For the 19th year, Interbrand has rated the world's top 100 brands in terms of their brand value, and it isn't all that hard to guess who's come out on top, nor that it's not all about a brand's logo design (opens in new tab).
Last year's Best Global Brand was Apple, valued at $184,154 million, with Google and Microsoft taking places two and three, valued at $141, 703 million and $79,999 million, respectively.
And this year, it's pretty much business as usual. Although there are a few surprises within the list, and some interesting insight that can be gleaned from the results.
The world's top three brands
Continuing its reign as the world's number one brand, Apple is number one yet again, and is this year valued at $214,480 million, a tidy increase of 16 per cent on last year.
And while Google takes the number two spot, growing 10 per cent on last year, it's Amazon that takes the prize for top growing brand. With a whopping 56 per cent increase on its brand value, Amazon has made it to number three in the charts (at $100,764 million), knocking Microsoft down to fourth place ($92,715 million) – even though it increased 16 per cent.
This year's winners and losers
Notable entries to the list include Spotify, which joins this list at a modest 92nd place (and a not-so-modest $5,176 million value), and Japan's Subaru, which snuck in at number 100 (valued at $4,214 million).
Some brands that dropped off the list last year have also made a reappearance –Chanel made an impressive comeback at (number 23), Hennessy came in at 98, and Nintendo at 99.
However, the year hasn't been so good for brands such as Tesla, Smirnoff and Thomson Reuters, who all dropped off the list. And while Facebook is still clinging to the top ten, at number 9 (last year it was number 8 (opens in new tab)), its brand value is declining by 6 per cent. Six per cent may not seem like much, but we're talking about huge amounts of money here, and when you considering that last year it had grown by 48 per cent, things aren't looking rosy for the social media giant.
We like luxury, and subscriptions
Just five sectors made up over half of this year's best global brands: automotive (16), technology (13), financial services (12), luxury (9) and FMCG (9), but the sector that's growing the most is luxury, which has increased 42 per cent, knocking last year's retail category down to second place (36 per cent).
This is good news if you're working in any of the above categories, but don't panic if your brands are more of the everyday use variety. The entry of brands such as Spotify and Netflix (another new entry in at 66, which has grown 45% on last year), as well as King Amazon, suggests that personalised services that play a big role in our lives are on the up.
See below for the full list of brands.(opens in new tab)
What does it all mean?
At a time when trust in brands is at an all-time low, and where their every move is analysed on social media, this report suggests that it's the brands that are unafraid to make bold iconic moves that come out on top. That's moves like messing with a much-loved product's features (see Apple's iPhone X), disrupting new markets (hi, Amazon), or being quick to create new versions of other companies' success stories (Google Play, anyone?).
According to Interbrand's report, this year's theme is Activating Brave – meaning that brands are "harnessing the ability to take bold short-term action that responds to the needs of the marketplace while pursuing a clear and aligned long-term vision."
“A decade after the global financial crisis, the brands that are growing fastest are those that intuitively understand their customers and make brave iconic moves that delight and deliver in new ways,” said Charles Trevail, global chief executive officer of Interbrand.
And Activating Brave certainly pays off, as this year's brands have a combined value of more than two trillion dollars, which is 7.7 per cent higher than last year.
For more information, and to see the full report, visit Interbrand's website (opens in new tab).