Apple, Google top brands list with record values exceeding US$100bn

Interbrand's Best Global brands annual list also shows technology brands to be both winners and losers

Apple and Google have again topped the list of the world’s best global brands with brand values exceeding US$100 billion (AUD$114.4bn) for the first time.

The Best Global Brands annual list, produced by Interbrand, valued the Apple brand at US$118.bn, a leap of 21 per cent year-on-year. Google, meanwhile, chalked up a brand value of $107.43bn in 2014, an increase of 15 per cent compared to last year’s figures.

As well as reaching the US$100bn milestone, this year’s list is also the first to feature a Chinese company in the top 100. Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications and network equipment provider, took 94th spot in 2014, with 65 per cent of revenues coming from outside its home nation. Other new entrants on the list this year include DHL (81st), Land Rover (91st), FedEx (92nd) and Hugo Boss (97th).

A host of brands also reported stronger-than-average growth over the past year. Despite mixed views on the company’s ability to continue attracting a younger audience, Facebook again exceeded financial expectations in Q2 this year and saw its brand value lift by 86 per cent as a result. The social media network sits in 29th position on this year’s list.

Fellow digital disruptor, Amazon, which took 15th position this year, recorded a 25 per cent lift in brand value over the past 12 months. Thirteen of the 100 companies list this year are from the technology sector, which proved the most valuable category overall, Interbrand stated.

The top risers list also contains several car manufacturers: Audi, which took 45th spot this year after a 27 per cent increase in its brand value; Volkswagen, which saw its brand value rise 23 per cent off the back of ongoing innovation and design and now sits in 31st position; and Nissan, which recorded 23 per cent brand value growth and which sits at 56th position on the list.

New digital firms may be continuing to shine, but it was technology industry stalwarts who suffered the biggest dip in fortunes this year. The brand values of IBM, HP and Intel all dipped by 8 per cent year-on-year.

The biggest losers were Nokia (44 per cent drop) and Nintendo, which sits last on the list and recorded a 33 per cent fall in brand value in 2014.

The Best Global Brands list is based on several key attributes, including financial performance, customer influence and the brand’s ability to uphold a premium price or secure earnings for the company.

Check out last year’s results for a comparison on the winners and losers.

Rank Top 10 brands Value (US$bn) 2013 rank Brand growth
1 Apple $118.86 1 21%
2 Google $107.44 2 15%
3 Coca-Cola $81.56 3 3%
4 IBM business services $72.24 4 -8%
5 Microsoft $61.50 5 3%
6 GE $45.46 6 15%
7 Samsung $45.40 8 15%
8 Toyota $42.39 10 20%
9 McDonald's $42.25 7 1%
10 Mercedes-Benz $34.33 11 8%

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