Automotive brands dominated Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands ranking of Japanese companies in a global context, with Toyota holding onto the top spot for a 10th consecutive year.
Interbrand calculated Toyota’s brand value at close to US$50.3 billion. While extremely high, it’s a decrease of 6% on the previous year.
The top five also included (in descending order) Honda ($22.7 billion), Nissan ($11.5 billion), Canon ($9.8 billion) and Sony ($8.5 billion). Subaru, the other automotive brand to make the top 10, moved up one place to ninth with a valuation of $4 billion, up 12% on last year.
Nintendo showed the highest growth among the top 10, presumably buoyed by the success of its Switch console, which debuted in March 2017. Placed 10th, its brand value surged 21% to $3.9 billion. Omron, a Kyoto-based electronics company, entered the ranking at 39 with a valuation of $758 million.
Interbrand also compiled a Best Domestic Brands ranking, referring to the Japanese brands with the highest value in their home market. Telecoms brands dominated, with NTT DoCoMo ($9.8 billion) at the top, followed by SoftBank ($5.9 billion) and AU ($4.6 billion).
The other brands to make the top 10 were Recruit ($3.4 billion), Rakuten ($2.8 billion), Suntory ($2.2 billion), Kao ($2.1 billion) and Kirin ($1.7 billion). New entrants to the domestic ranking included MS & AD, an insurance company; Zozotown, an online retailer; and H.I.S, a travel agency that has recently drawn attention for opening a hotel staffed by robots.
Brands that grew the most domestically were Kosé (up 20%), Line (up 18%), Nitori, a low-cost furniture retailer (up 17%), Matsumotokiyoshi, a pharmacy chain (up 14%), and Asahi (up 11%).
Interbrand calculates brand value based on a brand’s financial strength, influence on purchasing decisions and contribution to future earnings.