Apple remains the most valuable brand in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with Google, Coca-Cola and Microsoft holding onto the #2, #3, and #4 positions, respectively, according to Interbrand’s annual rankings [download page]. The report indicates that nine of last year’s top 10 brands remain in the top 10 list this year, with McDonald’s dropping from 9th to 12th, replaced by Mercedes Benz.
Among this year’s top 10 brands, Amazon experienced the biggest jump in brand value, increasing by 33% to more than $50 billion and in so doing jumping 2 spots to 8th. Only 2 of the top 10 brands experienced a decline in brand value: Coca-Cola (-7% but steady in the #3 spot) and IBM (-19%, dropping a spot to #6).
Of course, the Interbrand report isn’t limited to the top 10 brands, instead measuring the top 100 worldwide. Among those, special note must be given to Facebook, which was easily the fastest-growing. With its 48% year-over-year increase in brand value, Facebook moved up from the 23rd position last year to the 15th this year. Facebook’s growth has been quite impressive: just 3 years ago it was the 52nd-most valuable brand in the world.
Considering that it is already in the top 10, Amazon’s 33% growth – which measures as the second-fastest of the top 100 – was also quite impressive.
Other fast-growing brands include LEGO (+25%), Nissan (+22%), Adobe (+21%) and Starbucks (+20%).
This year’s fastest-growing sector was retail (+18.8% in brand value), which was represented by Amazon, eBay and IKEA. Luxury (+10.4%) and Sporting (+10.2%) also saw double-digit growth in brand value, with Automotive (+9.5%) close behind.
The full report – which contains analyses of growth drivers – can be downloaded here.
About the Data: When determining the top 100 most valuable brands each year, Interbrand examines three key aspects that contribute to a brand’s value:
- The financial performance of the branded product and service;
- The role the brand plays in influencing customer choice; and
- The strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.
Interbrand also notes that inclusion in the list requires that:
- “At least 30 percent of revenue must come from outside the brand’s home region.
- It must have a significant presence in Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as broad geographic coverage in emerging markets.
- There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.
- Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s cost of capital.
- The brand must have a public profile and awareness across the major economies of the world.
These requirements – that a brand be global, visible, and relatively transparent with financial results – lead to the exclusion of some well-known brands that might otherwise be expected to appear in the ranking.