Apple Tops List of World’s Most Valuable Brands

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) sat atop a new list of the world’s most valuable brands. However, rival Samsung’s value surged as it gained on and then took the lead over Apple in the smartphone industry. The list from brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance had among its top 10 brands ones that have become mainstays on brand value lists.

Apple’s brand value reached $104.7 billion, which was up 20% from the previous year. Samsung’s value trailed at $78.8 billion, but that value rose 34%. Brand Finance analysts commented:

Apple’s dominance is being challenged by Samsung however. The Korean giant’s improving reputation for reliability, a faster pace of innovation and wider range of devices are among many factors that have seen its brand value increase by US$20 billion to US$79 billion this year.

Third on the list was Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) with a brand value of $68.6 billion, up 32%. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was fourth at $62.8%, up 38%. Fifth on the list was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), which posted the top percentage gain among the top 10, up 74% to $53.5 billion. Sixth was General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) at $52.5 billion, up 41%. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was in seventh place, up 49% to $45.4 billion. Eighth place was taken by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), up 23% to $45.1 billion. Ninth was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), up 6% to $44.8 billion. And tenth was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), which rose 10% to $41.5 billion.

Among the metrics used to measure Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index were “desirability, loyalty and consumer sentiment to visual identity, online presence and employee satisfaction.”

The survey also showed:

US brands continue to dominate the Brand Finance’s list, occupying 185 brands of the 500 spots. Japan is second. Despite Japanese brands having dropped out of the table, the total for the country as a whole is up thanks to brand value increases of over 30% from Japan’s three biggest brands; Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. President Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ programme has begun to pay off and global demand for Japanese goods is improving. Germany, France and the UK complete the top 5. Despite China’s status as the world’s second biggest economy, it is 6th in terms of total brand value as its brands are still developing. Huawei and Baidu have both increased their brand values by over 50%. While controversial for their close associations with the Chinese government, both are likely to exert increasing influence around the world in the next few years.

Banks were at the top of brand value by industry at $633 billion, followed by technology at $614 billion.

The top 20:

The World’s Most Valuable Brands (Top 20)
Rank 2014 Rank 2013 Brand Country Brand Value 2014 (USD bn) Brand Rating 2014 Brand Value Change (USD bn) Brand Value Change (%) Brand Value 2013 (USD bn) Brand Rating 2013
1 1 Apple US     104.68 AAA 17.38 20%     87.30 AAA
2 2 Samsung South Korea        78.75 AAA 19.98 34%     58.77 AAA
3 3 Google US        68.62 AAA+ 16.49 32%     52.13 AAA+
4 4 Microsoft US        62.78 AAA 17.25 38%     45.53 AAA-
5 10 Verizon US        53.47 AAA- 22.74 74%     30.73 AA+
6 7 General Electric US        52.53 AA+ 15.37 41%     37.16 AA
7 11 AT&T US        45.41 AA 15.00 49%     30.41 AA+
8 8 Amazon US        45.15 AAA- 8.36 23%     36.79 AAA-
9 5 Walmart US        44.78 AA+ 2.48 6%     42.30 AA+
10 6 IBM US        41.51 AA+ 3.79 10%     37.72 AA+
11 15 Toyota Japan        34.90 AAA- 8.92 34%     25.98 AA+
12 9 Coca Cola US        33.72 AAA+ -0.48 -1%     34.20 AAA+
13 20 China Mobile Hong Kong        31.84 AA+ 8.55 37%     23.30 AA
14 n/a T Germany        30.61 AA 9.06 42%     21.54 AA+
15 14 Wells Fargo US        30.24 AAA- 4.20 16%     26.04 AA+
16 13 Vodafone UK        29.61 AAA- 2.60 10%     27.01 AAA
17 21 BMW Germany        28.96 AAA 5.73 25%     23.24 AAA
18 12 Shell Netherlands        28.57 AA+ -1.18 -4%     29.75 AAA-
19 17 Volkswagen Germany        27.06 AAA- 3.40 14%     23.67 AAA-
20 22 HSBC UK        26.87 AAA 4.01 18%     22.86 AAA-
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