Every year Interbrand releases a list of the Top 100 global brands — ranking each company on its brand value and then assigning a dollar amount to that value. As such over the years, the Interbrand 100 has become the de facto metric on the strength of a company’s brand. For some time Harley-Davidson has been a stalwart of the Interbrand 100, with the Bar & Shield brand regularly getting the nod from the consultancy’s specialists — after all, how many brands are responsible for enthusiasts tattooing its logo on their body? However the past few years have seen a worrisome trend, as slowly Harley-Davidson has fallen farther and farther down the Interbrand 100 rankings.

On the cusp of falling out of the Top 100 global brands entirely, Harley-Davidson’s position on the Interbrand 100 is truly in jeopardy now, as the Milwaukee company finds itself ranked as the 100th most valuable brand worldwide. While certainly it is an honor for the Bar & Shield to even be mentioned on this list (Harley-Davidson is with some very good company on the Interbrand 100, and of note: Ferrari is ranked 99th), yet its continued downward trend has to be a worrying thought for investors and executives alike.

For a lifestyle company that also happens to sell motorcycles, Harley-Davidson’s core asset essentially is the H-D brand itself. Any change to the brand’s prestige or position, whether it be up or down, should be closely monitored. And while Interbrand says its dollar-value estimation of Harley Davidson’s brand has gone up 7%, we’re certain the bean-counters in Milwaukee have a firmer grasp on that real world dollar amount. Is it more important for Harley-Davidson’s actual brand value to be stronger? Or is it more important for its perception as a brand magnate to continue on? There’s something to chew on in the comments. The Top 100 brands of 2011 are listed below.

Source: Interbrand via Cyril Huse Blog

  • max

    just barely!

    I would have imagined that apple would have been at least top 2.

  • Apple might be the most valuable public company, but a lot of their value is still product driven. When you start looking at the top companies on this list, it’s interesting to note that most of them are in commoditized industries.

  • 76

    SAP before Nike is alittle bit of a surprise, also would have thought HD would have placed higher

  • Never thought that I would see the day that Hyundai had more brand value than Harley Davidson.

    Hope I don’t die laughing.

  • para

    MikeD: Easy to see, why. The one company builds high quality affordable vehicles, the other mostly outdated motorbikes. Heck, it would need an insane world for HD to rate higher (…well, more insane than it is).

  • Let me guess, this was done by a bunch of consultants. No skin in the game.

  • 305ed

    You know who I DON”T see on the list…Ducati, Triumph, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Victory…hmmmmm.

  • Dumb people

    HD still holds far to much value in the minds of americans. It shows that there are far too many sheep in our country that are fine with horribly overpaying for cheap crap that is marketed as being made in america.

  • Backmarker1

    Of course the highest ranking motorcycle company on the list is BMW. Sure, they make a few cars as well, but I’m pretty sure their brand image is mostly defined by the great bikes they make!!

  • Well, Dumb People, H-D is sold out in Germany, a few other European countries and China as well.

  • Steve Lang

    Harley did an incredible job pulling itself out of the bog (and certain death) after the AMF fiasco and has to be one of the greatest marketing, brand recognition and comeback success stories of all time. So I will give credit where credit is due. You have no idea how hard it is for me to say that……..