The 28 Most Valuable Brands In The World

golden apple

After an incredible increase in sales, Apple is once again the most valuable brand in the world. 

Apple’s brand value is $182 billion, an incredible 19 per cent increase from last year, according to the list from BrandZ

BrandZ and Millward Brown Optimor calculated value based on branded earnings and a survey to determine how much of those earnings are generated by the brand’s close bond with customers. For companies like Apple, the loyalty of customers is more than a balance sheet could reflect.  

Brand value differentiated winners from losers and helped “sustain brands through a challenging year” marred by shaky consumer confidence and financial woes, according to the report. 

Top-10 companies also included telecom giants Verizon, Vodafone and AT&T, which formed partnerships and expanded in emerging markets. Google slipped to number three after its Google + feature  failed to garner much usage. 

#28 Toyota

Brand value: $21.8 billion

% Change v. 2011: -10%

What happened: Toyota's Prius led hybrid sales, which remained steady this year. Hybrid cars are increasingly important to an anti-consumerist economy. The company suffered supply disruption after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan and flooding in Thailand.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ


#27 Oracle

Brand value: $22.5 billion

% Change v. 2011: -16%

What happened: Oracle shifted strategies, introducing the Exalytics In-Memory Machine, which is the first in-memory machine that quickly stores company data 'as fast as you can type,' according to founder Larry Ellison. But they had to compete with SAP's technology.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#26 HP

Brand value: $22.9 billion

% Change v. 2011: -35%

What happened: HP went through a period of uncertainty and getting a new CEO, and struggled to define itself as a leader among businesses. The company simplified its operation and focused on business products and software instead of personal computers, once a staple.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#25 Baidu

Brand value: $24.3 billion

% Change v. 2011: 8%

What happened: Baidu, China's largest search engine is venturing into the world and set up business in Brazil and Japan. Google left China, virtually wiping out Baidu's competition. The company's knowledge of Chinese consumers is unsurpassed.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#24 China Construction Bank

Brand value: $24.5 billion

% Change v. 2011: -4%

What happened: China Construction Bank has more than 13,000 branches worldwide and is the 13th largest company in the world. Last year, Bank of America announced it would sell half its stake in the company to investors.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#23 BMW

Brand value: $24.6 billion

% Change v. 2011: 10%

What happened: BMW loaded their models with voice-activated communication for driving and controlling entertainment systems. The brand also achieved record sales with growth in all regions, especially Asia.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#22 SAP

Brand value: $25.7 billion

% Change v. 2011: -1%

What happened: SAP introduced HANA, a hardware and software combination it released with HP, a struggling brand. The company promised businesses better and faster decision making with the system. SAP ranks third overall of brands in continental Europe.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#21 Louis Vuitton

Brand value: $25.9 billion

% Change v. 2011: 7%

What happened: Louis Vuitton is a leader in online marketing and revolutionised its website with the 'Digital Discoveries' feature, which profiles inspiring young artists and designers.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#20 Deutsche Telecom

Brand value: $26.8 billion

% Change v. 2011: -10%

What happened: Deutsche Telekom retained its status as the top brand in Europe, though it lost some value after a failed merger with AT&T. Still, the cell phone brand is a popular one.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#19 Facebook

Brand value: $33.2 billion

% Change v. 2011: 74%

What happened: Facebook was the top riser this year as it prepared for an IPO that drove it market valuation in excess of $100 billion. The company also managed to squelch privacy concerns.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#18 Amazon

Brand value: $34.1 billion

% Change v. 2011: -9%

What happened: Consumers increasingly use Amazon,com as their initial shopping search engine and caused brick-and-mortar retailers to rethink their strategies. It faced more competition from retailers, who became smarter with online strategies.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#17 Walmart

Brand value: $34.4 billion

% Change v. 2011: -8%

What happened: Walmart ended a long period of declining U.S. sales and tried to reconnect with core customers, though it faced mounting competition from online competitors like Amazon. The company also succeeded with Chinese consumers. Walmart entered Africa by purchasing Massmart, a similar retailer there.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#16 UPS

Brand value: $37.1 billion

% Change v. 2011: 4%

What happened: UPS is seen as 'in control,' 'trustworthy' and 'wise' by consumers, who trust it to deliver their goods. UPS also saw increased business as a result of an uptick in online shopping.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#15 Visa

