4 Best Consumer Brands of 2013

Consultancy firm Interbrand annually bestows top honors to the best global brands. Here are some of this year's top brands in the consumer goods space:

Company

Brands (Ranking) in the Top 100

Percent Change in Brand Value Since 2012

Procter & Gamble
(NYSE: PG  )

Gillette (16)
Pampers (29)

1%

15%

Kellogg
(NYSE: K  )

Kellogg (30)

8%

Colgate-Palmolive
(NYSE: CL  )

Colgate (50)

2%

Source: Interbrand.

Impressively, all four of these brands have secured spots on the Best Global Brands list since its 2001 inception. All four brands have also gained ground on the list since that time.

The highest-ranking consumer brand on the list, Gillette, has climbed from No. 18 in 2001 to its current No. 16. Procter & Gamble acquired the brand in 2005 for $57 billion. P&G is the razors-and-blades market leader in nearly all of the geographies in which it competes. The company commands a 70% share in the global razors-and-blades market, primarily due to the Gillette brand. P&G's lucrative grooming segment, which includes Gillette, brings in 9% of company net sales, and 16% of P&G's net earnings. 

Procter & Gamble's other top brand, Pampers, has skyrocketed to No. 29, up from No. 92 in 2001. It also enjoyed the largest jump in brand value during the past year, climbing 15%. With sales in excess of $10 billion annually, Pampers is P&G's largest brand, and the No. 1 diaper brand worldwide. Pampers are sported by 25 million bundles of joy in more than 100 countries. P&G's baby-care segment captures roughly 35% of the global market. 

The Kellogg and Colgate brands have also soared since 2001, climbing nine and six spots, respectively. Kellogg has strengthened its offerings in cold cereals, warm breakfasts, and snacks. It has introduced several products, such as Special K hot cereal with quinoa, and Special K protein shakes, in response to consumer demand for healthier food. Kellogg brand value increased an impressive 8% in the last year.

Colgate continually reaffirms its commitment to dental health with innovation that reaches beyond its clinical products. One example is Colgate's PreviDent toothpaste, which repairs tooth enamel for cavity-prone teeth. Yet, despite Colgate's innovation, its brand value gained only 2% during the past year.

Do top consumer brands equal satisfied shareholders?
The three companies behind these brands have returned stellar profits to their stockholders over the course of their publicly traded lives. Yet none of these brands have edged out the S&P 500's nearly 25% year-to-date return. In fact, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, and Kellogg have returned roughly 23%, 21%, and 13%, respectively, so far this year. 

Yet, when we look at performance over a longer snapshot of time, all three of these consumer goods giants have outperformed the market.

PG Total Return Price Chart

Source: Data by YCharts.

Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg, and Procter & Gamble returned roughly 178%, 138%, and 118%, respectively, over the most recent decade. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 returned 106% during that same period.

Foolish takeaway
The three companies behind these brands boast a combined 490 years of experience, with Kellogg -- founded in 1906 -- being the youngest of the companies mentioned! The longevity and fortitude of these consumer-goods heavyweights, coupled with their respective brand strengths, has helped them gain worldwide recognition. It also appears to be satisfying their long-term shareholders.

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