Top global technology brands worth half a trillion

Interbrand have just published their mightily impressive Annual Best Global Brands Report which is in its 14th year.

Technology brands dominate with Apple ousting poor old Coca Cola from the number 1 spot which it’s clung on to for the previous 13 years. Not only that but Google at #2 pushes Coke down to bronze medal place!

On our somewhat expanded definition of technology brands we reckon they hold 21 of the top 100 positions with over 35% of the total brand value of $1.5 trillion coming in at a staggering $531 billion. Of this Apple represents a little under 20%. It may well make the $100 billion mark next year.

We thought it would be interesting to compare the brand values with the companies current market capitalisations so we’ve done a quick and approximate assessment at today’s date.

Quite interesting we thought. Overall Market caps are something like 4.5x brand values with Apple being exactly at this ratio. Top of the pack is unsurprisingly Facebook at 16.1 with HP at the other end of the spectrum at 1.6.

Incidentally on the country front the UK comes out overall at number five behind USA (55) Germany (9) and Japan and France (7). Our 4 brands are HSBC (32nd place) Burberry (77) Johnnie Walker (82) and Smirnoff (95).

Well worth spending time over at the Interbrand site.

Keep an I on our week – Wood Sculpture edition

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. 2nd Class 2nd Level 2nd Consultation 
  2. The Multi Medium is now the Message  
  3. Mayday Mayday Mayday this is Kindle Kindle Kindle 

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity.

Our header graphic shows the four stages of a local wood sculpture by Andy O’Neill. Two days hard work and a transformation took place. Lots more of his creations over on his website.

We can’t help but notice the Nook bargains around at the minute whilst their parent company Barnes & Noble struggle to find a way forward. In particular the Simple Touch Glowlight reader is most attractively priced at £49.

We’ll leave you with our favourite DJ’s, (it’s all those i’s in Avicii) latest “You make me”

The Rise and Rise of the MailOnline

Earlier this week Mediatel came up with the header graph based on ABC’s latest figures for newsbrands and they mentioned in their article the situation re the Sun in particular and News UK in general as follows:

“News UK titles, including the Times and Sun+ are not reported in the current ABC findings. However, figures from SimilarWeb, a web metrics company, suggest that global visits to the Sun+, which last month placed content behind a paywall, dropped from 37.3 million in July to an 14.4 million in August – a drop of 60%”.

So we’ve, sort of added the Sun+/Sun estimates assuming 31 days in the months into our table. It’s a bit Apples and Samsungs Oranges but shows some rather interesting points.

  • The Mailonline really does dominate its got virtually double the visitors of its nearest competitor.
  • The overall figures after the Sun went behind its paywall show less of a drop than we thought – under 1%
  • The winners are Telegraph, Mirror Group Digital, MailOnline and The Independent
  • We are at a loss as to why lost so  many in the month (although there might just be a link to the Telegraph’s gain).

We know our figures are incomplete in that The Times (and in fact The Financial Times) is absent but according to Mediatel columnist Raymond Snoddy  “”The official line is that talks are continuing on revealing the online figures which are diligently collected every month by the ABC but which cannot be released without permission, this may change in the future!”

Another unknown to us is why The Independent doesn’t rebrand itself as the “i” online but then we would wouldn’t we! They are already some of the way there when they say “Get an i on your iPad”!

Incidentally we’re pleased to see that all the Newsbrands operate with the relevant ubiquitous domain … apart from – shame!

Mayday Mayday Mayday This is Kindle Kindle Kindle

amazon yesterday announced their new season Kindle Fires the 7 and 8.9″ HDX’s. They are said to be lighter, faster, brighter and cheaper but most importantly of all they have the increasingly comment worthy “Mayday” button.

“Revolutionary On-Device Tech Support from Amazon’s Tech Advisors

Having trouble or want to learn how to use a new feature? Simply tap the Mayday button in Quick Settings, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. 15 seconds or less is the Mayday response time goal. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free.”

amazon are so impressed they even gave it its very own press release!

