Google is the most valuable brand in the world, with a value of $245.6 billion, based on BrandZ’s annual listing of the most valuable brands in the world, according to a report published today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
Technology companies dominated the top of the ranking, with four in the top five. Apple was second at $234.7 billion in brand value, followed by Microsoft ($139.3 billion). Facebook was ranked fifth with a value of $129.8 billion.
Amazon, which went public 20 years ago, ascended three ranks to the No. 4 spot. The retailer has a brand value of $139 billion.
Tencent, the Chinese internet portal, rose three ranks to jump into the top 10 at No. 8.
Adidas is the fastest-rising brand, increasing 58% in value, according to the BrandZ ranking, as consumers snapped up its retro sneakers and the brand made operational and marketing changes to bolster its U.S. business.
The top brands — Google and Apple — are worth more than the top 10 combined 12 years ago — $480 billion versus $409 billion.
Retail, the category most susceptible to business disruption, led the ranking in category value growth, climbing 14%, driven by e-commerce, with Amazon and Alibaba up 41% and 20%, respectively, in value.
Nine of the top companies are based in the U.S., and American brands now comprise 71% of the global top 100 value, partly because of the growth in the technology sector. Thirteen of the global top 100 brands are based in China, up from one brand 12 years ago.
The overall value of the BrandZ global top 100 rose 8% to $3.6 trillion, after increasing 3% from a year earlier.
BrandZ uses worldwide quantitative consumer research to rank global brands based on estimated value of the brand, rather than corporate operations. BrandZ’s valuation estimates cover 3 million consumers and 120,000 brands in 51 countries. Annual profit figures were obtained from each company’s most recent financial report. When a brand was part of a subsidiary, the net income and headquarters listed apply to that brand’s parent company. For non-U.S.-based companies, financial figures were converted to U.S. dollars.