Apple retains crown as world's most valuable brand as Facebook value sinks

Apple: iPhone XS spot
Apple: iPhone XS spot

Apple has beaten Google to the top, with Amazon in third place.

Apple has held off Google to remain the world's most valuable brand, according to Interbrand's 2018 Best Global Brands report.

According to the ranking, Apple’s brand value grew 16% year on year to $214.5bn – the first time the $200bn mark has been surpassed. In second place, Google was up 10% to $155.5bn, while Amazon, valued at $100.8bn, retained third place, up 56% and the fastest-growing brand on the list.

Microsoft at number four (valued at $92.7bn) and Coca-Cola ($66.3bn) complete the top five.

However, the year of the "techlash" was not without its casualties: Facebook, in ninth spot, suffered a 6% decline in brand value compared with 2017 in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. It ends a sequence of five years in which Facebook was the fastest-growing brand.

Companies enjoying a rapid ascent include Netflix, up 45% on its 2017 brand value, Gucci (up 30%), Salesforce.com (23%) and Louis Vuitton (23%).

Spotify is the highest new entrant that has never appeared on the list before, with the music-streaming service landing at number 92 on the list, while Japanese carmaker Subaru completes the ranking in 100th place. Re-entrants include Chanel (23rd), Hennessy (98th) and Nintendo (99th).

"A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest are those that intuitively understand their customers and make brave iconic moves that delight and deliver in new ways," Charles Trevail, global chief executive of Interbrand, said.

Christian Purser, chief executive of Interbrand London, added: "Leading brands are more customer-obsessed than ever, bringing the voice of the customer into every aspect of their business, making bold moves and taking calculated risks based on customer understanding. The fastest-growing brands across the last five years of the study are typically the most relevant to people’s lives and the most responsive to their changing needs."

The report, now in its 19th year, bases its valuation on three areas of analysis: the financial performance of the branded products or services; the role the brand plays in purchase decisions; and the brand’s competitive strength and its ability to create loyalty, sustaining demand and profit into the future.

'Activating brave'

With the latest iPhone having hit the market, Apple has stormed to the top of the pile, and Trevail argues that the company "continues to set the standard for what it means to be a world-class brand in the 21st century and respond to today’s ever-changing customer expectations".

Mike Rocha, global managing director at Interbrand Economics, added that Apple has performed "exceptionally" against the criteria of driving consumer choice, its strength relative to competition and its profitability.

"As the first $1tn company by market capitalisation, Apple has proved highly adept at maximising the value from its hero product, the iPhone, exemplified by its recent launches of the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. At the same time, it is tapping into the desire for useful apps and services, with sales from its services division growing by 23% to $30bn in the 2017 fiscal year," Rocha said.

"Apple continues to reinforce its premium and luxury credentials through its X range of phones and new or enhanced devices such as the Home Pod and Apple Watch 4, whilst at the same time continuing to redefine retail with its ‘town square’ experience concept, where people can unlock their creativity and productivity through ‘Today at Apple’ interactive learning sessions."

The focus of this year’s study is "activating brave" and brands that are responding to the needs of the marketplace while pursuing a clear and aligned long-term vision. Interbrand cites the recent example of Nike’s controversial campaign featuring NFL star Colin Kaepernick – something that it describes as a "huge calculated risk".

The top 100 in full

Rank 

Brand

Sector

Value ($m)

