Apple has been named the most valuable brand for 2016, Forbes said in its annual survey of the world’s most valuable brands on Wednesday.
The survey puts a number to a label’s brand value. According to the latest Forbes ranking, Apple’s brand value, estimated at $154.1 billion, is almost twice that of Google’s, which lands in second place at $82.5 billion. Microsoft scored the number three spot underneath its tech rivals at $75.2 billion. The top five slots were almost completely dominated by tech companies, with the exception of Coca-Cola, taking the number four spot at $58.5 billion. Social media giant Facebook rounded out the top five at $52.6 billion.
Forbes began compiling a list of the world’s most valuable brand names in 2010, and so far, Apple has won six times in a row. Despite the multinational technology company seeing its revenue fall for the first time in 13 years, with declining sales for the iPhone, iMac, and iPad product lines, it apparently has not put a dent in the value of its name. Forbes estimated the company’s brand value as up 6 percent from 2015. It should be noted that Forbes’ ranking are almost entirely based on financial data, including account earnings and ratio of price-to-earnings.
“Brands get their value from how customers perceive them,” David Reibstein, professor of marketing and branding expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said to Forbes. “What makes it valuable from a company perspective is that customers are willing to pay a higher price or are more likely to buy.”
Despite its recent slowdown and a plunge in its stock value and the failure of the Apple Watch or Apple Music to thrill customers, Apple commands more than half the smartphones sold in the United States and sold 75 million phone globally in the December quarter of 2015. Macrumors summed up some of the notable entries on the list, which also included other tech companies like IBM, Amazon, and Samsung.
“Coca-Cola, Facebook, Toyota, IBM, Disney, McDonald’s, GE, Samsung, Amazon, AT&T, BMW, and Cisco rounded out the top fifteen. Apple Watch fashion partner Hermès ranked 48th on the list. Other notable companies listed include Intel (17th), Verizon (21st), HP (38th), Sony (76th), Netflix (79th), and T-Mobile (93rd).”
Google closed the gap between itself and its chief rival this year; its brand value shot up 26 percent and remains the chief cash cow for parent company Alphabet. People are still far more likely to use Google search engine than Bing or other alternatives. The term “Google” has become synonymous with web searching and has been revolutionary in the way it treats its brand. While some companies police the use of their logo and insist on uniformity, Google changes its logo every few weeks with graphics and doodles.
Facebook was the world’s fastest-growing brand for the second straight year, with a staggering 44 percent growth in the value of its brand. Its active users surged to 1.65 billion, and the average user spends 50 minutes a day using Facebook, more time than the average person spends reading (19 minutes), exercising or playing sports (17 minutes), and socializing (4), combined. Forbes noted that this time spent was “the ultimate measure of brand engagement.”
“Facebook keeps innovating and adding more and more functionally and features,” says Reibstein to Forbes. “Companies are figuring out how to use Facebook, so their revenue is growing. The transformation with what they are doing with their core business is incredible.”
Microsoft made its own respectable gains in its value this year due to the introduction of an array of new products, including Windows 10, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant invested more in its cloud services, which are quickly becoming its biggest money-maker, and expanded its retail strategy, opening a flagship store in New York last year.
The complete Forbes list is available in a graph here.
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