Apple has overtaken Google to reclaim the title of 'world's most valuable brand' in the 2015 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, released today by WPP
and Millward Brown
. Apple has increased its brand value to $247 billion, a rise of 67% year on year. Google (no.2) also grew, achieving a 9% value increase to reach $173.7bn. Microsoft, now worth $115.5bn, is the new no.3, rising one position with value growth of 28%.
Though the AppleWatch has proved extremely popular, it is the success of the iPhone 6 that has been the main driver of Apple's brand value growth. Doreen Wang, Millward Brown's Global Head of BrandZ, comments: "Apple continues to 'own' its category by innovating and leading the curve in a way that generates real benefits for consumers. It meets their rational and emotional needs, and makes life easier in a fun and relevant way. Apple is clear on what it stands for, and never stops refreshing its message to sustain the difference that makes it so desirable."
The total brand value of the Top 100 now stands at $3.3 trillion, a 14% increase on 2014 and a 126% growth over the 10 years since the ranking was first launched.
The fastest riser in the BrandZ Top 100 is Facebook, growing 99% to $71.1bn, achieved through its successful strategy of acquiring other social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and an understanding of how to monetise and cross-sell its acquired platforms by selling optimal advertising solutions to businesses with a specific target audience.
The success of Apple, Google and the other tech brands in this year's listing also reflects the power of the technology sector, which grew the total valuation of the Top 20 brands by 24% to just over $1trn.
Often compared with Facebook, Tencent becomes China's most valuable brand, recording a growth of 43% at $76.6bn to make it the 11th most valuable brand globally. The company has benefited from strong ad revenue across its social networks, with video advertising particularly strong, and has also invested in expanding its eCommerce presence in China. South African owned Naspers holds a 34% stake in the Chinese technology giant Tencent.
Commenting on the results, Charles Foster, Regional Managing Director, Millward Brown Africa & Middle East said. "In the rankings for the last three years, we see MTN unable to retain its position in the Top 100 this year. Although MTN grew in rand value, the currency devaluation and the strengthening dollar makes it harder for African brands to maintain or grow their value relative to the global brands. But with the largest growing middle class and continued foreign investment, it's inevitable that African brands and companies will bounce back."
Highlights and key findings from this year's BrandZ Top 100 study include:
- Technology is the fastest-growing category - up 24% in the last year, the tech brands in the Top 100 are worth more than $1 trillion, nearly a third of the value of all brands in the ranking.
- Facebook is the fastest riser, with 99% growth achieved through its successful strategy of acquiring and integrating other social apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp, and an understanding of how to monetise and cross-sell its platforms.
- E-commerce boosts retail brand value as Alibaba enters ranking and overtakes Amazon - Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba entered the retail ranking at $66.4bn, helping to grow the retail category ranking by 24% and overtaking both Amazon and Walmart. The most valuable retail brands Alibaba and Amazon, which lack physical stores, are now worth more than Walmart, which has 11,000 stores worldwide.
- Europe continues to dominate luxury sector - luxury suffered in 2015 with a total valuation for the Top 10 down 6% at $104.6bn but eight of the top 10 are based in Europe. The danger for Europe's power in this sector is that both the two new entrants Michael Kors and Tiffany are from outside the region.
The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands is now in its tenth year. Analysis of the 10-year trajectory of the brands in the ranking has revealed that:
Download the Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list here
- Europe's brand powerhouses stagnate as Chinese brands grow and US brands make a comeback. The number of Chinese brands continues to grow with 14 brands in the Top 100, up from one in 2006, and an increase of 1004% in value. The value of US brands grew by 137% in the last 10 years (up 15% in the last year) compared to just 31% in Europe (down -9.3% in the last year). There are now just 24 brands from Europe in the ranking (down from 35 in 2006). This represents a shift from West to East; most of the brands that have been 'pushed out' of the Top 100 by China were from Europe.
- High value brands provide faster bottom-line growth and shareholder value. In the last 10 years, a measurement of the strongest brands from the Top 100 as a 'stock portfolio' shows their share price has risen over three times more than the MSCI World Index and almost two thirds more than the S&P500.
Carried out by WPP's marketing and brand consultancy Millward Brown, the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study is the only ranking in the world that uses the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, alongside financial data, to calculate brand value.
The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, and a great deal more brand insight for key regions of the world and 14 market sectors, are available online here
. A new suite of interactive smartphone and tablet applications is available for free download for Apple IOS and all Android devices from www.brandz.com/mobile
or search for BrandZ in the respective iTunes or Google Play app stores.About the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking
Carried out by WPP's marketing and brand consultancy Millward Brown, the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking is now in its tenth year. It is the only study to combine measures of brand equity based on interviews with over three million consumers globally about thousands of global 'consumer facing' and business-to-business brands with a rigorous analysis of the financial and business performance of each company (using data from Bloomberg and Kantar Retail) to separate the value that brand plays in driving business and shareholder value. Consumer perception of a brand is a key input in determining brand value because brands are a combination of business performance, product delivery, clarity of positioning, and leadership. The ranking takes into account regional variations since, even for truly global brands, measures of brand contribution might differ substantially across countries.