Apple and Google have dethroned long-standing king Coca-Cola as the world’s most valuable brands in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013 Report. After 14 years, Apple is the first brand to overtake Coca-Cola for the #1 spot since the Best Global Brands study launched in 2000, with Google coming in as #2. Though Coca-Cola’s brand value increased since 2012, its brand fell to the #3 spot. This year, the total value of all Interbrand’s 100 Best Global Brands is $1.5 trillion, an 8.4% increase over the total value of the 100 Best Global Brands in 2012. This is a record year-over-year increase in the total combined value of the world’s top 100 brands.
The Rise of Apple and Tech
Interbrand is the world’s leading brand consultancy, and examines the top 100 most valuable global brands each year. This year the consultancy valued Apple’s worth at $98.316 billion, an increase of 28% since 2012. Google’s brand was valued at $93.291 billion, a 34% increase since 2012.
When Interbrand released its first Best Global Brands list in 2000, Apple ranked #36 and had a brand value of $6.6 billion. Today Apple’s brand value is $98.3 billion, almost 15 times the amount of its brand value in 2000! Interbrand’s Global CEO Jez Frampton credits Apple’s “meteoric” rise in brand value to the customer experience maintained by the company. By placing the customer at the center of everything it does, Apple is able to predict what its customers will want next. “Every so often, a company changes our lives—not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Apple now ranks #1,” Frampton said. “Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact – a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again.”
2013 also appears to have been an especially strong year for tech companies, with Microsoft, Samsung, and Intel joining Apple and Google in the top 10 highest-valued brands. IBM and GE, too, made it to the top 10, though they are labeled as a business services brand and a diversified brand, respectively. Additionally, four of the five top five rising brands this year were tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon. The technology sector as a whole dominates the best global brands with a combined value of $443.154 billion.
Not all tech brands, however, saw such success. Notably, one-time tech leaders Yahoo and Blackberry completely fell off this year’s ranking, and Nokia, #57 on the best global brands list, experienced the largest decline in brand value in the history of Best Global Brands with a 65% decrease. Nintendo, #67 on the list, and Dell, #61, saw a 14% and a 10% decrease in brand valuation, respectively.
Top Rising Brands: Facebook, Google, Prada, Apple, and Amazon
Facebook ranks as the #52 best global brand this year and is the only primarily social media-based company to claim a spot on the list. With a 43% year-over-year increase in brand valuation, the company is Interbrand’s top rising brand. Since its IPO over a year ago, Facebook increased its global user base by 26%. Additionally, the social network increased its mobile user base by 51% in the past year, and mobile ads are expected to account for more than half of the company’s advertising revenue.
Google, the #2 best global brand this year, saw a 34% increase in its brand valuation. As the company continues to add to its core offerings of Search, Android, and Gmail, and build on new technologies like Google Glass, its self-driving car, and its initiative for global internet access, Project Loon, it’s expected that Google’s brand will only continue to increase in value.
Prada ranks as the #72 best global brand of 2013, with a 30% increase in its brand valuation since 2012. As the driving factor behind Prada’s success, Interbrand credits the Italian luxury fashion brand’s ability to “strike a harmonious (and profitable) balance” between staying true to its heritage while producing innovative designs.
Apple is the #1 best global brand of 2013. Despite its patent wars with Samsung and the Foxconn labor conditions scandal, Apple still saw a 28% increase in its brand valuation, knocking Coca-Cola out of its long-standing top spot. If Apple can thwart the advances of its rival, Samsung, the company should be able to maintain a top spot in the global brands list.
Amazon, the #19 best global brand, saw a 27% increase in brand valuation this year. Amazon’s willingness to dive into diverse ventures is what brings the company so much success. Besides its online markets, Amazon hosts the Amazon Appstore, licenses original programming for rent online, promotes the Kindle line of ebook readers and ebooks, offers a same-day grocery delivery service, and much more.
New Entrants: Discovery, Duracell, and Chevrolet
Discovery made its debut onto the Best Global Brands list this year, claiming the #70 spot. Through the leadership of CEO David Zaslav, Discovery has grown from making an estimated USD $720 million in total profits to making USD $721 million from its international business alone. Discovery-branded channels are available in 217 countries and territories in 45 languages, and reach over 1.3 billion subscribers outside the US. By developing addicting, unique programming such as its Deadliest Catch series and its annual Shark Week, Discovery has moved into the international radar for most-loved brands.
Duracell, the #85 best global brand, made a comeback to this year’s list after falling off the ranking in 2010. Duracell holds 25% of the global battery market share, mainly due to the trust its brand exudes. Key marketing partnerships with the NFL and others help boost its brand iamge, too.
Chevrolet, the #89 best global brand, accounts for about half of all the vehicles that GM sells globally. Global CMO Tim Mahoney and SVP/Global Head Alan Batey have steered the company’s engineering, design, and retail operations under a single communications platform: “Find New Roads.” Though Chevrolet has seen increased sales in the U.S. market, it’s focusing highly on the markets in China, India, and Thailand.
Collaboration Is a Common Thread Among Leading Brands
Among all the leading brands listed in its Best Global Brands ranking this year, Interbrand sees collaborative leadership styles as a common thread. Interbrand’s Frampton said:
In today’s global and social media-obsessed marketplace, brand leaders recognize the need to be highly collaborative. The top 100 most valuable global brands are unlocking their value by participating, listening, learning, and sharing – and not just with leaders from within their organization, but with consumers too. Brands that learn to think differently about the role they play in consumers’ lives – and how to fulfill that role – have an opportunity to change the world in ways they never imagined.”
It turns out the customer is, indeed, always right. To see greater success and to build brands with long-lasting value, company leaders must be attentive to customers’ needs.
Do any of this year’s Best Global Brands surprise you? Which do you think will hold their spots for next year?