The 2014 edition of what is known as the Interbrand Best Global Brands report shows Apple in first place, as the world’s most valuable brand, for a second straight year. Apple took the top spot last year from Coca-Cola, which fell to No. 3; Coca-Cola remained in third place this year, and the No. 2 brand last year, the technology powerhouse Google, kept that spot.
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The report, to be issued on Thursday, presents a table of the top 100 valuable global brands. The Apple brand is valued at $118.9 billion, up 21 percent from last year. The Google brand, at $107.4 billion, rose in value by 15 percent from last year. Those twin peaks represent the first time two brands have each earned a value of more than $100 billion in a Best Global Brands report.
Despite some critics who were “suggesting that Apple had lost its luster,” said Jez Frampton, global chief executive of Interbrand, a corporate identity and brand consultancy that is part of the Omnicom Group, “we’ve still got Apple and Google slugging it out at the top.”
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Four of the top 10 brands in the 2014 Interbrand report are technology brands. In addition to Apple and Google, they are Microsoft, at No. 5, unchanged from last year, and Samsung, No. 7, up a notch from 2013. IBM, No. 4, the same as last year, is classified by Interbrand as a business services brand; otherwise, half the top 10 brands would be technology brands.
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The technology category was the most valuable over all, with a total value of $493.2 billion; other major brand categories include automotive, financial services and luxury. And Facebook — which had the highest percentage increase in value from last year, 86 percent — is, of course, also a technology brand. In only its second year on the list, Facebook climbed to No. 29 from No. 52 in 2013, and, “It’s still growing,” Mr. Frampton said.
Also, “Twitter is starting to get closer to appearing on the table,” he said.
“On one hand, the new tech brands are doing great,” Mr. Frampton said, “and you have to consider they are at the real beginning of their lives as businesses.” On the other hand, “will we see a new tech brand perform like a Coca-Cola or a Mercedes-Benz?” he asked. “Their longevity is unproven.” (Mercedes-Benz climbed a notch, from No. 11 last year to 10th place.)