The World’s Most Valuable Brands

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Brands seem to be part of all aspects of life. Celebrating uniqueness — a core element of any brand — is a greater part of the American experience than ever before, and this has extended to the newest major space for brand development: the internet. Corporations recognize the rising importance of developing a powerful online identity in the era of 24/7 access through computers and smartphones. Successful ones use social media, advertising, and digital marketing effectively to solidify their names and products in the minds of consumers.

It can be hard to precisely measure the full value of a high quality brand, but they are essential to a successful global corporation. Enormous amounts of time and energy are devoted to brand image by businesses around the world not just digitally, but through all available channels.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Interbrand’s report, Best Global Brands 2018, in which the brand consultant group, a subsidiary of advertising conglomerate Omnicom, evaluates global brands based on a range of factors, including: how well a brand is known, how well it is regarded, and how much it contributes to the parent company’s financial success.

The world’s most valuable brands are the faces of corporate giants with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. Such logos include the McDonald’s arches, the Apple apple icon, the Amazon “A” and, of course, the iconic landing pages of companies that have become in some ways synonymous with the internet itself — Google and Facebook. All of these brands are daily sightings and experiences for countless people around the world.

The value and visibility of a brand generally track with a company’s long-term financial performance (to be considered by Interbrand, companies needed to be profitable). But the two measurements are not the same, nor are companies and brands interchangeable terms. The parent companies of Google and Coca-Cola, for example, each own dozens of other brands not necessarily included in Interbrand’s assessment.

24/7 Wall St. listed the 25 most valuable global corporate brands, based on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2018 report. Brand valuation figures are calculated by Interbrand. Corporate annual revenue figures are from the most recent available annual report of the brand’s parent company. Average company salary figures are based on averages from Payscale, a compensation data company. Share price changes are based on the five-year percent change, as obtained from Yahoo Finance. In the case of foreign companies, stock performance or average pay was based on American divisions of these companies, whenever possible.

Source: winhorse / Getty Images

25. Zara
> Brand value: $17.71 billion
> Annual revenue: $29.12 billion
> Average company salary: $44,000
> 5-year stock price change: N/A

The value of Zara’s apparel brand dropped 5% in Interbrand’s ranking to $17.7 billion.

Source: magnez2 / Getty Images

24. American Express
> Brand value: $19.14 billion
> Annual revenue: $27.03 billion
> Average company salary: $86,000
> 5-year stock price change: +44.99%

The only financial services company on this list, the American Express brand is worth about $19.1 billion — up 8% from last year’s Interbrand ranking.

Source: amesy / Getty Images

23. Chanel
> Brand value: $20.00 billion
> Annual revenue: $9.6 billion
> Average company salary: $77,000
> 5-year stock price change: N/A

Juggernaut corporations like Google and Amazon continue to set the tone for the entire brand landscape, making competing for the attention of consumers all the more difficult. Chanel is perhaps an exception — it is the only brand that has never appeared before on Interbrand’s top brands list.

Source: jeepersmedia / Flickr

22. Pepsi
> Brand value: $20.80 billion
> Annual revenue: $63.53 billion
> Average company salary: $73,000
> 5-year stock price change: +33.85%

As is the case in many sectors, a few companies dominate the beverage business in the United States. Pepsi and Coca-Cola continue to be the nation’s soda giants. However, while Pepsi’s brand is valued far lower than Coca-Cola’s, its annual revenue of $63.5 billion in fiscal 2017 far exceeds Coca-Cola’s $35.4 billion revenue.

Source: Vladislav Bezrukov from Walldorf, Germany / Wikimedia Commons

21. SAP
> Brand value: $22.89 billion
> Annual revenue: $28.2 billion
> Average company salary: $97,000
> 5-year stock price change: +82.66%

Subscription-based service companies have in recent years outpaced other business categories in brand value. Technology company SAP is one such company, providing security software and other services to its clients.