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The top global brand rankings are out, and tech companies top the list

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York City.
Reuters/Mike Segar
Moving up.
By Ashley Rodriguez
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This post has been corrected.

Technology companies continue to reign among the most valuable brands in the world, a new report shows.

Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, released its annual Best Global Brands report on Monday, with Apple and Google topping the list for the third year in a row.


The study, which is in its 16th year, assigns dollar values and ranks to what it deems the top 100 global brands, based on company performance. The Interbrand analysis—which considers a brand’s financial performance, influence on consumer behavior, and staying power relative to peers—provides a contrast to the market’s valuations of the companies.

The analysis valued Apple at $170 billion this year, a 43% boost from 2014, driven by strong sales performance and financial growth, as well as the deep connection Apple’s products have to the overarching brand.

Meanwhile, Google’s brand value rose 12% to $120 billion, according to the study, which did not factor in the creation of the parent company Alphabet last week.

The pair have both shot up the rankings in recent years to overtake Coca Cola, IBM, and Microsoft for the top spots. Amazon, which is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, came in at number 10. Facebook, in the 23rd spot, also showed strong growth, with a 54% boost to its brand value.

Jonathan Redman, senior director at Interbrand in San Francisco, told Quartz that tech companies are benefiting from being able to go to market quickly with new value-driven services that consumers never even knew they needed.“Technology companies are fast-moving because they’re heavily rooted in an operating model that can be disrupted,” he said.

While the tech sector saw strong gains this year, it also had its losses. IBM’s brand value fell 10%, although it was still among the top five most valuable brands, and Nokia and Nintendo fell off the list entirely.

Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating scandal contributed to a 9% drop in the brand’s value this year, Mr. Redman said, adding that it was one of the few brands to be impacted by a single, major incident this year. The automaker’s unfolding scandal hurt financial projections for the brand and damaged its reputation.

A handful of new brands also joined the ranks this year: Danish toy-maker Lego secured the 82nd spot thanks to ventures such as The Lego Movie, which extended the brand’s. “The Lego brand really has matured,” said Mr. Redman. “They’ve taken the best of all they stood for, modernized it, and also created the proper profile in today’s world.”

Newcomers PayPal, which split from eBay this year, came in at 97, followed by the German car brand MINI, the luxury liquor brand Moët & Chandon, and the Chinese technology firm Lenovo, which closed out the list.

Correction (Oct. 5): An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Lego as a Dutch toy-maker; it is Danish.

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