Apple has reclaimed a long-running title as the world’s most valuable brand after Google’s stint in the top spot briefly disrupted its reign last year, according to the annual BrandZ ranking compiled by marketing research firm Millward Brown.
Before the search giant ousted it last year, Apple had enjoyed a three-year run at the top of the ranking, which Millward calculates by using market data and millions of consumer surveys to suss out the portion of a company’s value that can be attributed to its brand.
This year, Apple’s brand surged 67% in value to a staggering $247 billion, compared to Google’s 9% jump to $174 billion, propelling the former past the latter by a commanding lead.
A look back at each company’s track record over the past year may provide some indication why. Apple released a hugely hyped smart watch and boasted strong iPhone sales that drove the company to routinely beat earnings expectations. Meanwhile, Google’s scrapping of its Glass headset, overseas regulatory troubles and lackluster earnings may have dented its brand appeal.
Despite that flux, Google still maintained the second-place spot and fared better than around half of those in the top 100.
With Microsoft and IBM following at Google’s heels, tech giants dominate the top ten list, and the study suggests their influence will only continue to grow. At a value of more than $1 trillion, the tech sector makes up a third of the value of the top 100, and it’s seen a 24% uptick in value over the past year.
Chinese Internet giant Tencent, Facebook, Alibaba and Amazon were among the tech and e-commerce companies that fell just short of the top ten.
Nigel Hollis, chief global analyst at Millward, said convenience is the number-one driving power of brands. People want a product that will make their life easier in a meaningful way and one that sets itself apart from competition. That arena is where tech companies excel, he says.
“[The top brands] really meet their needs and come across in a way that people really appreciate, that they love,” Hollis said.
“It’s so difficult for brands to find ways to differentiate themselves and that’s where technology can offer a significant advantage.”
Perhaps that’s why Amazon and Alibaba, two online-only marketplaces, have grabbed up the top two top spots for the retail industry.
Some of the top-ranked also serve as a reminder that despite talk of some legacy corporations struggling to stay ahead of changing audience tastes, these companies are still dominating global forces as a whole.
McDonald’s, for instance, occupied the number 9 spot despite a 5% slide in its brand value. While the fast food empire is revamping its brand in a struggle to woo younger audiences in the United States, it remains the reigning fast food powerhouse with a strong presence overseas.
See the full top ten list below:
Brand value: $247 billion
Last year’s value: $148 billion
Change from last year: 67%
Brand value: $173 billion
Last year’s value: $158 billion
Change from last year: 9%
Brand value: $116 billion
Last year’s value: $90 billion
Change from last year: 28%
Brand value: $94 billion
Last year’s value: $108 billion
Change from last year: -13%
Brand value: $92 billion
Last year’s value: $79 billion
Change from last year: 16%
Brand value: $89 billion
Last year’s value: $78 billion
Change from last year: 15%
Brand value: $86 billion
Last year’s value: $63 billion
Change from last year: 36%
Brand value: $84 billion
Last year’s value: $81 billion
Change from last year: 4%
Brand value: $81 billion
Last year’s value: $86 billion
Change from last year: -5%
Brand value: $80 billion
Last year’s value: $67 billion
Change from last year: 19%
Temmy, a fun loving creative writer, is a graduate of Lead City University. She simply loves life, others and God. Aside writing, she enjoys counselling and encouraging others.
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