At the bottom of the heap: IBM.
IBM wasn't included in Financial World's survey of 111 brands for 1992 but would have been ranked third on a pro forma basis. However, the '93 numbers ranked Big Blue dead last on the expanded list of 290 brands, with a negative brand value.
Financial World's valuations are based on branded products' worldwide sales, profitability and growth potential minus costs such as plants, equipment and taxes.
A brand with huge manufacturing expenses hit by a big sales shortfall could slip into a negative value. That's what happened at IBM in '93, according to Financial World.
"IBM, once synonymous with U.S. business acumen, now has a negative value," the magazine writes in its Aug. 2 issue. IBM had a disastrous financial year in '93, posting an $8.9 billion restructuring charge and a net loss of $8 billion.
While revenue dipped 3%, IBM officials point out buyers still chose the brand to the tune of $62.7 billion in revenue, three times IBM's closest computer rival.
"IBM's a strong brand and a very healthy brand," said an IBM spokesman.
For Marlboro, price cuts helped topple Philip Morris Cos.' ubiquitous brand from the top slot and undercut its value 36% to $33 billion in this year's ranking.
Still, Philip Morris is praised by the magazine for its marketing gamble. With prices back to previous levels, Financial World predicts it will challenge Coca-Cola for the No. 1 slot next year.
Also taking a big leap over last year was Grand Metropolitan's Green Giant, posting a 188% increase to $400 million in brand name value after lowering fixed costs while increasing marketing and promotion; Tupperware was up 80% to $1.2 billion; and Sega Enterprises' Sega-Genesis brand value jumped 59% to $1.8 billion.
Notable decreases include PC marketer Apple Computer, with an 80% decrease to $741 million; Maytag Corp.'s Hoover brand, tumbling 79% to $15 million; Molson Breweries, down 29% to $134 million; and H.J. Heinz Co.'s Weight Watchers, dipping 27% to $86 million.
Not all high tech companies were plagued by Big Blue and Apple's malaise. Electronics giant N.V. Philips slashed operating costs and saw the value of its brand rise 200% to $1.4 billion.
"In these volatile times, chief executives are finding it harder than ever to protect what is arguably one of a company's most valuable assets, the brand name," said Douglas McIntyre, president and editor in chief of Financial World.