Consumer Products

Apple Named Top Corporate Brand With $170 Billion Value

Douglas A. McIntyre

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was named the most valuable global brand in the 2015 Interbrand World’s Best 100 Global Brand survey, with a value of $170 billion, up 43%. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was second at $128 billion, up 12%. The fact that a brand as valuable as Apple could rise so far is a testament to the growth of the iPhone and Apple’s growing domination of the smartphone industry.

Third on the list was Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) at $78 billion, probably due to the falling popularity of sugary drinks. Its value dropped 4%. A resurgent Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) moved it higher by 11% to $67 billion. The value of deeply troubled International Business Machine Corp.’s (NYSE: IBM) brand fell 10% to $65 billion. It has contended with losses, dropping revenue and an erosion of relevance in the tech world. Next on the list was Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), with a value of $49 billion, up 16%, followed by Samsung at $45 billion. Its value was flat, perhaps due to the market share it has lost to Apple in the smartphone industry.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was next at $43 billion, down 7%. Its long-promised turnaround has never materialized as its juggles it divisions in an attempt to attract Wall Street’s positive attention. It was followed on the list by fading fast-food chain McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) at $38 billion, down 6%. The fast-food chain continues to post negative same-store sales. Last in the top 10 was Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the remarkably successful e-commerce company that now has a dominant position in streaming media and cloud services. Its value rose 29% to $37 billion.

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Other notables on the list include Volkswagen, at 35th, down 9% to $13 billion. The value of the brand will drop hugely next year, due to a cheating scandal. Several car brands already sit ahead of it, with BMW in the 11th spot at $37 billion, up 9%. Mercedes was 12th with a value of $36 billion, up 7%. Although the two luxury brands have much smaller revenue than car companies with broader collections of auto and trucks, BMW and Mercedes have revenue sizes larger than companies with more unit sales, and the two company’s profits prove the value of exclusive brands when it comes to margins. Among other car companies with brand values that were high Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), with a brand value of $23 billion, up 6%.

Among the brands with the largest percentage increases, Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) brand value rose 55% to $22 billion, and Hermes rose 22% to $10 billion.

Among the brands that had the biggest losses in value, Gucci dropped 9% to $9 billion. Thomson Reuters Corp. (NYSE: TRI) dropped 12% to $7 billion, and Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) dropped 9% to $6 billion. The copier company has been plagued by falling sales and losses. It has been unable to find its way up from the low end of the tech industry. The value of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) dropped 9% to %6 billion. Its sales have fallen due primarily to declining demand for its large commercial vehicles.

Based on their sales and position within their industries, the Interbrand 2015 World Best Brands matches how well the brands have done within the past year or two.

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Interbrand’s brand valuation methodology seeks to provide a rich and insightful analysis of your brand, providing a clear picture of how your brand is contributing to business results today, together with a road map of activities to ensure that it is delivering even more tomorrow.

The brand valuation model also provides a framework within which one-off business case modeling can be conducted to evaluate brand strategy options-such as positioning, architecture, and extension-and make the business case for brand change.

Finally, when Interbrand conducts valuations for financial reasons, we provide strategic branding recommendations, in addition to delivering a rigorously analyzed and defendable valuation number. This delivers value to the business–beyond the knowledge of the valuation amount.