The financial services sector may score poorly in the approval ratings of many Americans overall, but the French-based behemoth AXA and the German-based giant Allianz are bucking that trend.
Each company was named one of the 100 top global brands by Interbrand, a global branding consultancy that recently released its 13th Annual Best Global Brands report.
AXA was ranked No. 58 (a slight decrease from its No. 53 ranking the year before), while Allianz moved up to No. 62, from 67 the year before.
"We were very pleased to hear about the Interbrand ranking and think that such rankings matter greatly," said Jacqueline M. Maher, New York-based head of global specialty & Americas region marketing communications at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, in an email.
"The value of a strong brand to any business is undeniable and in today's market, it is difficult to compete without a strong brand, particularly on a global playing field," she said.
New York-based Interbrand chose the best brands -- Coca-Cola, Apple and IBM were ranked the top three brands overall -- based on the company's financial performance, 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.
Mike Rocha, global director of brand valuation at Interbrand, said in an email that his company looked at "a number of financial service brands, including a range of insurance companies when compiling our report. Allianz and AXA are the only two insurance brands that meet our criteria and have brands of sufficient value to make the ranking."
"Both AXA and Allianz have increased their focus on their customers and their brands, and as a result, have survived the turmoil without damage to the value of their brands," Rocha said. "Whilst the reputational crisis in financial services appears to have affected trust across the sector, it has no doubt hit the banks hardest."
Rocha noted the "One" campaign by Allianz "has taken the opportunity to demonstrate globally a single strong and consistent position to both current and prospective customers."
AXA, he said, "has been focusing heavily on strengthening its service proposition to customers," while noting that the company's efforts in corporate citizenship have further reinforced the brand's image "as trustworthy and dedicated to corporate social responsibility."
AXA was not available to comment on its selection on the ranking.
-- By Anne Freedman
December 17, 2012
Copyright 2012© LRP Publications