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15 Brands Worth Investing In

15 Brands Worth Investing In

Investing is a risky business. Some companies succeed while others fail. But there are also some really strong companies out there with highly valued brands which are growing year by year and multiplying their profit. Interbrand made a list of the most valuable brands in the world for 2014. While evaluating them, Interbrand considered financial performance of branded products, ability to influence consumer’s behavior, and the prestige allowing them to charge premium prices and secure their future earnings. So, are you wondering what kind of investment could make you a millionaire? Hint: Tech companies are on the rise. Let’s have a look at the world’s most valued brands, the brands worth investing in:

H&M +16%

Brand value: $ 21,083 m

H&M’s expansion and growth is remarkable. The company increased new store openings by 10-15% every year, and this year is opening 375 stores, mostly in China and the US. Their online presence is expanding with HM.com, which is serving customers in parts of the US and Europe. H&M is now on the way to being both a respected fashion brand and cost-efficient. It is socially conscious and was honored for its values and ethical practices, named as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2014. It was also ranked as #1 for using certified organic cotton around the globe.

Honda +17%

Brand value: $ 21,673 m

Honda’s Japanese cars and motorcycles are coming back to Formula 1 after 20 years out as an engine supplier for McLaren. This effort should differentiate Honda in the automotive industry and speed its growth. Their marketing campaign, “Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989,” won a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. The F1 race calendar is full of contestants in emerging countries, which are already big markets for Honda.

Oracle +8%

Brand value: $ 25,980 m

After 10 years of expansions and around 100 acquired companies that led to complex end-to-end back office solutions, Oracle decided to take a break. The new challenge facing the company is how to define itself and find its purpose. Marketing communications are focused on simplicity. Oracle is ensuring integrated experience for all businesses and compliance of its software for cloud computing.

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Amazon +25%

Brand value: $ 29,487 m

Amazon is considered to be one of the most approachable and accessible companies. Its focus on consumer satisfaction might be the key of their huge success. Their core business Amazon Prime is still growing and new extensions of their products such as Kindle Paperwhite and Fire Phone are bringing new customers. Amazon did not stop there and made one more step to “wow” them. Thanks to cooperation with Federal Aviation Administration, Amazon’s customers can use their devices while taking off and landing of a plane.

Cisco +6%

Brand value: $ 30,936 m

Connecting the previously unconnected, Cisco is another tech company which plays it well. Cisco wants to grow their presence in global marketplace, from IP phones used in offices to home network equipment to advertising and promotion events. Remarkable also is its speed-to-market, which increased from 3-5 years to only 12-18 months. Brand value is definitely influenced by the strong marketing Cisco is running – 20% of the company’s revenues are dedicated solely to marketing and sales activities.

Disney +14%

Brand value: $ 32,223 m

Disney is creative and innovative in its use of technology and its approach to global growth. Strategy based on these areas made Disney one of the most valued brands in the world this year. This 91-year-old company is not afraid to use new technology to analyze customers’ needs and personalize their experience. Disney started to cooperate with Jack Dorsey, Chairman of Twitter, and announced an exclusive deal with Marvel Programming for Netflix. It also acquired the YouTube network Maker Studios. The huge success of Frozen opened new doors and opportunities, and Russia and China now belong to the largest markets for Disney movies.

BMW +7%

Brand value: $ 34,214 m

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BMW is keeping their leading position among best-in-class automotive brands. Ongoing activities aiming to create a sustainable future for mobility, such as the Efficient Dynamics initiative, are continually increasing BMW’s brand value. The company is fueled by innovation and is currently developing solutions to lower carbon emissions across the brand’s range. Besides that, it is the consistent communication and strategy clarity which drives BMW to be one of the most successful brands around the globe.

Mercedes Benz +8%

Brand value: $ 34,338 m

Not a BMW person? Mercedes Benz is another automotive company that is in the top 20 brands according to Interbrand. New models and fresh attitude towards their brand strategy brought record sales – in the previous year Mercedes Benz increased their financial performance by 14% worldwide and 9,5% in the US. Mercedes offers comfort, performance and prestige. Everything that customers expect from them. What’s more, Mercedes is developing new ways for sustainable mobility too, decreasing emissions and using intelligent energy system for hybrid vehicles. Customers are important to the brand and new features aiming to create a premium customer experience are definitely one of the reasons the value of Mercedes Benz is rising.

