Ed's Note

Editor's Note

Another year, another Best Brands Survey. Over the years we have realised that not many surprises can be expec-ted in the results - brand loyalty seems to be here to stay. But it appears an exercise in futility to give the same set of results year after year - a few more points here or fewer points there, one step up or two steps down. That's the reason why the effort has always been to add new dimensions to the survey to ensure added value.

This year we have made the survey more comprehensive adding six new categories and taking out others, which we thought didn't add much value. The sales of luxury cars have grown. Then why not take a look at what senior executives consider the top luxury car brand instead of just cars as a category?

So here we are with two categories in the automotive section - luxury cars and 4WDs. However, we had to take out one important category - non-banking financial institutions - this year as quite a few respondents named investment companies making the results a bit skewed.

Another exercise we did this year was to make a separate list of the number of people who picked each brand as No 1. While the line-up remained more or less in tandem with the final score in most cases it did throw up interesting data.

The BusinessToday brand survey is based on unaided recall. We chose this path because we believed that the first recalled name when you mention a generic product or service implies superb brand exposure, which in turn indicates clear competitive advantage in the brand space.

Brand recall is not necessarily directly linked to ad spend. In fact we have had the experience of some brands coming on top much after they have ceased to exist - that's what one would call brand equity.

But these are difficult times. Ad spend is dropping around the world and it has been especially noticeable in sectors like real estate in the neighbouring countries. The true test will be when we conduct the survey next year. A brand can be an intangible asset and that is even more true in times such as these.

As has been the practice, we've put together other stories related to various aspects of branding to complement the Best Brands Survey 2008. Read on and enjoy yet another special issue.

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Ed's Note
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