As you drive your car, drink a beer, place a call, or buy clothes, luggage, champagne, makeup or perfume, chances are one of Europe’s top brands is making it possible. Just recently, the European Brand Institute released its Eurobrand2011 study, examining more than 3,000 brand corporations in 24 countries and 16 industries, with comparisons to America and Asia.
As a European company ourselves, we look to brands that have achieved global status as an inspiration for what is possible. Certainly the workplace management market potential is substantially smaller than global consumers’ thirst for beer, consumable goods or cars, but we aim high. Curious as to who are this year’s top ten European brands? Here’s the list:
1. LVMH: whose portfolio of prestigious brands like Tag Heuer, Dom Perignon and Louis Vuitton represent “the most refined qualities of Western ‘Art de Vivre’ around the world.” (I would hazard a guess that your average IT manager doesn’t contribute to LMVH’s bottomline.)
2. Vodafone: Did you know that Vodafone made the first ever mobile call on January 1, 1985? Today, the company has more than 371 million customers around the world. What started out as a small mobile operator has grown into a global business and the seventh most valuable brand in the world. Can you hear me now?
3. INBEV: Budweiser, Stella-Artois, Becks…. If you are a fan of these popular beers, then you’ve contributed to the global success of the Anheuser-Busch InBev brand. The $36.3B company manages a portfolio of more than 200 beer brands and holds the number 1 or 2 market position in 19 countries. Cheers to that!
4. Nestlé: This brand’s mission of “Good Food, Good Life” is to provide consumers with the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories from morning to night. The company was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland, where its headquarters are still located today. Today, it employs around 280,000 people. Chocolate is good for you, it appears.
5. Unilever: 160 million times a day, someone somewhere chooses a Unilever product. From feeding your family to keeping your home clean and fresh, the company’s brands are part of everyday life. Consumers worldwide buy 170 billion Unilever products each year. In 2010 Unilever’s worldwide turnover was 44.3 billion Euros.
6. Telefonica: Hailing from Spain, Telefonica is a leader in the telecommunication sector, providing communication, information and entertainment solutions to more than 295 million customers in 25 countries. Founded in 1924, it is certainly one of Spain’s proudest brands. Olé!
7. Daimler: The company’s founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, made history with the invention of the automobile in the year 1886. 125 years later, in anniversary year 2011, Daimler AG is one of the world’s most successful automotive companies, selling more than 100 models in 120 countries. Daimler’s Q3 came in at 2.1 billion Euros.
8. Deutsche Telekom: On October 26, 1861, Johann Philipp Reis introduces his "telephon" to the public for the first time. Today, 150 years later, Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading telecommunications and information technology service companies, with 247,000 employees worldwide.
9. BASF: The world’s leading chemical company, BASF’s portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. Headquartered in Germany, the company posted sales of 63.9 billion Euros last year. Random fact for winter sports lovers: crash mats made with a core of Neopolen® E closed-cell, physically crosslinked polyethylene particle foam will provide skiers with a soft landing on the slopes.
10. SABMiller: “Making a difference through beer” is the company’s tagline. Founded in 1895, SABMiller today is one of the world’s largest brewers, with more than 200 beer brands and over 70,000 employees in 75 countries. The company is also one of the world’s largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products. In the year ended March 31, 2011, its businesses sold 218 hectolitres of lager. That is a LOT of beer!
It’s gratifying to see how European brands have contributed so much to the global economy. (I have to admit that, personally, I’m partial toward Tergenseer Bier – straight from Bavaria, where I was born.) Here at Matrix42, while we don’t sell beers, cars or plastic, our workplace management technologies are positively impacting the business of enterprises around the world. You can delve into some of those stories here and here. What are some of your favorite European brands? Have they inspired you?