Buttons are obviously this seasons must have accessory – first there was Apple‘s iPhone 5S’s fingerprint sensing home one and now amazon’s Mayday competitor. Some might say that they reflect graphically the two companies differing cultures.

We really, really really think the Mayday button is potentially a brilliant concept and could lead to not only an even more excellent level of customer service, but also to increased content revenues per Kindle Fire!

Now the rather disappointing news which is that there aren’t any UK availability dates for the HDX’s yet – we’re sure they will aim to have at least some of the versions likely the 7″ one at the latest by November to be able to benefit from the spendfest season. The US shipping dates for the 7″ and 8.9″ non 4G versions are 18 October & November 7. The 4G versions start just over 4 weeks after these dates.

We will keep you updated. Pricewise going on some amazon history on £ to $ exchange rates we might expect a starter price of either £179 or £189 as the entry point on the 7″ HDX compared with its US $229 price.

Here’s our screen shot of the specs

Click to enlarge

We’ll leave you with the Mayday TV ads.

Incidentally we were interested to discover that:

Making a false distress call in the United States is a federal crime carrying sanctions of up to six years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000, and restitution to amazon (we added that last bit it’s really the United States Coast Guard!)


Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with amazon

The Multi Medium is now the Message

A rather nice graphic from mBlox in their eight country attitude survey Mobile Engagement: What Consumers Really Think  got us considering about how the Digital Revolution has lead to advertising media proliferation.

Click to enlarge

In sort of chronological order:

  1. Newspaper adverts first appeared in 1704 according to Ad Age
  2. Billboards sort of started appearing in the early to mid 1800’s
  3. TV advertising appeared 72 years ago for the first time in 1941 and it was from Bulova the watch maker
  4. Emails first appeared in the early 1980’s and we’re sure adverts followed remarkably quickly!
  5. Website ads came along around a decade later and October 27 1994 is quoted as the date of a first banner ad ‘s appearance.  Wired claim this one.
  6. SMS ads  followed on again predictably quickly after the first message was allegedly sent in Finland in December 1994.
  7. Social Media advertising unsurprisingly first appeared on the ubiquitous Facebook in April 2004.

So there we have it then!

Whatever’s next?

With apologies to Marshall McLuhan for our header based on the phrase used in his 1964 book Understanding Media: The extensions of Man  - “The Medium is the Message”.

uk namespace 2nd class 2nd Level 2nd Consultation

Yesterday, September 23rd, was the last date for submission of responses to the Nominet consultation.

 We will, over the next few days after some searching, link to some published / downloadable responses starting of course with our own which we’ve attempted to make a little less cumbersome than the basic response. Feel free to download & distribute it as appropriate.

  1. The Information I (pdf)  - anti general domain availability after “right of first refusal” –anti 2 tier 2nd & 3rd level domains – counter proposals and rights prioritisation idea for 2011 short domains release issue – concerns about possible catastrophe
  2. ICO The Information Commissioners Office (pdf) – short (3 pages) – concerns about registration process, security and 3rd level sub domains
  3. Open Rights Group – (Document) – Against introduction – Cost burden on existing domain registrants/website operators – no demand / justification for introduction
  4. Janet (The registry for the subdomain who also operates on behalf of the Cabinet Office) / (Document) – concern over parallel hierarchies and right of first refusal

There are several links to submissions and much background reading from some leading activists over at YourUK, NotaGreatPlacetobe and Webmastering. The latter has links to more than 5% of all the 313 submissions (see below).

Nominet’s next step on the roadmap is “Where consent has been given, individual feedback will be published alongside a summary of the consultation findings in November.” In the meantime it is worth checking for updates on their news pages:

UPDATE 8th OctoberBrief release indicating 313 responses.

“The feedback will be reviewed by our Board at their next meeting on 29th October. Once a decision has been reached on the way forward, we will publish submissions, where permission has been given to do so, and an assessment of the impact of the current proposal. We expect to publish our update in early November.”

If you or your organisation have submitted a response and would like to have it included above then please get in touch  and we’ll likely add it to our list.

