NEW YORK: Tech firms Apple and Google have leapfrogged Coca-Cola, the beverage giant, to become the world's top two brands, according to a new report.
The Best Global Brands report from brand consultancy Interbrand assesses the financial performance of branded products or services, the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice and the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company. It found that the top 100 global brands were worth a collective $1.5tr.
Coca-Cola has for 13 years headed these rankings, but its brand value changed little in the course of the past year, rising just 2% to $79.2bn, while Apple leapt 28% to reach $98.3bn and Google surged 34% to $93.3bn, lifting them into the first and second spots respectively.
Interbrand attributed Apple's rise to the company's ability to keep the consumer at the centre of everything it did, anticipating what they wanted and breaking new ground in terms of design and performance.
Meanwhile, the increase in Google's brand value was driven by evolutionary changes to its core offerings, such as Search, Android, and Gmail, as well as by innovations like Google Glass and its self-driving car.
The top ten were rounded out, in order, by IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonald's, Samsung, Intel and Toyota.
Jez Frampton, global chief executive officer at Interbrand, said Apple was a company that had changed lives, with its ethos as well as its products. The new leadership team had, he added, "kept Steve Jobs' vision intact" enabling the business to continue to deliver on innovation.
Interbrand also looked at the evolving role of leadership as it relates to brands and argued that leadership must now be shared, with CEOs, CMOs and consumers all having the power to drive the value of the brands they manage or admire.
"Brands that learn to think differently about the role they play in consumers' lives – and how to fulfil that role – have an opportunity to change the world in ways they never imagined," noted Frampton.
Google and Apple were not the only brands to show a sharp rise in this year's report. Facebook, ranked 52nd overall, was the fastest growing brand, with its value up 43% year on year, while Prada, the luxury goods firm, in 72nd spot, was up 28%. E-commerce giant Amazon, in 19th place, also grew significantly, up 27%.
Technology dominated as the most valuable sector overall, with the category achieving a combined brand value of $443.2bn, or around 30% of the total for the top 100. Moreover, seven of the top ten-ranked brands came from tech sector, as did four of the top five rising brands.
But previous category leaders such as Yahoo! and Blackberry fell off this year's ranking entirely, while Nokia experienced the largest decline in brand value in the history of Best Global Brands, falling 65% from 2012.
Data sourced from Interbrand; additional content by Warc staff