% change

1

Apple

Technology

214,480

16%

2

Google

Technology

155,506

10%

3

Amazon

Retail

100,764

56%

4

Microsoft

Technology

92,715

16%

5

Coca-Cola

Beverages

66,341

-5%

6

Samsung

Technology

59,890

6%

7

Toyota

Automotive

53,404

6%

8

Mercedes-Benz

Automotive

48,601

2%

9

Facebook

Technology

45,168

-6%

10

McDonald's

Restaurants

43,417

5%

11

Intel

Technology

43,293

10%

12

IBM

Business services

42,972

-8%

13

BMW

Automotive

41,006

-1%

14

Disney

Media

39,874

-2%

15

Cisco

Technology

34,575

8%

16

GE

Diversified

32,757

-26%

17

Nike

Sporting goods

30,120

11%

18

Louis Vuitton

Luxury

28,152

23%

19

Oracle

Technology

26,133

-5%

20

Honda

Automotive

23,682

4%

21

SAP

Technology

22,885

1%

22

Pepsi

Beverages

20,798

2%

23

Chanel

Luxury

20,005

New

24

American Express

Financial services

19,139

8%

25

Zara

Apparel

17,712

-5%

26

JP Morgan

Financial services

17,567

12%

27

Ikea

Retail

17,458

-5%

28

Gillette

FMCG

16,864

-7%

29

UPS

Logistics

16,849

3%

30

H&M

Apparel

16,826

-18%

31

Pampers

FMCG

16,617

1%

32

Hermès

Luxury

16,372

15%

33

Budweiser

Alcohol

15,627

2%

34

Accenture

Business services

14,214

14%

35

Ford

Automotive

13,995

3%

36

Hyundai

Automotive

13,535

3%

37

Nescafé

Beverages

13,053

3%

38

eBay

Retail

13,017

-2%

39

Gucci

Luxury

12,942

30%

40

Nissan

Automotive

12,213

6%

41

Volkswagen

Automotive

12,201

6%

42

Audi

Automotive

12,187

1%

43

Philips

Electronics

12,104

5%

44

Goldman Sachs

Financial services

11,769

8%

45

Citi

Financial services

11,577

9%

46

HSBC

Financial services

11,208

6%

47

Axa

Financial services

11,118

0%

48

L'Oréal

FMCG

11,102

4%

49

Allianz

Financial services

10,821

8%

50

adidas

Sporting goods

10,772

17%

51

Adobe

Technology

10,748

19%

52

Porsche

Automotive

10,707

6%

53

Kellogg

FMCG

10,634

-3%

54

HP

Technology

10,433

9%

55

Canon

Electronics

10,380

6%

56

Siemens

Diversified

10,132

1%

57

Starbucks

Restaurants

9,615

10%

58

Danone

FMCG

9,533

2%

59

Sony

Electronics

9,316

10%

60

3M

Diversified

9,104

2%

61

Visa

Financial services

9,021

15%

62

Nestlé

FMCG

8,938

2%

63

Morgan Stanley

Financial services

8,802

7%

64

Colgate

FMCG

8,659

4%

65

Hewlett Packard

Technology

8,157

-9%

66

Netflix

Media

8,111

45%

67

Cartier

Luxury

7,646

1%

68

Huawei

Technology

7,578

14%

69

Santander

Financial services

7,547

13%

70

Mastercard

Financial services

7,545

19%

71

Kia

Automotive

6,925

4%

72

FedEx

Logistics

6,890

10%

73

PayPal

Financial services

6,621

22%

74

Lego

FMCG

6,533

-7%

75

Salesforce.com

Business services

6,432

23%

76

Panasonic

Electronics

6,293

5%

77

Johnson & Johnson

FMCG

6,231

3%

78

Land Rover

Automotive

6,221

2%

79

DHL

Logistics

5,881

3%

80

Ferrari

Automotive

5,760

18%

81

Discovery

Media

5,755

6%

82

Caterpillar

Diversified

5,730

18%

83

Tiffany & Co

Luxury

5,642

5%

84

Jack Daniel’s

Alcohol

5,641

6%

85

Corona

Alcohol

5,517

16%

86

KFC

Restaurants

5,481

3%

87

Heineken

Alcohol

5,393

4%

88

John Deere

Diversified

5,375

12%

89

Shell

Energy

5,276

9%

90

Mini

Automotive

5,254

3%

91

Dior

Luxury

5,223

14%

92

Spotify

Media

5,176

New

93

Harley-Davidson

Automotive

5,161

-9%

94

Burberry

Luxury

4,989

-3%

95

Prada

Luxury

4,812

2%

96

Sprite

Beverages

4,733

-2%

97

Johnnie Walker

Alcohol

4,731

7%

98

Hennessy

Alcohol

4,722

New

99

Nintendo

Electronics

4,696

New

100

Subaru

Automotive

4,214

New

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