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IDEA Winners Take Center Stage in List of 2013 Best Global Brands
There has always been a strong correlation between excellent design and brand success, with many top brands having International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) wins under their belts. This year, a record nine out of the top 10 brands on Interbrand’s, Best Global Brands 2013, have been IDEA finalists or winners. In the broader picture, 15 out of 20—nearly two thirds—of the top 25 brands have been honored with IDEAs. This speaks volumes about the correlation between excellent design, increased market share and building a top brand.
Highlighting that link, this year after 13 years in the top spot, Coca-Cola has fallen from #1 to #3, and Apple, the poster child for design excellence and an intrinsic culture of design integration at the highest level, took the top honor. While many brands understand the importance of a firm commitment to design, it can be argued that Apple, which rose to #1 from #2 in 2012 and #8 in 2011, is defined by its culture of excellent design.
On the heels of this new report with its obvious prevalence of “technology” companies, much attention and credit is being given to technology as the primary force behind brand success. However, look a little deeper and a more interesting, though perhaps not as often appreciated, trend becomes apparent. While technology staples like Blackberry and Nokia have fallen, brands with strong commitments to innovation and design, like IDEA winners Microsoft, Samsung, Nike, Google and others are trending upward on the list. Everyone knows the Apple story, but now these increasingly design-centric companies are providing further evidence of what the design industry has been saying all along—Great design equals business success.
“Top riser” Google, with its humble beginnings as just a search engine is building brand with a noticeably design-focused twist. Yes, their technology is impressive. But, from noise about self-driving cars, a project rooted in their intensified collaboration with design team Mike & Maikke, to their release of straight-out-of-sci-fi Google Glass, Google is making it clear that excellent design is central to their game plan. Their design goal according to co-founder Larry Page, "…is to design everything so it's beautifully simple.”
Number eight Samsung is a red-hot global brand with a portfolio of connectivity-focused offerings ranging from home appliances to TVs and of course “life companion” smart phones. Once known for cheap knockoff electronics, Samsung’s success and shift to a design-focused business model tracks back to 1993 when enigmatic chairman, Kun-Hee Lee issued a manifesto to the company’s top executives. He wrote, “Management is still clinging to the concept of quantity at the expense of quality…We must change no matter what…change everything except your wife and family." That directive still echoes in the halls of Samsung today and marked the beginning of their shift toward quality over quantity. This commitment to design was reiterated by Samsung representative Minchul Kim as he accepted Samsung’s IDEA Golds at this year’s 2013 IDEA ceremony in Chicago.
In an April 2013 interview with Forbes, Dong-hoon Chang, EVP and Head of Design Team IT & Mobile Communications division, and Head of Design Strategy Team, Corporate Design Center, offered insight into how Samsung is achieving success through design. He spoke about “the establishment of the Corporate Design Center in 2001, which reports directly to the CEO, (allows) the company to take a more holistic approach to design.” Chang went on to note that, “Our recent focus has been to propose a comprehensive user experience that …speaks to the question of how to bring value to consumers with designs more closely conceived around their lifestyles.”
Google, Apple and Samsung are just a few of the companies listed in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013 who have taken to heart that great design equals good business. They have made design central to their business models and offerings, and are reaping the rewards in the marketplace! Wonders like Google Glass, next gen. exercise shoes like Nike Wrap, the latest in communication tech like the HTC smartphone, or Mercedes’ and BMW’s luxury autos and 90% of all companies ranking in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013 have at least one common denominator. Each of the companies listed below espouse a culture that venerates design as necessary to success and are committed to excellent design.
This year’s prestigious list of IDEA winners on the Interbrand top 25 includes:
- #1 Apple
- #2 Google
- #4 IBM
- #5 Microsoft
- #8 Samsung
- #9 Intel
- #11 Mercedes-Benz
- #12 BMW
- #13 Cisco
- #14 Disney
- #15 HP
- #16 Gillette
- #18 Oracle
- #24 Nike
- #25 SAP
Think your design has what it takes to compete against the Best of the Best global brands? IDEA 2014 opens for entries on December 2, 2013 and begins this year’s worldwide search for exceptional design that epitomizes quality across design mediums and platforms. The Call for Entries remains open until February 10, 2014. We invite you to participate, share your exceptional designs and help IDEA 2014 showcase the best examples of design insight, talent, passion, innovation and design excellence to media, business, consumers and end users worldwide. The 2014 winners are announced in July on IDSA.org and through our media partnerships worldwide.