"Leadership in an Anxious World" takes on significant meaning for brands in 2020

We met the headwinds of 2020 with agility and empathy for a changing world. Interbrand's 2020 Best Global Brands ranking celebrates the companies that have performed the best over the last 12 months, successfully navigating the shifting business environment. We believe our no. 89 ranking is more about what we do than what we say. Our innovative manufacturing of Face shields and donations to first responders, is just one example of moving at the speed of change.

Stacy German

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic reached Iowa, Stacy German, a licensed practical nurse in Clarion was between patients when she heard some exciting news—donated face shields from John Deere had arrived.

Early in the pandemic much of the personal protective equipment (PPE) focus was on face masks and covering the nose and mouth. But health care workers soon recognized there were also dire shortages of face shields to protect their eyes as well.

In April, John Deere began producing face shields at its Seeding facility in Moline, Illinois, to help address that need. Over 400,000 face shields produced by Deere employees were eventually donated across the United States and Mexico. That effort was recognized this week when John Deere was ranked as one of the Top 100 Best Global Brands in 2020 by Interbrand. The theme of this year's list was "Leadership in an Anxious World".

John Deere employees' efforts to build and distribute the face shields helped frontline healthcare workers in 35 states and at 49 VA facilities.

Less than 24 hours after German and her fellow nurses at the Wright County Health Department received the face shields, the nurses were sent to a nearby meat processing plant to begin testing employees for the virus. As positive results came in, the entire 900-worker facility had to be tested.

"It, the timing of it all, was just crazy," German said. "My husband, Nick, works for Hagie (a John Deere company), so getting the face shields brought a lot of pride for me. But, then, to go out and begin testing just didn't seem real."

Nurses from Interfaith Medical Center

Nurses from Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, receive a shipment of face shields.

In the end, Deere employees' efforts to build and distribute the face shields helped frontline healthcare workers in 35 states and at 49 Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.

In addition to the face shields project, John Deere employees created a series of videos—Keep Us Running—a tribute to essential workers.

Interbrand evaluates companies each year based on financial performance, brand role and brand strength for its Top 100 Best Global Brands ranking. These top brands are worth $2T, growing 9 percent in 2020. John Deere ranked 89th this year with a brand value of $5.3B. The company has been consistently ranked by Interbrand for more than 10 years.