We’ve decided to add, hopefully, a very short list of known significant, NON respondents to the consultation where identified our surprising starter is the BBC.!

Coolest UK Brands growing but technology sector less hot in 2013

CoolBrands®   have just published their latest assessment  (2013-2014) of the Coolest UK brands.

“The UK’s CoolBrands are chosen by an Expert Council of influencers and members of the British public. Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The entire selection process is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis.”

This years results (pdf) and some selected Brands and the Expert Panel appear on their site.

Apple still retains the top spot but surely must come under pressure next year

Whilst, on our definition, there are still seven tech companies figuring in the top twenty four have slipped out of the top five and Skype has been replaced by Spotify.

On the category winners we reckon there are again six technology winners but Blackberry and Play Station drop out being replaced by Samsung and Activision Media.

In the wider scheme of things it looks as if cool brands here in the UK are growing rather rapidly as we perceive an increase in the qualifying brands by almost 25% up from 570 to around 710 this year. Maybe the cool segment of the economy is leading us out of the recession!

On a very subjective and approximate count we can see about 45 qualifying tech brands this year as against 41 last year but apparently Games & toys are no longer cool so definitionaly Angry Birds last year & presumably Grand Theft Auto this year will no longer figure.  As non gamers we couldn’t comment but if Marmite is cool then surely GFA must be as well!

The Rolex and Nike moves seem to prove that traditional media advertising still works!

CoolBrands® is a registered trademark of Superbrands (UK) Ltd

Keep an I on our week – End of Summer edition

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. A Million Reasons why you should …
  2. The New Consumer …
  3. Marketing & Advertising Top Tech Track 100

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity, and we have our regular monthly runover of Internet Retail Sales (August).

In connection with its relocation the Design Museum puts up from tomorrow a virtual tour of parts of their new facility in Kensington. Definitely worth a look

“The relocation will give the museum three times more space to host a greater number of exhibitions, expand its learning activities and display its permanent collection.”

Here’s one of the latest from Lindsey Stirling – this time it’s a somewhat tongue in cheek Star Wars Medley with Peter Hollens

A million reasons why you should ….

… respond to the Nominet consultation on Second Level Domain Registration  which closes this coming Monday September 23 (to be on the safe side likely at their opening of business at 8.00am BST)*  

In under 170 characters:

Proposal to offer option to existing domain holders to acquire the same name .uk if oldest .of etc for 6 months after which available to all!

If you haven’t done so already, we urge you all to respond to the consultation particularly if you have a (or any) .uk domains.

In our view if you run or are part of a business or organisation who use and rely on your web presence within the .uk namespace then it’s essential that you familiarise yourself with the proposals and preferably respond with your views.

The easiest/quickest way to respond is probably to use their online facility

To do a “quickie”:

  • Click Next bottom page 1
  • On About you  page complete just required fields (8) of which 6 are tick boxes Name, Email, I would like you to keep me informed of this consultation,  I would like you to keep me informed of future .uk policy and .uk policy events, Organisation type,  Please tell us about your sector, Please tell us if you already hold a domain name in one of the existing second levels in .uk (eg, Are you a Nominet registrar?
  • Next – takes you to Publishing responses the last required tick box
  • Next & Next again takes you to the key tick box ”1.a Do you agree with the proposal to enable second level domain registration in the way we have outlined?” and the free format “1.b Please tell us your reasons why.” Where we suggest you add at least some words.
  • Next 5 times
  • Review your inputs then HIT SUBMIT

A few minutes max & we reckon it could be done in seconds if you really hurry – see also below1

Now back to those million reasons. This is an estimate of the number of existing domain holders, under the current proposals, who stand to lose their rights after the 6 month “right of first refusal” period by not exercising it for whatever reasons but most likely simply due to lack of knowledge.


and it’s a huge one in our opinion the next step is that ANYONE can acquire that .uk. The top 5 sites are currently:


If they didn’t exercise these rights ANYONE could acquire:


And you can bet your bottom $ Yen £ € Ruble Yuan or whatever they would. It’s manna from heaven for cybersquatters.

