Never Mind the 'World's Most Valuable Brand.' What's the Sexiest Brand Alive?

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Apple HQ. Yeah, baby.
Apple HQ. Yeah, baby. Credit: Apple Inc. via City of Cupertino

The release today of Interbrand's annual list of the world's most valuable brands—more on that in a moment—calls to mind a Smirnoff ad starring Ted Danson that debuted online this summer and has lately been running on TV. "People might think that Smirnoff is made in Russia, but it's actually made here in America," Danson says. And then he adds, "People also might think that I was named Sexiest Man Alive once. I wasn't. But I could have been. But I wasn't."

Honestly, I kind of felt like I needed a shot of Smirnoff after reading the first few lines of the Interbrand Best Global Brands 2017 report, released today:

Growth has taken on a new form in the Age of You. As new dynamics emerge and change the shape of business by the minute, it demands new ways for organizations to harness and channel that change. But the world's leading brands aren't waiting for change to happen—they're acting rather than reacting, growing rather than maintaining, and mastering Growth in a Changing World.

Got that? Bottom's up! (Hey, how do you say "bottom's up!" in Russian? Where's Paul Manafort when you need him?)

I don't want to question Interbrand's logic in crafting its annual report, which this year runs 68 pages. Basically, per Interbrand,

Having pioneered brand valuation in 1988, Interbrand has a deep understanding of the impact a strong brand has on key stakeholder groups that influence the growth [of] a business—namely both current and prospective customers, employees, and investors. Strong brands influence customer choice and create loyalty; attract, retain, and motivate talent; and lower the cost of financing. Our brand valuation methodology has been specifically designed to take all of these factors into account.

Got that? Bottom's up!

Actually, wait—first, let me propose a toast: To the clever folks at Interbrand, who have figured out how to get their name mentioned in the same breath as, well, some of the world's best brands, year after year. To wit, here's Interbrand's 2017 list:

1. Apple
2. Google
3. Microsoft
4. Coca-Cola
5. Amazon
6. Samsung
7. Toyota
8. Facebook
9. Mercedes-Benz
10. IBM

Is this newsworthy? Apparently yeah, because I'm seeing the list everywhere today. (Never underestimate the eagerness of editors to run stories with "Apple" and "Google" headlines.)

Is it surprising? Uh, not particularly.

What can be learned from it? Um, something something Age of You something something growing rather than maintaining something something Growth in a Changing World.

Is it all kinda arbitrary? Bottom's up!

At any rate, if Interbrand, a division of Omnicom, has been able to pull this brand ranking off for nearly 30 years, there's gotta be money to be made on it, right? That's why I'm introducing the Media Guy World's Most Fuckable Brands list—aka the Sexiest Brands Alive list if you're offended by swears.

I intend to spend the next year or so setting criteria and collecting data before announcing the inaugural list in 2018, but I'm already willing to say that if your HQ is both an architectural wet dream and orifice-like (hello, Apple), well ... yeah, baby.

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