Apple is back to being the ‘world’s most valuable brand’ reclaiming the title from Google in 2015. A BrandZ report by WPP and Millward Brown report highlighted that Apple increased its brand value to USD 247 billion, reflecting a rise of 67 per cent year on year.
Google, which as at number two, achieved a nine per cent value increase and reached USD 173.7 billion, followed by Microsoft which was worth USD 115.5 billion and had a value growth of 28 per cent.
The report highlighted that though the AppleWatch is a popular product, but it is the iPhone 6 which has been the growth driver for Apple’s brand. Commenting on Apple’s position, Doreen Wang, Millward Brown’s Global Head of BrandZ, says, “Apple continues to ‘own’ its category by innovating and leading the curve in a way that generates real benefits for consumers. It meets their rational and emotional needs, and makes life easier in a fun and relevant way. Apple is clear on what it stands for, and never stops refreshing its message to sustain the difference that makes it so desirable.”
The other brands that featured in the Top 10 were IBM, Visa, AT&T, Verizon, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Marlboro.
There are five Australian brands in the Top 100 compared to four last year. This year Telstra has entered the top 100 for the first time at no. 82 with a brand value of US $12.7 billion. The other Australian brands include Commonwealth Bank (no. 48), ANZ (no. 59), Westpac (no. 84) and Woolworths (no.87).
The number of Chinese brands continues to grow with 14 brands in the Top 100, up from one in 2006, and an increase of 1004 per cent in value. The Chinese e-commerce platform Alibaba entered the ranking at USD 66.4 billion, and overtook both Amazon and Walmart.
The total brand value of the Top 100 in the report now stands at USD 3.3 trillion, a 14 per cent increase on 2014 and a 126 per cent growth over the 10 years since the ranking was first launched.
The fastest growing category is technology which was up by 24 per cent in the last year. The tech brands in the Top 100 are worth more than USD1 trillion, nearly a third of the value of all brands in the ranking.
Facebook has been the fastest riser, with 99 per cent growth that it achieved through its strategy of acquiring and integrating other social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and an understanding of how to monetise and cross-sell its platforms, the report highlighted.
David Roth, WPP said, “Brand value has risen substantially despite a disruptive decade. This is a pivotal moment for brand builders. We’re at the threshold of a new normal, and a changing consumer. The past 10 years of valuing brands proves that investing in creating strong, valuable brands delivers superior returns to shareholders.”