The World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands in 2018

October 15, 2018

This article is included in these additional categories:

Automotive | Brand-Related | Industries | Technology | Top Brands

Apple continues to set the pace as the most valuable brand in the world, keeping its hold on the top spot for the sixth consecutive year and extending its lead over Google, according to Interbrand’s latest annual rankings. Nine of last year’s top 10 brands remain in the top 10 list this year, though the rankings have shaken up a bit since then.

Falling out of the top 10 was IBM, which sat just outside in the 12th position as a result of an 8% drop in brand value, to $43 billion. IBM’s place was taken by McDonald’s, which enjoyed a 5% bump in value to $43.4 billion.

Amazon was the top 10’s biggest mover in terms of brand value growth, with a massive 56% jump to exceed $100 billion ($100.8 billion). Last year we predicted that it would surpass Coca-Cola for the 4th spot. It did one better, also moving past Microsoft to become the third-most valuable brand in the world. That’s despite Microsoft having a solid increase of its own, up 16% year-over-year.

Still, Apple is by far the leader, with its estimated $214.5 billion in brand value being more than double that of Amazon, and more than one-third higher than #2 Google ($155.5 billion). Apple’s brand value increased by 16%, while Google’s was up 10%.

Two brands in the top 10 saw their brand values decline. Coca-Cola, which was down 5% and a spot in the rankings, and Facebook, down 6% and also a spot. Facebook’s decreasing brand value is notable in light of the nearly 50% jump it had posted the previous year.

Fast-Growing Brands and Top-Performing Sectors

With its 56% gain in brand value, Amazon was the fastest riser this year. However another familiar name was close behind.

That was Netflix. One of the top brands by customer loyalty (Amazon is tops overall) and also one of the most “relevant” brands (Apple is tops on this measure), Netflix enjoyed a 45% increase in brand value to more than $8 billion. That was good enough for the 66th spot, up from #78 last year, its first year in the top 100.

Other fast-risers this year include:

  • Gucci: +30% to $12.9 billion (#39);
  • Salesforce: +23% to $6.4 billion (#75);
  • Louis Vitton: +23% to $28.2 billion (#18); and
  • PayPal: +22% to $6.6 billion (#73).

Indeed, Luxury was the best-performing sector this year, with 42% growth. However, the Technology sector continues to be by the far the most heavily represented in brand value, at almost $732 billion. By comparison, the next-largest sector by top 100 brands’ value is Automotive, with a combined brand value of $275.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Adobe – which is buying Marketo – increased by 19% in brand value to $10.8 billion (#51). Adobe’s growth rate matched its rate from last year, when it was also among the fastest-growing.

Finally, this year’s new entrants to the top 100 are:

  • Chanel (#23; $20 billion);
  • Spotify (#92; $5.2 billion);
  • Hennessy (#98: $4.7 billion);
  • Nintendo (#99; $4.7 billion); and
  • Subaru (#100; $4.2 billion).

The full top 100 list, along with other data and takeaways, can be downloaded here.

About the Data: When determining the top 100 most valuable brands each year, Interbrand examines three key aspects that contribute 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.

Interbrand also notes that inclusion in the list requires that:

  • At least 30 percent of revenue must come from outside the brand’s home region.
  • It must have a significant presence in Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as broad geographic coverage in emerging markets.
  • There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.
  • Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s cost of capital.
  • The brand must have a public profile and awareness across the major economies of the world.

These requirements – that a brand be global, visible, and relatively transparent with financial results – lead to the exclusion of some well-known brands that might otherwise be expected to appear in the ranking.

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