Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful, and the most valuable.
At the core of Brand Finance’s brand valuation calculation is brand strength. To calculate this the consultancy have developed the Brand Strength Index (BSI). Each brand is awarded a score out of 100 based on factors such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. Based on this score, brands are allocated a letter grade, similar to a credit rating, from D to AAA+.
Here is a list of the world’s most powerful retail brands, all awarded the top AAA+ brand rating. This list has been extracted from Brand Finance’s 2016 list.


Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 91.8
Disney is this year’s strongest (most powerful) brand. Though it has long been present amongst the elite group of powerful ‘AAA+’ brands, this year is the first time it has claimed the top spot. Disney’s success this year is testament to the enduring power of the silver screen as both a source of and support for the world’s most powerful brands.
Disney’s brand strength is founded on its rich history and original IP, the classic characters of Mickey Mouse and friends (Minnie, Donald, Goofy), Disney princesses, etc. However its now dominant position is the result of its many acquisitions and the powerful brands it has brought under its roof.


Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 91.6
Lego was first last year thanks in part to the success of the Lego Movie but, this year, has lost its position at the top of the table. It remains a very powerful brand for many of the same reasons identified last year. Lego’s appeal spans generations; as well as the creative freedom it gives children, the brand appeals to the nostalgia of adults.
It generally avoids gendered marketing, by appealing to boys and girls equally Lego maximises the size of its target demographic. That approach also pleases parents, as concerns mount over the effect toys may have on the outlook.
The Danish company has been beset by a series of controversies of late though which threaten to affect its wholesome image and may have contributed to the loss of its position at the top of Brand Finance’s brand strength table.


Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 91.5
L’Oréal has pulled off the trick of simultaneously capturing the mass market while maintaining an air of exclusivity. It is a powerhouse of brand creation. The key to its success is its unrivalled marketing focus and investment.
All L’Oréal brands, and L’Oréal Paris in particular, have benefitted from the Bettencourt family’s constructive approach to reinvestment. They have always prioritized long term value over short term profits and are just as likely to channel profits into marketing as they are to pay a dividend.


Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 90.7
NIKE, Inc. engages in the design, development, marketing and sale of footwear, apparel, and equipment, accessories and services. Its athletic footwear products are designed primarily for specific athletic use, although a large percentage of the products are worn for casual or leisure purposes.
It focuses on NIKE Brand and Brand Jordan product offerings in seven key categories: running, basketball, football, men’s training, women’s training, NIKE sportswear, and action sports.


Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 90.7
Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886.It is headquartered in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson’s brands include numerous household names of medications and first aid supplies. Among its well-known consumer products are the Band-Aid Brand line of bandages, Tylenol medications, Johnson’s baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Clean & Clear facial wash, Acuvue contact lenses, among others.

6Coca Cola

Brand Strength Index (BSI) Score: 90.4
Coca-Cola was the world’s most valuable brand across all industries in 2007, with a brand value of $43.1bn. Increasing concerns over the links between carbonated drinks and obesity have begun to undermine what the Coca-Cola brand has represented for over one hundred years. Coca-Cola remain committed to the core brand however. So much so that they have decided to roll out their ‘one-brand’ strategy internationally.
The intention is to communicate the idea that Coke Light (Diet Coke), Coke Zero and Coke Life are simply different ways of enjoying Coke as well as a way to achieve marketing efficiencies by reducing the need for sub-brand-specific campaigns.
Whether the approach, directed by CMO Marcos de Quinto, will reverse or at least slow Coca-Cola’s brand value decline will be carefully scrutinized.