Apple is top global brand, overtakes Google

Apple regains the top position, overtaking Google, in this year’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking.

. Apple is growing by 67 per cent, to record a total brand value of US$247 billion; compared with Google growing at just 9 per cent to $173.7 billion.

Microsoft is third, with value growth of 28 per cent and with a brand value of $115.5 billion, according to a summary of this year's ranking.

Apple’s growth has been driven by successful sales of the iPhone 6. The brand is once again seen as leading the curve with an approach that generates real benefits for consumers, making life easier in a fun and relevant way.

The fastest riser in the BrandZ Top 100 is Facebook, growing 99 per cent to $71.1 billion. This was attributed to the social network’s successful strategy of acquiring other social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp. This was also boosted by its, understanding of how to monetise and cross-sell its acquired platforms by selling optimal advertising solutions to businesses with a specific target audience.

The dividing line between what services we want to use as consumers and those that businesses need has been steadily whittled away and is now effectively meaningless.

The success of Apple, Google and the other tech brands in this year’s listing also reflects the power of the technology sector, which grew the total valuation of the Top 20 brands by 24 per cent to just over $1 trillion.

Retail was the only category to match this performance, growing by the same percentage.

Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba entered the retail ranking at $66.4 billion, helping to grow the retail category ranking by 24 per cent and overtaking both Amazon and Walmart.

The report notes the most valuable retail brands Alibaba and Amazon, which lack physical stores, are now worth more than Walmart, which has 11,000 stores worldwide.

The BrandZ analysis has also identified that the traditional dividing line between business to consumer brands and business to business services has disappeared, as technology tools that were once the sole preserve of businesses become critical to consumers too and vice versa.

The transition to cloud computing in particular has dramatically changed business models and caused brands to cross the dividing line.

This trend is exemplified by Google and Microsoft. The former is entering the telecoms market to become more valuable to business clients while the latter is now making tools and services such as Windows 10 available for free in order to add value to a consumer audience.

“The dividing line between what services we want to use as consumers and those that businesses need has been steadily whittled away and is now effectively meaningless. Whether we store our pictures or our spreadsheets in the cloud, the product benefit of always-on access is the same. Tech brands are the first sector to have to recognise that while we may be business decision makers we are also consumers,” says Elspeth Cheung, Global BrandZ Valuation Director at Millward Brown.

New entries to the top 20 tech brands this year are China’s rising telecom infrastructure provider Huawei and marketing platform company Adobe, valued at $7.4 billion.

Top 20 Most Valuable Global Technology Brands

1. Apple

2. Google

3. Microsoft

4. IBM

5. Tencent

6. Facebook

7. Baidu

8. SAP

9. HP

10. Oracle

11. Samsung

12. Accenture

13. Intel

14. Cisco

15. Siemens

16. Huawei

17. LinkedIn

18. Twitter

19. Sony

20. Adobe

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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