Tech giants consolidate status as world's most valuable brands

The tech quintet of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have for the first time taken the top five places in the latest BrandZ ranking of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, released on Tuesday by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

LONDON: The tech quintet of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have for the first time taken the top five places in the latest BrandZ ranking of the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, released on Tuesday by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

First place Google’s brand is worth $245.6 billion, an increase of 7% from last year, in the ranking, which uses a mix of financial data and consumer research to calculate the contribution a brand itself makes to the company that owns it.

Google pulled slightly further ahead of its rival Apple, up 3% to $234.7 billion, after it narrowly pipped Apple in last year’s ranking. Apple took the top spot in 2015, 2013, 2012, and 2011, while Google led for the four years before this and in 2014.

The biggest grower in the top 10, however, is Amazon, up 41% to $139.3 billion. That change in its brand value helped it leapfrog fifth-placed Facebook, up 27% to $129.8 billion, and draw close to third-placed Microsoft, up 18% to $143.2 billion.

US mobile network AT&T, meanwhile, falls from fourth to sixth place, despite its value growing 7% to $115.1 billion.

"This is the era of internet giants that have developed ever-growing ecosystems that touch and connect consumers, with the overall aim of making life easier, simpler, and better," said Doreen Wang, Kantar Millward Brown’s global head of BrandZ. "These brands also demonstrate great elasticity – they confidently and comfortably play in new territories and new categories to develop and expand their customer bases."

Further down the list, McDonald’s (10th) recorded a second successive year of growth, after three years in which its value fell. It is now worth $97.7 billion, up 10% and its highest figure to date, surpassing the $95.2 billion it clocked in 2012.

But it was more bad news for Coca-Cola (13th), after it last year fell outside the top 10 for the first time. Its value was down a further 2.7% to $78.1 billion, and it remains one place behind cigarette brand Marlboro.

Coke's U.K. marketing director last month told Campaign that the Coca-Cola trademark still had the potential to continue to grow, but acknowledged it would become a smaller part of the company's portfolio over time.

The total value of the top 100 brands rose 8% this year to $3.64 trillion – a third larger than the U.K.’s GDP in 2016 of $2.73 trillion.

The total value of the ranking is up 152% since the list was first compiled in 2006, with the growth driven largely by the giants. This year’s top 10 combined is worth $1.42 trillion – just slightly less than the entire 100 was worth in 2006 ($1.44 trillion). The top 10has grown 249% over the 11-year period.

Another noticeable change is that the list is getting younger, with the average age of included brands falling from 84 to 67 since 2006 – reflecting the growing number of tech brands, including Snapchat (93), YouTube (65), and LinkedIn (79), as well as Chinese brands, led by Tencent (8), Alibaba (14), and China Mobile (17).

This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.

The top 10

Rank 2017

Brand

Brand value 2017 ($m)

Brand value change

Rank 2016

1

Google

245,581

+7%

1

2

Apple

234,671

+3%

2

3

Microsoft

143,222

+18%

3

4

Amazon

139,286

+41%

7

5

Facebook

129,800

+27%

5

6

AT&T

115,112

+7%

4

7

Visa

110,999

+10%

6

8

Tencent

108,292

+27%

11

9

IBM

102,088

+18%

10

10

McDonald’s

97,723

+10%

9

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