Brand value: $38.3 billion

% Change v. 2011: 34%

What happened: Visa accelerated development of its digital wallet and also entered a mobile payment partnership with Vodafone. Visa will also benefit from the London Olympics this year, because as the official sponsor they're the only card that can be used for ticket purchases. They will introduce a mobile payment app at the games.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#14 Wells Fargo

Brand value: $39.8 billion

% Change v. 2011: 8%

What happened: Wells Fargo backed away from an unpopular plan to charge a fee for debit card use. The bank completed its acquisition of Wachovia in a way that helped retail existing customers and acquire new ones.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#13 ICBC

Brand value: $41.5 billion

% Change v. 2011: -7%

What happened: ICBC received a licence to open a bank in Mumbai, but as other banks expand to the region, it faces competition. The Chinese bank also has a presence in Canada and is planning to expand to the Middle East, Russia and Latin America.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#12 Vodafone

Brand value: $43.0 billion

% Change v. 2011: -1%

What happened: Vodafone has differentiated itself from other telecom companies through partnerships with Verizon. The company has a presence in 30 countries It benefitted from a partnership with Verizon when the company started selling the iPhone.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#11 GE

Brand value: $45.8 billion

% Change v. 2011: -9%

What happened: GE, the 11th largest firm in the U.S. continued to expand in medical imaging and technology. It acquired large oil and gas and power companies but was challenged by rising commodity costs and demand for alternative energy.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#10 China Mobile

Brand value: $47.0 billion

% Change v. 2011: -18%

What happened: China Mobile intially benefitted from increased penetration of devices in China: about 94 per cent, although it remains to be seen how they will grow from here. The company invested $800 million into a unit called China Mobile Finance, thought to be designed for mobile payments.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#9 Verizon

Brand value: $49.2 billion

% Change v. 2011: 15%

What happened: Verizon benefitted from a partnership with Time Warner Cable, a former adversary. It also expanded its content offering through a partnership with Redbox, a video rental service.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#8 AT&T

#7 Marlboro

Brand value: $73.6 billion

% Change v. 2011: 9%

What happened: Marlboro is the top brand of Philip Morris USA, the top cigarette company in the U.S. The brand retained popularity in Europe through a partnership with Formula One teams and Ferrari.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#6 Coca-Cola

Brand value: $74.3 billion

% Change v. 2011: 1%

What happened: Coca-Cola is a 125-year-old brand but retains popularity with U.S. consumers through good product and price points.Energy and soft drinks are increasingly in popularity in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#5 Microsoft

Brand value: $76.7 billion

% Change v. 2011: -2%

What happened: Microsoft has a big presence in homes and businesses and are seen as trustworthy by consumers, although it faces competition from Apple and the iPhone. Its Xbox 360 was the best-selling home video game console in the U.S. last year. The company also acquired Skype.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#4 McDonald's

Brand value: $95.2 billion

% Change v. 2011: 17%

What happened: McDonald's is accelerating growth in India. Its expanding in the U.S. by experimenting with baked goods and creating a cafe atmosphere to rival Starbucks.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#3 Google

Brand value: $107.9 billion

% Change v. 2011: -3%

What happened: Google acquired Motorola Mobility, and are going to develop mobile devices that run on the Android platform. Google's revenue increased 20 per cent in 2011 from increased ad sales. It suffered when its Google + program failed to be popular.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#2 IBM

Brand value: $116.0 billion

% Change v. 2011: 15%

What happened: IBM pulled off a seamless CEO transition and demonstrated the power of artificial intelligence with Watson, a robot who can beat most human contestants at Jeopardy. IBM also benefitted from popularity of cloud computing, technology it developed.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

#1 Apple

Brand value: $183.0 billion

% Change v. 2011: 19%

What happened: Apple saw a 66 per cent increase in net sales last year. It innovated through the iPhone 4S and Siri voice activation. Distribution of the iPhone and iPad expanded in the U.S. The retailer has a consistent brand experience online and in stores.

Data calculated by Millward Brown Optimor and BrandZ

Now see which ones keep customers coming back

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