McDonalds +1%

Brand value: $ 42,254 m

One of the world most successful fast food chains is currently serving more than 70 millions of customers a day in 100 countries. McDonalds lately responded to consumers’ demands and added new healthier alternatives to their classic menu. Besides that, they created strategy to become a more ecological and ethical company. McDonalds’ goal is to purchase only verified and ecologically sustainable beef by 2016 and 100% sustainable palm oil, coffee and fish by 2020. The brand’s challenge nowadays is to create an image of high quality food.

Toyota +20%

Brand value: $ 42,392 m

Toyota is the winning brand among automotive companies for 2014 according to Interbrand. A crisis at the beginning of 2014 and a $1.2bn fine from the US Justice department didn’t stop the ambitious company from increasing its sales and keeping its position as a trustworthy company. High quality products, joyful advertising campaigns (e.g. “Go Fun Yourself”), but also its concern about social problems and untapped female labor force in the brand’s country of origin, are developing their positive image. Worthy to mention is their “Car of the Future,” the first zero emission hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, that they showcased at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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Samsung +15%

Brand value: $ 45,462 m

This high-tech company is a strong player in many segments, currently fighting a battle in the smartphone industry with another giant, Apple. Samsung is developing new products and shaping the world we know with innovations: curved TV, virtual reality headsets, and wearable electronics are new products in their portfolio. The prognosis seems to be positive for Samsung.

Microsoft +3%

Brand value: $ 61,154 m

Big changes happened at Microsoft this year. New CEO Satya Nadella is an expert in company cloud computing, and his arrival signaled a new era for Microsoft. Satya switched from previous “Windows first” strategy to “mobile and cloud first.” Microsoft’s efforts to increase relevance and provide services and products customers want are working well. Cloud computing enterprise Windows Azure, strategically rebranded, and the personal voice assistant Cortana accompany the latest launch of Windows 8.1. The acquisition of the Minecraft company signals Microsoft’s high ambitions in mobile, cloud computing and games industry.

Coca Cola +3%

Brand value: $ 81,563 m

This famous soft drink brand is nowadays challenged by many market changes. Consumers are more conscious about health and Coca Cola is evolving together with their customers. Coca Cola Life, a drink sweetened naturally with stevia, was launched in 2013 in Argentina and Chile, and in 2014 in the US and UK. Ecology is big topic nowadays, and Coca Cola set a goal that by 2020 it will use its PlantBottle technology for all its bottles. In terms of marketing, Coca Cola is one of the role models. Its “Share a Coke” campaign increased its sales by 2%, its Facebook fan base by 25 millions, and servings to 1.9 billion a day.

Google +15%

Brand value: $ 107,439 m

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Google is one of the most ambitious and innovative companies in the world nowadays. Though Google is categorized as a search company, product development has gone far beyond such limited definition. Recently, they started to test self-driving cars and launched Project Loop – a global network of high altitude balloons bringing wi-fi to remote areas. Unfortunately, not every Google project meets success and the prognosis for Google Glass is not so bright anymore. Investments and acquisitions of Google in past years shows that company is interested in robotics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and wearable technology. It is their vision, bravery and crazy ideas that make Google an outstanding brand.

Apple +21%

Brand value: $ 118, 863 m

The most valuable brand of 2014 according to Interbrand is Apple. The tech giant  introduced Apple Pay this year, a system which is allowing people to pay with their Apple devices, Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, CarPlay and HomeKit. Apple is making life smarter, from wearable technology to communication over devices at home. This year the company acquired great talents such as Angela Ahrendts (ex-CEO of Burberry), Paul Deneve (ex-CEO of Yves Saint Laurent) and Jay Blahnik (a developer of Nike’s fuel band). Let’s see what ambitious Apple brings next year.

The world’s best companies have some things in common. All of them are taking responsibility for the future they are shaping, in terms of both sustainability and innovation. They create solutions around their customers’ current and future needs. These companies value talent, have a clear vision and are not afraid to invest in marketing. Only brands behaving like these are worthy to investing in.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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