marketplaces continues to grow, the original online auction house still commands a powerful brand image among shoppers. In fact in Q2 2016 eBay added over one million new buyers to its platform, and volume on its StubHub business grew at 35% year-over-year. Tenet Power Ranking: 29th.

Barnes & Noble. When the bookseller market dried up competitors like Borders fell by the wayside, while Barnes & Noble emerged as the segment leader. During fiscal 2017 B&N will be introducing four new concept stores throughout the U.S., designed to emphasis the retailer's best qualities and create a community epicenter. The concept stores will feature increased customer seating areas and a new mobile experience for both booksellers and customers. A new mobile app will provide customers a digital layout of the store and help them locate books in-store. Tenet Power Ranking: 32nd.

Nike. The Nike Swoosh is recognizable around the globe and is synonymous with high-quality products and athletic success. To defend its market share against worthy competitors like surging Under Armour, Nike continues to invest in its digital capabilities. The new Nike+ app, which launched in June, provides members easy access to Nike’s world of services, including the company’s footwear and apparel, customized recommendations, guided workouts, motivational music mixes and rare invitations. Tenet Power Ranking: 34th.

Avon. While Avon has fallen on hard times in the U.S., selling over 80% of its U.S. and Canada division and moving its headquarters to the U.K., the brand continues to have worldwide recognition and clout. The retailer and manufacturer is still thriving in the EMEA, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Tenet Power Ranking: 36st.

Walgreen's. Walgreen's continues to grow its market share through both organic growth and acquisition. The retailer's $17.2 billion acquisition of Rite Aid is progressing as planned, and in its most recent financial earnings announced that it reached its $1 billion synergy goal for fiscal 2016 from Walgreens and Alliance Boots merger. Interestingly the retailer dropped 25 positions in the power rankings survey since 2011. Tenet Power Ranking: 41st.

Target. The big box retailer continues to build the digital supremacy to match its impressive physical footprint — with comp digital sales growing 23% in Q1 2016, on top of the 38% growth it enjoyed a year ago. To help fulfill these growing digital sales Target has hired former Apple director, logistics and supply chain strategy, Ben Cook to man its senior vice president, global logistics, inventory allocation and replenishment position. Tenet Power Ranking: 45th.

Lowe's. Lowe's continues to slug it out with rival Home Depot for dominance in the home improvement market. To help bolster its reach beyond the U.S. the retailer has agreed to acquire RONA Inc. for $2.3 billion. Together, Lowe's Canada and RONA stores will create Canada's leading home improvement retailer with 2015 pro forma revenues from Canadian operations of over $4 billion. Tenet Power Ranking: 48th.

Walmart. When it comes to powerful retailers it doesn't get much bigger than Walmart. The world's largest retailer is also the world's biggest IT investor. The retailer just finished the rollout of its mobile payment solution, Walmart Pay, to all 4,600 Walmart stores in the U.S — the deployment began in December 2015. Tenet Power Ranking: 53rd.
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