Global tech giants Apple and Google have topped brand consultancy Interbrand’s Best Global Brands ranking for the second year running.Apple came in at number one (with a brand value of US$118.86 billion, up 21% on 2013) followed by Google (US$107.44 billion, up 15%) maintaining 2013’s status quo.
Tech players feature prominently in the list’s top ten, while 13 tech brands in total feature in the list of 100.
Samsung, which this week forecast a steep third quarter operating profit decline, climbed a spot from 2013, coming in at seventh place, with Interbrand ranking Samsung’s brand value at US$45.46 billion, up 15%.
IBM and Microsoft also maintained 2013’s status quo, coming in at 4th and 5th, respectively, with IBM dropping 8% to US$72.24 billion, and Microsoft rising 3% to US$61.15 billion.
Meanwhile, another tech player, Huawei made Best Global Brands history by becoming the first Chinese brand to make the list.
With 65 per cent of its revenue coming from outside China and with its earnings continuing to climb both domestically and across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Huawei is “quickly becoming one of the largest telecommunications equipment makers in the world”, Interbrand stated.
Huawei came in at 94, with a brand value of US$4.31 billion.
Facebook (coming in at 29, with 86% growth and a brand value of US$14.35 billion), Apple and Google were this year’s fastest growing brands.
Nokia, meanwhile, experienced the largest decline in value among the top 100 brands, dropping from 57th in 2013 to 98th this year (declining 44% in brand value at US$4.14 billion).
Nintendo, which rounds out the top 100, fell 33 places, declining 33% in brand value at US$4.1 billion.
“Apple and Google’s meteoric rise to more than US$100 billion is truly a testament to the power of brand building,” Jez Frampton, Interbrand global chief executive officer, commented.
“These leading brands have reached new pinnacles – in terms of both their growth and in the history of Best Global Brands – by creating experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”
In determining the most valuable brands, Interbrand examines three aspects contributing to a brand’s value: the financial performance of the branded product and service, the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice, and the strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company.
Tracking the various eras of brand history, Interbrand contends that a new era is emerging, which it terms the “Age of You”.
Frampton noted, as consumers and devices become more connected and integrated, data being generated is “creating value for consumers, for brands, and for the world at large”.
“As a result, brands from all categories and sectors will get smarter, with products and devices working in concert with one another, across supply chains, and in tandem with our own individual datasets,” he stated.
“Brands that seek to lead in the forthcoming Age of You will have to create truly personalised and curated experiences, or what we call ‘Mecosystems’, around each and every one of us.
“Such brands will have to rehumanise the data, uncover genuine insights, and deliver against individual wants, needs and desires.”