US Insights

iPhone 6 powers Apple past Google as world's #1 brand

Elizabeth Wilner

US Editor

Brands 05.27.2015 / 00:01

BrandZ Global 2015 Infographic

E-commerce brands Alibaba, Amazon now more valuable than Walmart

Apple has reclaimed the title of the world's most valuable brand in the 2015 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, released today by WPP and Millward Brown. The study determined that Apple has increased its brand value to $247 billion, a rise of 67% year-over-year. Second-place Google also grew, achieving a 9% value increase to reach $173.7 billion, but still coming up short and losing its prior #1 berth to Apple. Microsoft, now worth $115.5 billion, is the new #3, rising a notch 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.

Key Numbers

  • $3.3 trillion Total brand value of the Top 100
  • $1 trillion Total value of tech brands in the Top 100
  • $247 billion Apple's 2015 brand value

David Roth of WPP said: "Brand value has risen substantially despite a disruptive decade. This is a pivotal moment for brand builders. We're at the threshold of a new normal, and a changing consumer. The past 10 years of valuing brands proves that investing in creating strong, valuable brands delivers superior returns to shareholders."

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 monetize and cross-sell its platforms.

* Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba debuted in the retail ranking at $66.4 billion, 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.

* The BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands is now in its 10th year. Analysis of the 10-year trajectory of the brands in the ranking has revealed that:

* Europe's brand powerhouses have stagnated as US brands make a comeback and Chinese brands grow. 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 19% 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.

* And 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.

Source: Kantar Millward Brown


Editor's Notes

Carried out by Kantar's 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. The ranking takes into account regional variations since, even for truly global brands, measures of brand contribution might differ substantially across countries.

Journalists, download the global press release and the infographic above. To interview one of our brand experts, please contact us.

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