The iPhone maker bumped Coca-Cola, which had led the study since it began in 2000, with a brand value that Interbrand assessed at $98.3 billion. And reflecting the rising importance of technology in global business and consumer consciousness, Google came in at second place with a brand value of $93.3 billion, well ahead of the soft drink maker’s $79.2 billion value.
Not everyone fared as well in the tech world. As Samsung rose from ninth to eight place with a 20 percent brand value in increase, it traded positions with Intel, which dropped 5 percent.
Interbrand bases its assessment on a combination of the company’s financial performance, its role influencing consumer choices, and how well the brand lets a company charge premium prices and deliver profits.
“Every so often, a company changes our lives — not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why…Apple now ranks No. 1,” said Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s global chief executive officer in a statement Monday. The report (PDF) added a cautionary note amid paragraphs of lavish praise: “The focus for the future is clear: Apple must succeed in slowing Samsung’s momentum and capture the booming Chinese mobile market.”
Apple surged from 36th place in the first Interbrand study in 2000 to the top spot in 2013. No. 2 Google is rising faster.
Apple had been No. 2 in the 2012 study of brand value, and Google was No. 4. IBM, previously No. 3, slipped to fourth place, and Microsoft stayed level at fifth place.
Samsung, which has gained prominence through consumer electronics and Android phones, rose from ninth to eight place with a 20 percent brand value in increase. That let it trade positions with Intel, which dropped 5 percent from the 2012 list.
Interbrand also calls out the companies whose brand value is rising fastest. There, Facebook came out on top, with a 43 percent increase in brand value over the last year. It ranks 52 on the overall 2013 list, up from 69th place in 2012.
Interbrand’s study shows the rising value over the last five years of the top companies’ brand names.
Facebook’s ascent stemmed from its growth in users, including mobile users and people in Asia, and financial results that bested Wall Street’s expectations. “Facebook’s growth is likely to continue for years to come,” Interbrand’s report said.
Google was the No. 2 rising brand as well. “Due to evolutionary changes to its core offerings (Search, Android, and Gmail) and new innovations like Google Glass and its self-driving car, Google’s brand value increased by 34 percent,” Interbrand said.
Next among top risers were Italian fashion company Prada, with a 30 percent increase; Apple, at 28 percent; and Amazon, which rose 27 percent to take 19th place on the list. Its strength stemmed not just from its e-commerce stronghold, but also from its Kindle readers, streaming video service, and original programming.
Updated at 1:12 a.m. PT with further detail.
The top 40 companies on Interbrand’s 2013 list of the most valuable brand names