For the ranking, a brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’ revenue is contributed by the brand.
EACH YEAR, valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. For the ranking, a brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’ revenue is contributed by the brand. This is projected into perpetuity and discounted to determine the brand’s value. This year, Google has overtaken Apple to become the “most valuable global brand,” as per the rankings. Just like last year, technology brands dominated the top 10. The ranking is based on interviews with more than three million consumers plus data on the financial and business performance of each company, using data from Bloomberg and the company Kantar Worldpanel. Here, we list the top 10 brands in the world and what makes them valuable…
Brand value: $109.4 bn
Last year’s rank: 2
The last time Google was at the top of the ranking of the most valuable brands in the world was six years ago. Its ranking in the most valuable brands was helped by a 20% growth in ad revenues. As per Brand Finance, the company “remains largely unchallenged in its core search business, which is the mainstay of its advertising income.” Though Google has largely benefitted from increased revenues, its brand strength score is also a factor in its success.
Brand value: $107.1 bn
Last year’s rank: 1
After five years at the top, Apple lost its crown in 2017. As per Brand Finance, Apple “has failed to maintain its technological advantage and has repeatedly disillusioned its advocates with tweaks when material changes were expected.” It further explained that the tech giant has “over-exploited the goodwill” of its customers, namely because of its failure to generate significant revenues from products like the Apple Watch.
Brand value: $106.3 bn
Last year’s rank: 3
Amazon’s significant brand value growth meant it came close to securing the top spot in 2017. It continues to be a force in reshaping the retail market and started to move into physical stores by expanding its Amazon Fresh delivery service, opening brick-and-mortar stores, and launching its checkout-free Amazon Go store.
Brand value: $87 bn
Last year’s rank: 6
AT&T was at the heart of one of the biggest shifts in media in recent years with its $85-billion acquisition of Time Warner. The company overtook Verizon as the most valuable telecom brand. After its 2015 acquisition of DirecTV, it took a mono-brand approach and integrated the two logos, which has helped with its recognition among consumers, as per Brand Finance.
Brand value: $76.2 bn
Last year’s rank: 4
With every new product release, it seems, Microsoft is increasingly trying to go against Apple’s customers. Its advertising is increasingly going after the Cupertino company and its products, like the Surface Studio computer, even look similar to a Mac.
Brand value: $66.2 bn
Last year’s rank: 7
Despite the scandal of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire, the South Korean company went up one spot in the rankings. Financially, it quickly bounced back from the smartphone scandal, buoyed by stellar growth in its chip business. The company faced another scandal to start off 2017, as the group head was arrested in the midst of a corruption scandal.
Brand value: $65.8 bn
Last year’s rank: 5
Verizon dropped down from its fifth spot last year after signing up fewer subscribers than Wall Street analysts expected. It did, however, see its revenue grow. The company made some significant moves to set itself up for the future and grow a media division with the acquisition of Yahoo, video start-up Vessel and media company Complex.
Brand value: $62.2 bn
Last year’s rank: 8
Walmart beat Wall Street analysts’ expectations with revenue reaching $133 billion, driven by a 36% growth in e-commerce sales. It maintained its eighth spot on the ranking from last year. It also made a move to improve its employee welfare and started to pay them more last year. The retailer is already working on its own version of the store of the future.
Brand value: $61.9 bn
Last year’s rank: 17
2016 was a good year for Facebook. In April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined its 10-year plan, which would focus on artificial intelligence, increased connectivity around the world and virtual and augmented reality. The company’s revenue grew by 51% in 2016 and shows no sign of stopping in 2017.
Brand value: $47.8 bn
Last year’s rank: 13
Chinese state-owned bank ICBC is the world’s largest and also the most valuable bank in the world. This year, the bank pulled ahead of Wells Fargo to become the most valuable bank, as well as the most valuable financial brand in the Brand Finance rankings. The bank had steady financial results in 2016 with net profits growing by 1 billion yuan ($145 million).