That’s why we will be suggesting counter proposals in our response to avoid the inevitable confusion chaos and potential catastrophe in the .uk namespace if the proposals go ahead unchanged.

If you agree then a very short-form version of “… your reasons why” could be1:

I/We disagree with the proposal as the general availability of existing names in conjunction with the second registrations after the “right of first refusal” period is misguided and could be catastrophic.

Either an alternative mechanism to avoid this must be found or the proposals should be dropped altogether.

As someone once said – If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

* In a phone call today they did say midnight of the 23rd which sort of conflicts with the last reminder email we received which said “….please ensure you submit your feedback before Monday 23 September 2013.” On safe rather than sorry grounds we suggest you do it by the end of the weekend!

Comprehensive consultation pages

Internet Retail Sales steady in August could be £50 billion by 2018

It’s the third Thursday of the month so The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the monthly retail sales figures for August today (pdf) Full details  are available on the ONS site.

The overall figures of a 0.9% decrease came as an almost complete surprise as an increase of around 0.4% was expected and hence some gloom returned after recent goodish news. The weather hardly go a mention but last years Olympics still linger on (in statistical terms of course)!

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales remain at just below the 10% level (9.9%) of all sales for the year to date and were 9.7% in the month.
  • Online food sales at 3.2% of all food sales were somewhat below their recent record levels of around 3.6%. On a year to date basis they stand at  3.4%
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 48 pence was spent on non-store retailing 36 pence in non food stores and 16 pence in food stores!
  • All internet sales excluding food were 15.6% (15.4% revised) and have now been within a range of 15.4% -17.1% since November last year.
  • The decline in the rates of growth of the major online only retailers noted in previous months starting with the Olymoics last year shot up this month to 35.9% (15.7% revised). After a 4 month lull it looks as if we are returning to the average of over 20% or more as recorded since the statistics were first compiled. These figures include the online sales of all the majors ie  Apple, Google, eBay, Amazon (including LoveFilm), Asos, Netflix and Shop Direct (Isme Very, Littlewoods etc)

August and year to date stats:

  • Months internet sales 9.7% (9.6% revised) of all sales
  • Year to date internet sales 9.9% (10.0% revised1) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase +22.5%.(+12.3% revised1)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on July 2013 annualised +16.3% (2) on August 2012 +14.8%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 35.9% on 2012 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

As always the “history” has been revised1 by the ONS which this month went back as far as December 2012 with some largely changes +/- to Internet sales. The weekly figure for July was revised upwards to £595.5 being 9.6% of overall sales.

The ONS words are:

Internet Sales – Key points

  • Average weekly spending online (Internet sales values non-seasonally adjusted) in August 2013 was £579.6 million. This was an increase of 22.5% compared with August 2012, however it should be noted that Internet sales were unusually low in August 2012 as feedback suggests consumers watched the Olympics and Paralympics instead of shopping online.
  • The amount spent online accounted for 9.7% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel.
  • As expected, more was spent online in the non-store retailing sector than any other sector. Spending online now accounts for 66.6% of total spending in this sector. In the food sector 3.2% of spending was online. This sector has the lowest proportion of online spending in relation to all spending.

Internet sales in detail

Internet sales estimate how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100.

Table 2 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total internet sales by sector, and the proportion of sales that each sector makes to total internet sales.

      .Table 2: Summary of Internet Statistics for August 2013 (amended)

We have added our annotations to the ONS table) – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales. (We have corrected a misstatement of these %’s in last months table) link

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

* Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

As previously mentioned the figures are no longer experimental.

Click to enlarge

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £31.7 billion an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.36% annualised 16.3%. The average this year is 13.8%. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is a 23.4%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figures at £580 million was below our estimate (£600) and we just missed our £31.8 billion moving annual total target. September is the sort of lull before the spendfest season  so we so we will stick with our £600 million target alongside a moving annual total of over £32 billion. Elsewhere Verdict Retail are forecasting that it will finish the year at £34 billion and by 2018 it will reach £50 billion.  We shall see!

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity) that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (December is a 5 week month). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January.