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BrandZ-10-Most-Valuable-Global-Brands-May2015Apple is back on top as the world’s most valuable brand, according to the 10th annual “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” report from WPP and Millward Brown. With a total brand value of almost $247 billion, representing a 67% year-over-year rise, Apple soared past Google’s $173.7 billion value (+9%).

In other notable results, Amazon.com’s 3% decline in brand value over the past year dropped it out of the top 10 (to #14), falling a spot behind Alibaba (new entrant), which is now retail’s most valuable brand. Facebook almost doubled in brand value year-over-year, in so doing moving up 9 ranks to the #12 position (6th among technology brands), while Verizon’s 36% increase in brand value vaulted it up 4 spots to the #7 position.

The following is a brief list of other intriguing data points culled from recently-released research.

  • A recent study from D S Simon finds that Twitter (89%) and Facebook (82%) are the social networks that journalists and bloggers most rely on for story ideas, with 84% on average using social networking sites to find leads on the brands they cover. The report also finds some distrust for PR pros, with only 1 in 10 respondents indicating that they are never misled by PR people.
  • Americans have strong views about online privacy, reports the Pew Internet & American Life Project, though they have little confidence about their data being kept private and secure. Few feel as though they have “a lot” of control over their private data, though only around 1 in 10 have adopted more sophisticated steps such as encryption and proxy servers. A separate study from KSM [pdf] finds that consumers are generally uninformed about the data being collected and shared about them.
  • Retail brands can gain incremental clicks on Bing when running brand ads in addition to organic search results, according to a Bing Ads study, with the research also showing that brand ads can keep retail clicks from going to competitors. The travel edition of the study is available here.
  • On a related note, research from Kenshoo indicates that running Google Shopping campaigns and text campaigns together has a halo effect on ROI.
  • Keeping with search, a Conductor report shows that Amazon dominates results for non-branded searches with the term “best,” gaining 14% market share, significantly ahead of the next highest retailer, eBay (4%). This is an area of opportunity for brands to compete with Amazon, per the report.
  • Switching gears, Nielsen says that Liam Neeson is Q1’s most likable endorser on TV, followed by Pierce Brosnan and Matthew McConaughey.
  • Shifting to the press, Rivendell Media’s “2014 Gay Press Report” [pdf] indicates that ad spending in publications (local newspapers, local magazines, local A&E guides, and national magazines) targeted to the LGBT market was up by 6.4% year-over-year in 2014, reaching a new peak of $405.7 million.

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