Apple, Google take top spots on best global brands list

For the third consecutive year, Apple and Google have topped the annual Interbrand Best Global Brands report


The report, which released Monday, estimates the value of the Apple brand at $170.3 billion, up 43% from last year. Photo: Bloomberg
The report, which released Monday, estimates the value of the Apple brand at $170.3 billion, up 43% from last year. Photo: Bloomberg

Madison Avenue may be the center of the advertising industry, but Silicon Valley is home to the most valuable brands.

For the third consecutive year, Apple and Google top the annual Interbrand Best Global Brands report.

The report, which released Monday, estimates the value of the Apple brand at $170.3 billion, up 43% from last year. The Google brand, at $120.3 billion, increased in value by 12%. (The value of Facebook’s brand, ranked No. 23, increased 54% to $22 billion, the highest percentage increase from last year’s report.)

As data and technology continue to reshape advertising, the creative side of the business has been trying to keep pace. Changes in how ads are bought and sold—along with the ability to target consumers based on their preferences, behaviour and other online data—have forced the advertising industry to re-examine marketing fundamentals, including branding.

During the 12th annual Advertising Week conference last week in New York, there was a focus on the power of brands. One event, “Do Brands Still Matter?”—which featured leaders from Coca-Cola, Facebook and the agency Ogilvy and Mather—seemed in particular to underscore the creative industry’s insecurity.

Jez Frampton, the global chief executive of Interbrand, says brands still matter.

“Nowadays, in order to succeed in any marketplace, you not only have to have a great business idea, you have to have a great brand,” Frampton said in a recent interview.

The technology industry dominated the Interbrand list this year, representing more than one-third of the report’s overall value. Including No. 1 Apple and No. 2 Google, technology brands filled four of the report’s top 10 spots. Microsoft climbed a notch to No. 4, bumping IBM to No. 5; Samsung remained at No. 7. Interbrand classifies IBM as a business services brand, and Amazon, at No. 10, as a retail brand.

“All the brands in the top are there for a very good reason,” Frampton said. “They’ve either transformed or made better how we live our lives.”

Rounding out the top 10 were Coca-Cola, at No. 3; Toyota, at No. 6; General Electric, at No. 8; and McDonald’s, at No. 9.

Interbrand determines the rankings and brand valuations using factors that include how much revenue a company earns from a branded product, how big a role a brand plays in influencing its consumers’ decisions and brand loyalty.

Other notable brands on this year’s list include the German automaker Volkswagen, which dropped to No. 35 from No. 31 and lost 9% of its value. Volkswagen recently admitted that it sold 11 million cars equipped with devices programmed to cheat on emissions tests. Its ranking reflects sentiment after the scandal.

Lenovo squeaked into the report for the first time, at No. 100, becoming the second Chinese brand to make the list after Huawei, a phone maker, appeared last year.

Other new entrants include Lego, PayPal, Mini and the Champagne brand Moet and Chandon.

Pizza Hut, Gap, Nokia, Nintendo and Duracell fell out of the top 100.

©2015/The New York Times

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