Apple, Google Overtake Coke as Best Brands

Tech leads as most valuable sector
By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times
September 30, 2013 Updated: September 30, 2013

Since the ranking’s inception in 2000, Coca-Cola has held the top spot on Interbrand Global’s Best Global Brands report. Not anymore. 

Apple took first place this year with nearly 15 times the brand value it had when it first appeared as number 36 in 2000, the world’s largest brand consultancy found in its report. 

“Every so often, a company changes our lives—not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Apple now ranks No. 1,” stated Jez Frampton, Interbrand CEO. 

Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact—a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again,” he added.

Apple Inc. recently announced updates to the iMac and iPhone, with record breaking sales of 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C phones on the first weekend after the release. Apple’s operating system, iOS, was the only one to grow from May to July this year, according to comScore.

Interbrand measures brand value with three factors. First it makes a five-year financial forecast for the company, looking at revenues and profit. Then it determines the role and influence of the brand (Role of Brand Index) from research, expert assessment, and/or reviewing the history of the brand in its industry. The last method looks at “Brand Strength,” or how effective the brand is at generating customer loyalty on a 1–100 scale, relative to its competitors.

Apple was just one of the many technology brands to rise this year. By moving beyond search with “big bets” like the self-driving car and Google Glass, Google Inc. took second place, increasing its brand value by 34 percent.

“At the speed of business today, innovation often means moving outside of your company’s comfort zone,” Frampton said.

Four out of five of the top rising brands were from the tech sector, including Inc. at number 19 and Facebook Inc. at 52, the only social media brand on the list. Amazon’s brand value rose 27 percent, Facebook’s rose 43 percent. Facebook’s global user base has increased by 26 percent since its initial public offering last year and has also grown advertisement for mobile dramatically over the past 12 months.

Samsung Electronics Co. rose in value as well, leading the tech sector in connectivity and home automation, according to the report. But many notable tech brands fell off the list completely. Yahoo Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. fell off the list. Nokia Corp.’s brand value fell 65 percent, the largest decrease in the history of brands listed in the annual report.

Apart from technology, the report says financial service companies have regained the consumer’s trust. Eight out of the 11 financial companies on the list rose in brand value, with No. 23 American Express posting a 12 percent increase. 

Luxury brands also increased in value. Each of the luxury brands on the list saw its value rise by at least five percent. Prada led the list with a 30 percent increase, due to its widening global audience.

To be included on the list, the brand must have enough public financial information to prove positive economic profit over the long term, with a public profile and awareness “above and beyond its own marketplace.” On the global side, it must also have a presence in at least three major continents, cover emerging markets, and have at least 30 percent of its revenue come from outside its home region.