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15 Brands Worth Investing In

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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 July 20, 2021

Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

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Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There

Have you ever considered your life now, and how it would be if you had more time to spend with your family and less worries about money?

Nowadays, financial stress is one of the most troublesome weights in life. If you’ve ever encountered financial stress, you know the difficulty of not having enough income to pay your obligations or bills.

Many people say that money is not the ultimate goal of life. While that’s true, money certainly plays a very significant role. The meaning of financial freedom changes with the different phases of our life, but ultimately, it is something that many people strive for.

In this article, we’ll explain how to capture that financial freedom you’ve been looking for. Read on to learn the secrets to financial freedom.

Break Free of Your Finances

Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.

When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. It’s the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.

Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.

Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.

To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, you’ll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.

While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.

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Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.

1. Stop Unnecessary Spending

We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively.

For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances.

To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month.

Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase?

This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

2. Plan a Monthly Budget

This is a great opportunity to get serious.

Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand.

Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

3. Cut-up Credit Cards

Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game.

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If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring.

Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up!

Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

4. Increase Savings

There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life.

It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income.

Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps.

Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

5. Invest Wisely

Consider investing in funds.

Specifically, you will gain higher returns if you invest in different types of mutual funds such as Debt funds, Equity funds and Hybrid funds with a proper balance, although it absolutely relies on your personal preferences and sense of risk taking.

To get the most of these benefits, make sure you are investing in a variety of assets. Another resource of investing in mutual funds is SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) where you invest some money every month in funds. SIP works by averaging the per unit price of the stock.

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Mutual fund investors are aware of the benefits of an SIP (Systematic Investment Plan). For one, it is the most secure way to invest in equity mutual plans so that wealth is created over a long period of time. This plan also helps you to gain a better sense of financial discipline, which will come in handy in all your financial endeavors.

6. Invest in Gold

There isn’t really a better way to invest in gold than to have the physical gold itself in your possession.

You can purchase gold coins and bars from mints as well as from coin dealers and other private sellers.

Another way to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

These are is similar to mutual funds but they are exclusively investments of gold. ETFs are great because they offer more liquidity; the ETF owns the actual physical gold, stores it, and retains the value of the shares. These shares can then be bought and sold in the stock market, and one big benefit is that the transaction costs of gold ETFs are much lower than the that of physical gold.

With its consistently-increasing demand, investment in gold can be very wise long-term investment to make.

7. Stash Emergency Funds

Whether it’s a cash gift or a work bonus, always try to save any extra money that comes your way rather than making unneeded purchases.

If you get paid every other week, you’ll get an “extra” paycheck (three rather than the usual two) twice a year. Either save those paychecks towards your emergency funds or utilize the money to pay down other obligations, such as loans, credit cards or other debts.

Make it hard to get your cash.

Put your savings in an alternate bank, maybe an online bank that forces you to delay for several business days before transferred money hits your regular bank account.

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8. Find Fabulous Mentors

Find a mentor, such as a friend or family member, who has exceptional control over their finances and pay attention to everything they do.

If you do not have any friends or family that are enjoying financial freedom, then find a mentor online! There are numerous blogs and guru websites featuring the advice of many people who have reached financial freedom, and they exist primarily to let you in on how to achieve it for yourself.

There are also plentiful forums available that share tips and tricks on how to best achieve financial freedom. Read as much as you can and start changing your habits for the better.

9. Be Extra Patient

Patience is the key of financial success.

Being patient can be quite tough, especially when you’re struggling with your finances, but having faith is worth it. You’ll continuously be on the right track if you are taking the proper steps above.

So don’t be discouraged, even if you are only saving a few dollars a month; it all adds up. Within just a few years you’ll look back proudly at your accomplishments and be glad that you had the patience to get there.

Financial Freedom for All

Anyone can achieve financial freedom, regardless of their financial circumstance.

Use the tips provided above to get yourself on the track to financial freedom and toss your monetary concerns out the window. If you wish to achieve a life with financial freedom for yourself and your family then you must adopt a disciplined approach towards your finances.

Following the simple secrets above is a great start to making your money work for you, so you can work less and live more!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Hartford Gold Group: IRA Retirement Accounts

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