The World's 10 Most Valuable Brands

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The World's 10 Most Valuable Brands

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 02/02/2016

Every year, brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test. They are evaluated to determine which are the most powerful (based on factors such familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation) and which are most valuable and ranked to form the Brand Finance Global 500.

Apple was No. 1 on The World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Brands list. Apple has maintained its dominance at the summit of the Brand Finance Global 500. Brand value is up 14 percent, thanks to the huge success of the iPhone 6 and recently released iPhone 6s.

Revenue for Q4 of the fiscal year 2015 was a record-breaking $51.5 billion with profits at $11.1 billion while revenues for the year were $233.7 billion. This huge surge is partly responsible for recent disappointing sales growth (the slowest since the iPhone was launched in 2007). However with 74.8 million handsets sold in the last quarter in a saturated market, assertions that Apple has gone rotten are premature. Apple Pay is beginning to generate traction, potentially heralding the brand’s long-anticipated expansion into the broader arena of financial services, to say nothing of its rumored foray into the auto industry.

Amazon came in at No. 4 on the The World’s Top 10 Most Valuable Brands list with an estimated $69 billion brand value for 2016. That's up from its No. 8 rank in 2015. Walmart dropped to No. 8 for 2016, down from No. 7 in 2015, with an estimated $53 billion brand value.

The World’s 10 Most Valuable Brands 2016

  • 1. Apple, US, $145 billion
  • 2. Google, US, $94 billion
  • 3. Samsung, S Korea, $83 billion
  • 4. Amazon, US, $69 billion
  • 5. Microsoft, US, $67 billion
  • 6. Verizon, US, $63 billion
  • 7. AT&T, US, $59 billion
  • 8. Walmart, US, $53 billion
  • 9. China Mobile, China, $49 billion
  • 10. Wells Fargo, US, $44 billion

Walt Disney ranked No. 1 on The World’s Top 10 Most Powerful Brands list. Disney’s strength is founded on its rich history and original creations, however its now dominant position is the result of its many acquisitions and the powerful brands it has brought under its control. ESPN, Pixar, The Muppets and Marvel are all now Disney owned, but perhaps its most important acquisition of all has been Lucasfilm, and thus Star Wars.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has broken countless box office records, becoming the fastest to take $1 billion, enjoying the most successful opening weekend ($529 million) and based on its total box office gross of nearly $2 billion is Disney’s most successful film ever. Meanwhile Star Wars toys have generated over $700 million.

Brand Finance has estimated the value of the Star Wars brand to be $10 billion, dwarfing the $4.05 billion Disney paid for Lucasfilm in 2012. Though this might suggest that Disney engineered a very favourable deal, it has undoubtedly contributed to the growth of the Star Wars brand. Disney is managing to exploit the Star Wars concept both rapidly and sensitively, a difficult feat to pull off. Disney styles itself as ‘the happiest place on Earth’. That has proved true not just for its customers but for investors too.

Though it remains a very powerful brand, the Danish company Lego has been beset by a series of controversies of late which threaten to affect its wholesome image. It has been fined by German regulators for attempting to prevent retailers from discounting its products. It was also accused of colluding in censorship for trying to prevent dissident Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei from using Lego in his work. Lego has since reversed its policy of restricting purchases to be used for political ends following widespread condemnation (including from Ai Wei Wei himself).

Nike came in at No. 6 on the list with an estimated brand value of $28 billion for 2016.  NIKE is pursuing a long-term vision for e-commerce growth of $7 billion in revenue by the end of fiscal year 20. In its second quarter 2016, the company continued its accelerated pace, growing the business nearly 50% on a constant currency basis.

The World’s Top 10 Most Powerful Brands 2016

1. Walt Disney
2. Lego Toys
3. L'Oreal
4. PWC
5. McKinsey
6. Nike
7. Johnson's
8. Coca-Cola
9. NBC
10. Google