Ranking the world’s top 100 brands

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What would you guess is the most valuable brand in the world?

A bevy of companies and products might come to mind, but now we have confirmation as to which is the brand with the highest reported financial worth thanks to a Forbes magazine report.

Leading the annual list of the world’s 100 top brands is perennial powerhouse Apple, with an estimated worth of $175 billion last year.

Apple is certainly no stranger to top honors, holding the #1 spot for an incredible seven straight years! In fact, its value increased 10% since 2015, and the company is worth an estimated $806 billion. With the iPhone 8 coming out soon and reportedly priced near $1,000, Apple may be skyrocketing towards the first brand ever with a trillion dollar valuation

No. two on the list is no slouch, either, as Google was good for $101.8 billion in 2016 alone. It’s also the second year in a row that Google, the world’s biggest search engine and also the innovator of Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Play Store, Maps, Search and YouTube, was runner-up to Apple, but it’s getting closer with a 23% jump this year.

The top-5 most valuable companies of 2016 also included Microsoft ($87 billion, up 16%), Facebook ($73.5 billion, up 40%) and Coca-Cola ($56.4 billion, down 4%).

Combined, these 100 top brands are worth about $1.95 trillion, and cumulatively up 6% over last year.

However, there is a big disparity, because after Apple $170 billion), Google is the only other brand breaking the $100 billion mark ($101.4 billion) and no. 100 on the list, German financial services firm Allianz, is worth “only” $6.8 billion.

So how did Forbes calculate their brand worth? Reportedly, they estimated their value after considering three years of earnings, as well as “allocated a percentage of those earnings based on the role brands play in each industry (e.g., high for luxury goods and beverages, low for airlines and oil companies).” Forbes then “applied the average price-to-earnings multiple over the past three years to these earnings to arrive at the final brand valuable.”

Pretty complicated – and we’ll trust them with the accounting methodology. But it sure is interesting to see who is on the list, who isn’t, and where they rank.

We can also look at obvious trends in brand worth, like the fact that technology companies had 9 of the top 15 brands and 18 in the top 100.

Financial services brands were well represented, too, starting with American Express at No. 22 worth $24.5 billion, followed by #52 Mastercard ($11.3 billion), #53 J.P. Morgan ($11.2 billion), #65 Chase ($9.1 billion), #66 Bank of America ($9.1 billion) and more.

The highest riser on the list this year was Amazon, who rode Prime to a 54% gain and $54.1 billion valuation. In fact, the number of Amazon Prime subscribers has doubled over the past two years to 80 million, or two out of every three U.S households!

Facebook (+40%), Starbucks (24%) and Google (23%) also climbed the ranks impressively.

It’s also no surprise that the United States dominates the list, with 56 brands – or more than half – of the Forbe’s top 100 list. But companies from Germany (11 on the list), France (7) and Japan (6) also did well.

Of the auto companies, Toyota (no. 8) eclipsed Mercedes-Benz (no. 17) and BMW (no. 21), and American car brands don’t show up until no. 39 (Ford) and no. 85 (Chevrolet).

Likewise, NIKE dominates the athletic shoe market at no. 16 and $29.6 billion, with Adidas (no. 75, $7.9 billion) failing to keep pace.

Bit it wasn’t all positive for these firms, as IBM suffered the sharpest drop for the second year in a row. In 2015, IBM ranked 5th on the list but fell to #13 after seeing their value fall 20% to $33.3 billion. HSBC (-18%), Caterpillar (-11%) and H&M (-11%) all fell in the rankings, too.

Of the newcomers to the list, Adobe was the highest-ranking at no. 84 and a $7.4 billion valuation.

Here is the to-50 of the Forbes highest valued 100 brands:

  1. 1. Apple $170 billion
  2. 2. Google $101.8 billion
  3. 3. Microsoft $87 billion
  4. 4. Facebook $73.5 billion
  5. 5. Coca-Cola $56.4 billion
  6. 6. Amazon $54.1 billion
  7. 7. Disney $43.9 billion
  8. 8. Toyota $41.1 billion
  9. 9. McDonald’s $40.3 billion
  10. 10. Samsung $38.2 billion
  11. 11. GE $37.9 billion
  12. 12. AT & T $36.7 billion
  13. 13. IBM $33.3 billion
  14. 14. Intel $31.4 billion
  15. 15. Cisco $30.7 billion
  16. 16. NIKE $29.6 billion
  17. 17. Mercedes-Benz $29.2 billion
  18. 18. Oracle $29.2 billion
  19. 19. Verizon $28.9 billion
  20. 20. Louis Vuitton $28.8 billion
  21. 21. BMW $28.7 billion
  22. 22. Budweiser $24.6 billion
  23. 23. American Express $24.5 billion
  24. 24. Walmart $24.1 billion
  25. 25. Marlboro $24.1 billion
  26. 26. Honda $24 billion
  27. 27. SAP $23.8 billion
  28. 28. Visa $21.4 billion
  29. 29. Gillette $19.2 billion
  30. 30. Pepsi $18.2 billion
  31. 31. Nescafe $16.8 billion
  32. 32. ESPN $15.8 billion
  33. 33. L’Oreal $15.6 billion
  34. 34. Home Depot $14.9 billion
  35. 35. Starbucks $14.9 billion
  36. 36. H&M $14.2 billion
  37. 37. Audi $14.1 billion
  38. 38. Accenture $14 billion
  39. 39. Ford $13.8 billion
  40. 40. Frito-Lay $13.6 billion
  41. 41. IKEA $13.5 billion
  42. 42. HP $13.2 billion
  43. 43. Wells Fargo $13.2 billion
  44. 44. Hermes $13 billion
  45. 45. UPS $12.9 billion
  46. 46. CVS $46 billion
  47. 47. Gucci $12.7 billion
  48. 48. Pampers $11.6 billion
  49. 49. Siemens $11.5 billion
  50. 50. HSBC $11.4 billion

Here are notable brands from nos. 51-100:

#52 Mastercard $11.3 billion

#53 J.P. Morgan $11.2 billion

#55 Ebay $10.9 billion

#57 Chevrolet $10.3 billion

#60 Porsche $9.6 billion

#65 Chase $9.1 billion

#66 Bank of America $9.1 billion

#71 Netflix $8.5 billion

#73 Sony $8.3 billion

#75 Adidas $7.9 billion

#76 LEGO $7.9 billion

#81 Corona $7.5 billion

#86 Lowe’s $7.3 billion

#88 Huawei $7.3 billion

#89 Target $7.3 billion

#92 Subway $7.1 billion

#95 Costco $7 billion

#96 Walgreens $7 billion

#100 Allianz $6.8 billion

Which brands, industries, and figures jump out at you?

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