Interbrand, one of the world’s largest branding consultancies, has just released their Best Retail Brand 2012 report. The annual study is performed to determine which retailer’s brand holds the greatest value by examining its financial performance, shopper perception, and role in consumer decision making.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer with $260 billion in sales in the US alone (1.7% of the US GDP), is the US winner. Tesco tops the UK, Carrefore tops France, Aldi tops Germany, and Woolworths tops Asia Pacific. However, among these winners, only Tesco and Woolsworths saw improvement in brand value from 2011. The report cites the digital experience as key factor in why each of these retailers improved or declined.
Many retailers are providing the consumer with greater shopping capabilities through various digital avenues. Online retail spending is up from 7% to 9% of US sales. Location based alerts sent to consumers’ mobile device advertise retail promotions in their vicinity. Apps and alerts also provide personalized shopping recommendations and reviews, a key focus as shoppers are relying more and more on peer advocacy.
It will be interesting to see how manufacturers partner with retailers to improve the digital experience and measure the return. However, manufacturers still recognize that it generally continues to be the price-focused retailers like Walmart, Tesco, and Asda that come out on top in terms of both revenue and customer satisfaction.