NEW YORK: Five technology firms are included in the top five spots of a new ranking of the 100 most valuable brands in the US, which also examines various factors underpinning brand success.

Published by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown, the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands report is said to be the first time that it has focused solely on US brands.

Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are ranked in the top five, followed by Visa (#6), AT&T (#7), McDonald’s (#8), IBM (#9) and Marlboro (#10).

Overall, the report values America’s top 100 brands at $3.16 trillion, with the top ten brands accounting for half of the total, while 19 technology firms are included in the list.

Google’s value, described as being driven by strong purpose and customer experience, grew 17% to $286bn compared with its value in the 2017 BrandZ Global 100 ranking that was published in June.

Apple, the most “meaningfully different” brand, increased its value by 19% to $279bn over the same period, while Amazon also jumped 19% to $165bn. Meanwhile, Microsoft is valued at $155bn and Facebook at $151bn.

“US brands are among the most iconic and valuable in the world, and they are also the target of every brand from both abroad and the vibrant start-up world,” said Tim Wragg, CEO of Kantar, Insights, North America.

“Successful brands remain healthy over time when they build brand love via clear purpose, continual innovation, effective communication and a laser focus on customer experience,” he added.

Looking beyond the valuations, the BrandZ report noted that Pampers, Estee Lauder, Coca-Cola, Huggies and Tide all performed well at “brand contribution”, a metric that looks at how a brand differentiates itself, generates desire and cultivates loyalty.

McDonald’s and Starbucks are named as “ambassador brands” that have successfully taken “Brand US” into overseas markets while adapting to local preferences.

And although Apple is judged to be the best at delivering “meaningful difference”, others score well on this metric, such as Southwest Airlines, which is recognised for its “quirky ads”, social media engagement and a sponsorship initiative that helps military veterans to travel to war memorials.

Sourced from BrandZ, Kantar, WPP; additional content by WARC staff