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BlackBerry near bottom of global-brands ranking

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TORONTO -- The BlackBerry brand that once dominated the smartphone landscape has plummeted nearly to the bottom of the latest ranking of global brands by an international consultancy.

Interbrand said Tuesday Research In Motion's BlackBerry is now 93rd on its list of 100 most valuable global brands, down from 56th in 2011. It put the brand's value at $3.9 billion, down 39 per cent from a year ago.

The top three spots on Interbrand's Best Global Brands report for 2012 are held by Coca-Cola, valued at almost $78 billion; Apple at more than $76 billion and IBM at more than $75 billion.

Both Coca-Cola and IBM were unchanged from the positions they held in 2011, while Apple jumped to No. 2 from No. 8 "thanks to stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets," Interbrand said in a release.

The big drop for BlackBerry, the brand name for products produced by Waterloo.,Ont.-based RIM (TSX:RIM), followed a drop last year to the 56th spot from 54 in 2010. BlackBerry placed 63rd in 2009.

Interbrand noted BlackBerry shipments are down 41 per cent in the past year and the brand's market share now stands at 4.8 per cent globally, compared with 11.5 per cent a year ago.

"In order to survive, the brand must clearly demonstrate its relevance and value in today's crowded smartphone market," said Alfred DuPuy, managing director of Interbrand Canada.

"If BlackBerry can deliver a truly innovative experience designed for today's mobile professional, it will send the message that the brand is committed to the (business to business) market on which it had originally built its success."

Research In Motion has been plagued by coolly received launches for products such as the PlayBook tablet and delays in bringing its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices to market. It has also lost market share to Apple's iPhone and devices running the Android operating system.

Interbrand's methodology in setting up the rankings examines what it says are three key aspects that contribute to a brand's value: the financial performance of the branded products or service; the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice; and the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.

A new entrant to the rankings in 2012 is social media giant Facebook, which enters the report at No. 69 after making headlines with the third-largest IPO in U.S history.

Meanwhile, Google, which retained its spot at No. 4 on the list, experienced a 26 per cent increase in brand value over the last year and now exceeds that of Microsoft, which slipped to fifth on the list from No. 3. Founded in 1974, Interbrand is one of the world's largest branding consultancies with almost 40 offices in 27 countries.

-- The Canadian Press

THE following are the Top 10 on Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Brands, with 2011 rankings in brackets, followed by brand value and per cent change:

1. (1) Coca-Cola Beverages $77.8 billion, up eight per cent.

2. (8) Apple Technology $76.6 billion, up 129 per cent

3. (2) IBM Business Services $75.5 billion, up eight per cent.

4. (4) Google Technology $69.7 billion, up 26 per cent.

5. (3) Microsoft Technology $57.8 billion, down two per cent.

6. (5) GE Diversified $43,682, up two per cent.

7. (6) McDonald's Restaurants $40.1 billion, up 13 per cent.

8. (7) Intel Technology $39.4 billion, up 12 per cent.

9. (17) Samsung Technology $32.9 billion, up 40 per cent

10. (11) Toyota Automotive $30.3 bill, up nine per cent.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 3, 2012 B7

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