Apple has overtaken long-time leader Coca-Cola to become the “world’s most valuable brand” according to an annual report. Google took second spot in a list dominated at the top by tech firms.
The report is from Interbrand, which has ranked Coca-Cola at number one for each of the 13 previous times it has carried out the study. The rankings are based on an estimate of the financial value each brand brings, taking into account how much revenue products using the brand have generated, how much the brands influence consumer purchasing decisions, and what evidence there is that the brand name allows the company to command a higher price for products and services.
The list only covers global brands, which Interbrand defines as ones that are available in at least three of the major continents, have a significant presence in emerging markets, and which generate at least 30 percent of their revenues outside the company’s home region. (That eliminated many telecommunications firms.) The brands also have to be known outside of their own industry and the company behind them must be fundamentally profitable over the long-term.
Apple took the top spot with an estimated brand value of $98.3 billion according to Interbrand. That compares with an actual annual revenue of around $150 billion.
The Apple brand value beat out Google on $93.3 billion, Coca-Cola on $79.2 billion, IBM on $78.8 billion and Microsoft on $59.5 billion. Coca-Cola actually had its highest-ever estimated brand value in the survey: it only lost the top spot because of a dramatic rise by Apple and Google.
Samsung and Intel also made the top ten, and it appears that the way the values are estimated means the sheer money generated by the tech industry may have played almost as much of a role as the inherent strengths of the individual brands.
That said, Interbrand chief Jez Frampton is quoted by the New York Times as saying tech firms are “the poster child of the marketing community” (which is a wonderfully self-referential metaphor.) He also claimed that tech firm products “have literally changed the way we live our lives.”