After several years of snatching the prize from each other, Google has managed to fight off Apple to defend its position as the world’s most valuable brand in Kantar Millward Brown’s 2017 BrandZ ranking.
The internet giant has extended its lead after achieving a 7% increase to $246bn, compared to Apple’s 3% rise to $235bn, meaning there is now a 4.4% value difference between to two global leaders. Last year it was far closer at 0.3%.
Microsoft (third) and Facebook (fifth) have also managed to retain their positions in the top five, with the former increasing brand value by 18% to $143bn and Facebook seeing a 27% boost to create a brand value of $130bn. The annual BrandZ ranking, which is compiled by WPP consultancy Kantar Millward Brown, is based on a combination of millions of consumer interviews and each company’s financial performance.
It is Amazon, however – last year’s fastest riser after increasing brand value by 59% – that continues to see some of the strongest growth. It is again one of top risers after seeing a 41% increase in brand value, meaning it enters the top five for the first time, in fourth place.
Dubbed the “Frightful Five” by David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, he added that tech’s giants now enjoy a seemingly unassailable position, brought about by their huge brand power.
Aside from the US’ biggest players, China’s Tencent – owner of messaging app sensation WeChat – entered the top 10 for the first time with 27% growth, suggesting that the key trends are now global rather than local.
Looking at brand value by location, the US is by far the biggest, representing 72% of the top 100 brands by value. This is up from 69% last year. The collective brand value of brands from Europe (10%), the UK (2%) and Asia (15%) have all dropped by one percentage point since 2016.