LONDON: Apple and Google have retained the top spots on Interbrand's 100 Best Brands index for the third year running, fending off Coca-Cola at number three and Microsoft in fourth place.
Volkswagen slipped several places to 35th in the wake of its emissions scandal.
Once again, technology brands dominated the index, which was calculated by looking at financial results, competitor benchmarking, and a brand’s role. Amazon entered the top 10 for the first time, pushing Mercedes into 12th place.
Other non-technology brands in the top 10 included McDonald’s, GE, and Toyota.
According to Interbrand chief strategy officer for EMEA and Latin America Manfredi Ricca, one notable shared trait among the leading brands is they can’t be pigeonholed.
"Brands that are making the biggest changes are brands that are transitioning from being specific to a sector to actually building ecosystems," he explained. "Google, Facebook, Amazon – they are all creating ecosystems focused not on what they do, but on what consumers want. It’s a Copernican revolution."
He added that "this ranking poses the question: are we moving towards a world where it’s no longer about different companies doing different things, but different companies providing an ecosystem from diversified products and service?"
Other noteworthy changes include the re-entry of Lego into the top 100, helped by the brand’s successful expansion into film, digital, and smart licensing.
Chinese smartphone brand Lenovo entered the rankings for the first time, joining Huawei as the only Chinese brands. Ricca predicted that more companies from the country will make the top 100.
"We have seen China as a huge economy, but there’s not a great deal of global Chinese brands," he said. "Huawei and Lenovo are leading this, and it’s not surprising they are tech brands, which [have to be] global by definition. It starts from there."
Luxury brands down
Luxury brands languished in the lower reaches of the index – even digital innovators such as Burberry.
Gucci fell nine places to 50th, while Burberry, Cartier, and Hermes also slipped. Louis Vuitton held onto its position in the top 20.
"In 2009 or 2010, that was a time when brands such as Hermes focused on the value of their product and proving they offered the excellence and had the legitimacy to be called a luxury brand," Ricci said. "A brand such as Hermes has done that very consistently, while Vuitton and Gucci have had to rethink that in past years. They’ve had to embrace a ‘less logo’ vision to go towards a less ostentatious form of luxury."
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This story originally appeared on Marketing.