Do Great Supply Chains Create Great Brands?

Consider the Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain companies and the 25 top Brandz Top 100 Global Brands. Notice anything?

Gartner Top 25

01. Apple
02. McDonald’s
04. Unilever
05. Intel
06. Procter & Gamble (Gilette/Pampers)
07. Cisco Systems
08. Samsung Electronics
09. Coca Cola Company
10. Colgate-Palmolive
11. Dell
12. Inditex (Zara)
13. Wal-Mart Stores
14. Nike
15. Starbucks
16. PepsiCo
17. H&M
18. Caterpillar
19. 3M
20. Lenovo Group (Old IBM PC Unit)
21. Nestle
22. Ford Motor
23. Cummins
24. Qualcomm
25. Johnson & Johnson

    Brandz Top 25

01. Apple
02. Google
03. IBM
04. MacDonalds
05. Coca Cola
06. AT&T
07. Microsoft
08. Malboro
09. Visa
10. China Mobile
11. GE
12. Verizon
13. Wells Fargo
15. UPS
16. ICBC
17. Vodofone
18. Walmart
19. SAP
20. MasterCard
21. Tencent
22. China Construction Bank
23. Toyota
24. BMW
25. HSBC

Looking at the Gartner top 25 supply chain, 5 of the top 25 are also 5 of the top 25 global brands! In other words, 20% of the leading supply chain companies are also leading brands. Digging deeper, we find that 17 of the top 25 supply chain companies are also top 100 global brands, as mentioned in the BrandZ report. In other words, 68% of great supply chain companies are also leading global brands! Of the 8 companies that are not leading global brands, 3 are consumer good companies that have a large variety of brands (Unilever, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson), 1 is a primarily North American computer hardware provider (Dell), 2 are construction equipment giants and not expected to be a household name (Caterpillar and Cummins), 1 is a multinational manufacturing conglomerate with dozens of consumer and industrial brands (3M), and the last 1 produces chipsets for big-name mobile phone makers (Qualcomm). In other words, the only top 25 supply chain companies that are not top 100 global brands are precisely those companies that are not big consumer market companies or those companies that are conglomerates of a large number of smaller, but sometimes still Billion-dollar plus, companies.

And while it’s true that, at this point, this is just correlation, it’s a very significant correlation. While one may not be able to say that a great supply chain creates a great brand, these results seem to suggest that a great supply chain is needed for a great brand.