If we were asked what a brand is, probably the very first thing that comes to mind would be a succession of world-renowned logos that we would be able to identify in a couple of seconds. This is one of the factors highlighted in the Best Global Brands, a prestigious ranking elaborated by the strategic consultancy firm of the brand Interbrand, where Banco Santander and Zara appear as the only Spanish brands among the 100 most valued brands in the world.

They are everywhere. Wherever we look or listen, we will find one of them. In the streets, on the radio, TV, Internet or our social networks. Brands become another element of our lives. We even could say that we identify ourselves with them or, better, with the values and commitments they transmit. The prestige of a brand is not only related to the products offered, but the intangible values with which the consumers associated it. Experts state that a brand is valued by taking into account the recognition and consideration that it has, i.e. its position of leadership and the grade of satisfaction it provides.

The world moves forward, just like brands

There are many studies both at national and international levels that try to give clues to companies about which features of brands are most valued by the consumers or why one brand works and another does not. Obviously, despite there not being an exact formula, nothing is coincidence. However, all the indexes highlight that the quality or the price of the product are not the most important factors related to the reputation of a brand. Today, intangible factors with an emotional touch such as coherence, transparency, sustainability or the contribution to the general economy have made brands be ranked as the first ones when we talk about gaining the trust of the consumers.

A change in the preferences and needs of consumers that have been produced over the years, that the famous Best Global Brands has been reflecting throughout its twenty years of existence. In this way, if the top positions were traditionally occupied by consumer companies such as Coca-Cola or McDonald’s, in recent years the technological and service companies, such as Apple, Google or Amazon, have been climbing positions, until being in the first three positions of the podium. As a novelty of this year, Uber has entered this ranking for the first time, ranking 87th on the list, with a value of 5,714 million dollars.

The only Spanish brands

Banco Santander and Zara have been posted again as the sole Spanish brands included in the ranking, with a value of 8,521 and 17,175 million dollars respectively. The brand lead by Amancio Ortega has come down 3%, being ranked 29, and the company presided over by Ana Botín has climbed positions to be ranked 67, increasing its value by 13% during the last year. Also, the brand Santander continues to be the most valuable financial entity in the Eurozone.

Commitment, relevance and consistency have been the factors of Banco Santander that the people responsible for the elaboration of Best Global Brands 2019 have highlighted the most. According to Nancy Villanueva, General Director of Interbrand Madrid, “Both brands have faced the big challenges of the future, which are related to digitalization, sustainability, social commitment and the central position of all the interest audiences (consumers, employees or shareholders) in the strategy of brands”.

Over the course of history, brands have evolved to leave behind a simple identifiable function to become a value itself, full of information, connotations and meanings that help companies show their values and commitments.

On the basis of this philosophy, last year Banco Santander renewed its image of brand, as a culmination of a digital transformation process to improve the experience of their clients, which started in 2015. In this regard, Ana Botín, President of the Group, highlights that “The brand Santander is one of the strongholds of our bank and it is recognized internationally for the trust and credibility that it transmits, so it must evolve to come along with our transformation, to make it more visible and better reflect our culture”.