WPP‘s Millward Brown has released its seventh annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Study and, shocking to no one, Apple tops the list. The brand is now valued at $182.9 billion. IBM has moved into the number two spot, ahead of Google. And McDonald’s is at number four, the only non-tech company to break the top five. (Facebook entered the top 20 at number 19, just below Amazon.)
Interestingly, Marlboro is at number seven, rising from number eight last year. It beat out AT&T and Verizon to round out the top 10. The total value of the top 100 is $2.4 trillion.
Among the trends for this year’s BrandZ study: the strength of technology brands; the rise of companies from emerging markets, including the first African company to appear on the list, South Africa’s MTN; and the strong showing from companies with women on their boards.
You can check out the entire report here. Millward Brown interviewed two million consumers around the world for this year’s study.
Ad Age also has an interesting story about these brand rankings and what they really mean. When compared with the CoreBrand Brand Power rankings, there are many discrepancies, even at the top. Apple is number 33 on the CoreBrand list.
And then last week, Added Value, a marketing research and data consultancy, released the results of its second “Cultural Traction” study, also finding, unsurprisingly, that Apple tops the list of brands that has “cultural relevancy” and will have success in the future. Tech and lifestyle brands dominate this list (50 brands were included in the analysis with 7,500 people in the U.S. and 1,350 people in the U.K. polled) with the top ten including all well-established brands like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.