Apple Bests Google for World's Most Valuable Brand
After duking it out with Google for the top spot in recent years, Apple again has the most valuable business moniker in the world, according to BrandZ's Top 100 Most Valuable Brands study.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple held the No. 1 spot on the annual research commissioned by WPP and Millward Brown for 2013, 2012 and 2011, but slipped last year to Google. Even though the Apple Watch made buzz this year, the iPhone 6 is what truly boosted the brand's value for '15.
"Apple's increase was very much driven by the iPhone 6 launch and demonstrating its ongoing commitment to innovation and convenience for consumers," noted Mario Simon, CEO of Millward Brown Vermeer. "Though some were skeptical of Apple's new leadership, the company has remained true to its brand and continued to build on its strong heritage of beautifully simple products and innovation."
Per the WPP and Millward Brown-commissioned research, Apple's value has grown 67 percent this year to total $247 billion, while Google grew 9 percent to reach $173.7 billion, landing it the No. 2 spot.
Similar to the study's findings over the past few years, tech brands continue to dominate the list, generating $1 trillion in value -- equivalent to one-third of the total $3.3 trillion from all brands.
Further, all four of this year's top brands -- Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM -- are tech names, and the category overall has grown by 24 percent.
Meanwhile, Facebook's ascendance to the No. 12 slot is also notable this year. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based giant's value grew 99 percent, primarily from its ability to monetize its platform and Instagram. During its recent first-quarter earnings, Facebook reported that 73 percent of its revenue comes from mobile.
In e-commerce, Alibaba entered the chart for the first time this year at a value of $66 billion, landing at No. 13. The Chinese player helped give the retail category a 24 percent lift, and the most valuable e-commerce brands on this year's list are Amazon and Alibaba, both of which lack physical bricks-and-mortar stores.
In terms of more traditional marketers, Visa, AT&T, Verizon, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Marlboro all ranked within the list's top 10 brands.