Apple, Google and Amazon are the top three most valuable brands in the world, according to an annual report that underlines the dominance of the US tech companies.
Interbrand, which assigns a dollar value to each brand based on factors such as financial performance and brand strength, ranked Apple first in 2018 with a brand value of $214bn. In August, Apple became the first public company with a trillion dollar valuation.
Apple and Google have held the top two spots for six consecutive years, according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, while Facebook slipped one place in 2018 to ninth after being the fastest growing brand for five years.
Meanwhile brands that made the top 100 in 2017 but were ejected this year included Tesla, Thomson Reuters, Moët & Chandon, and Smirnoff.
Charles Trevail, chief executive of Interbrand, said those brands that were able to respond to the changing needs and expectations of customers were the most successful. “Today we live in a world where consumers have more power than ever, curating their own personal brands in ways we’ve never seen. Brands like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix lead the way in this era by improving our lives in very personal ways.”
Netflix was the only one of the so-called Faang stocks – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – to be outside the top 10, but it is the second fastest growing brand in 2018 after making its debut in the top 100 in 2017.
“[Netflix’s] brave decision to invest in original programming in 2012 has now netted it a staggering 112 Emmy nominations, more than any network or streaming service, and its stock market value is greater than Disney,” Interbrand said.
Amazon was the fastest growing brand, because of its desire to be “the most customer-centric company on Earth”, the report added. “It has reinvented almost every sector … It revamped its Fire Phone to become the Amazon Echo smart speaker, Amazon MP3 to become streaming music service Amazon Music Unlimited, and its 2010 crowdsourcing platform for screenwriters into Amazon Studios’ Emmy Award–winning original TV shows. What’s more, according to Morgan Stanley, Amazon’s fashion business has become the second largest seller of apparel in the US.”
New entrants in the top 100 were the music streaming service Spotify, at No 92, and Subaru at 100. Re-entrants include Chanel at 23 and Nintendo at 99.
More than half of the top 100 came from five sectors – automotive, technology, financial services, luxury, and fast-moving consumer goods.
Luxury was the top performing category, with combined growth of 42%. The most valuable luxury brand in the 2018 rankings was Louis Vuitton, ranked 18 with a value of $28bn.
The most valuable British brand was HSBC, ranked 46, with a brand valued at $11bn.
Interbrand said many of the top performers were subscription based businesses, accounting for 29% of the top 100 brands. “This is because traditional notions of loyalty are eroding as we live in a service-driven economy where access is more important than ownership,” the report said.
The combined value of the top 100 was just over $2tn, according to Interbrand, up nearly 7% from 2017.
Top 10 most valuable brands 2018
1. Apple ($214bn)
2. Google ($155bn)
3. Amazon ($101bn)
4. Microsoft ($93bn)
5. Coca-Cola ($66bn)
6. Samsung ($60bn)
7. Toyota ($53bn)
8. Mercedes-Benz ($49bn)
9. Facebook ($45bn)
10. McDonald’s ($43bn)
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