Apple Named World's Most Valuable Brand at $184 Billion

Interbrand has issued its annual ranking of the world’s 100 most valuable brands. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) finished first with a valuation of $184 billion, up 3% from 2017. The list is officially known as the “Best Global Brands.”

The brand valuation for Apple comes just as the iPhone 8 and iPhone X hit the market, and Apple held its lead as the world’s most valuable company with a market cap of $806 billion, up 37% in the past year. The pace of the increase makes it among the most successful large-cap companies traded on U.S. exchanges in terms of market cap growth.

Second on the Intebrand list was Google, the search operation of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). It was given a brand valuation of $141 billion, up 6% in the past year. Google continues to hold the top spot among the world’s search engines, although its market share in the world’s largest online market — China — continues to be overshadowed by Baidu. The European Union recently fined Google $2.7 billion for anti-monopolistic practices. Google is working to avoid the fine.

Software giant Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) ranked third with a brand valuation of $80 billion, up 10% from last year. The company has successfully rebuilt itself as a major provider of cloud computing, which relies on its older Windows PC franchise.

Fourth on the list is one of the oldest brands in the top 100. Coke, owned by Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), has a brand value of $70 billion, down 5%. The brand was first introduced in 1886. Coke and other soft drinks have suffered as the public’s tastes have moved toward bottled water and energy drinks.

Fifth on the list, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) posted a big jump in valuation from last year, up 29% to $65 billion. Amazon continues to roil the retail industry as it picks up market share against department stores, grocery operations and consumer electronics.  Part of Amazon’s success continues to be its Prime service of free delivery and streaming media. Amazon recently pushed into brick-and-mortar retail with the buyout of Whole Foods.

Sixth on the list is South Korea consumer electronics giant Samsung, which earned a brand valuation of $56 billion, up 9%. Although best known for its lines of smartphones, including the recently upgraded Galaxy S8, Samsung is also a major manufacturer of high-end television screens, virtual reality electronics and appliances. Samsung appears to largely have put behind it a massive recall of its Galaxy Note 7 due to fire problems.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) finished seventh on the list with a market cap of $50 billion, down 6% from last year. Toyota and Volkswagen have traded off the distinction as the world’s largest car company based on unit sales over the past several years. Toyota’s dominant sales positions include the United States and Japan, while VW’s include the EU and China. VW ranked 4oth on the Interbrand list, with a brand value of $11 billion, up 1%

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) took the largest jump in valuation among the top 100 brands, up 48% to just over $48 billion. The world’s largest social network has over 2 billion monthly users. Its parent company’s value has surged to $500 billion, which makes it the fourth most valuable publicly traded company on the list. It is also the second, after Amazon, still run by its founder — Mark Zuckerberg, who has become one of the world’s richest people.

Mercedes ranked ninth on the Interbrand list at $48 billion. Last year, Mercedes passed perennial luxury car market leader BMW for first place in unit sales. Some of its success has been based on the popularity of its cars and sport utility vehicles in China. Another contributor is a growing line of entry-level cars and crossovers. BMW ranked 13th, flat from last year at $41 billion.

The 1oth place on the Interbrand list goes to badly damaged International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM). Its brand value was pegged at $47 billion, down 11%. IBM recently posted its 21st quarterly decline in revenue. Its efforts to enter cloud computing have been overwhelmed by erosion in its traditional hardware, software and consulting business. Unlike most companies on the top 10 Interbrand list, IBM’s shares have collapsed, down 30% in the past five years

The list continues to show the rise in valuation of tech brands, which has gone on for several years. Seven of this year’s top 10 brands come from the category.

Interbrand pointed out that the top 10 brands represent 42% of all the brand valuation among the top 100. The total value of the top 100 grew 4.2% in 2017.