For the ninth year in a row, Apple tops the list of the most valuable brands in the world. It retains a healthy lead over top companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google, per Interbrand’s latest annual rankings [download page]. And, while all the brands in the top 10 have experienced growth this year, there has been no movement in their positions.
For its part, and as the largest e-commerce retailer in the US, Amazon has kept its hold on the #2 spot this year courtesy of a 24% rise in brand value to $249.2 billion. Microsoft, at #3, grew by 27% in brand value to $210.2 billion. Although Google saw its value decrease slightly last year, it has rebounded this year with 19% growth to hold steady at #4 with a brand value of $196.8 billion.
Staying well out in front of the other brands, Apple’s estimated brand value increased some 26% to $408.3 billion, making its brand value more than Microsoft’s and Google’s combined.
Not one brand in the top 10 experienced a decline in value. That’s a contrast from last year when six brands in the top 10 saw their value decrease. That said, only the top five brands saw double-digit increases, while Coca-Cola (#6, +1%), Toyota (#7; +5%), Mercedes Benz (#8; +3%), McDonalds (#9; +7%) and Disney (#10; +8%) all experienced far less pronounced growth.
The aggregate value of the top 100 brands grew by 15% over last year to reach a total of $2.7 trillion. Moreover, as an illustration of the role the Technology sector has played in this growth, the report points out that the top three brands, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, account for nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of the total value of all the brands in the top 10.
Fastest-Growing Brands and New Entrants
When it comes to the brands that saw the fastest growth in brand value over the past year, no other brand can touch Tesla. The auto brand, which also topped the list of fastest-risers in BrandZ’s most valuable brands this year, saw a phenomenal 184% lift in brand value to $36.3 billion (#14).
Other fast-risers this year include:
- Salesforce: +37% to $14.8 billion (#38);
- Adobe: +36% to $24.8 billion (#21);
- PayPal: +36% to $14.3 billion (#42);
- Microsoft: +27% to $210.2 billion (#3);
- Apple: +26% to $408.3 billion (#1); and
- Nintendo: +26% to $9.4 billion (#70).
This year, only one brand dropped off the top 100 list, making room for the only new entrant, Sephora. The brand enters the list for the first time in the #100 spot with a brand value of $4.6 billion.
The full top 100 list, along with other data and takeaways, 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.
- The brand must have a “Brand Strength Score” equal to or more than 50.
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.