Technology giants Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook have taken the top 5 places in the 2017 Brandz top 100 most valuable global brands ranking, carried out by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
Now in its twelfth year, the study combines measures of brand equity, based on interviews with over three million consumers about thousands of global brands, with analysis of the financial performance of each company to determine the brands overall value, taking into account regional differences and customer perceptions.
“The superstar technology brands in the BrandZ global top 100 are capable of abundant innovation, using their platforms to create connected ecosystems that meet multiple needs and make our lives easier,” said Jane Bloomfield, Kantar Millward Brown’s head of UK marketing.
“They also have great elasticity, confidently playing in new territories and categories to expand their customer bases.”
Despite hitting a major low among advertisers after The Time’s expose earlier this year, it appears Google’s brand value remains buoyant among consumers. The advertising ‘duopoly’ of Google and Facebook also appears to show no signs of slowing, as combined they attracted one-fifth of global ad spend across all media in 2016, with Google pulling in the lion’s share of $79.4bn, versus its rival's total of $26.9bn.
Apple’s stratospheric growth rate appears set to continue for some time yet – despite an apparent stall in sales of its flagship iPhone – with its valuation topping $800bn for the first time this year.
As well as WPP’s most valuable brands survey, Apple also made it into Forbes’ valuable brands list last month, for the seventh year in a row.
In March the tech giant launched a video platform called Clips, a camera and social video editing app that is reminiscent of Twitter’s recently shuttered Vine. More product launches, across both software and hardware, are expected to be announced at Apple's major annual event, the Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off this week,
After calling the recent NHS cyber attack a ‘wake-up’ call for governments and customers to take security seriously, the tech giant has been criticised for its own failings when it comes to security this year. In a letter to the Times Sir David Omand, former GCHQ director, pinned the blame squarely on the technology firm for failing to maintain support for its ageing Windows XP platform.
Nevertheless, next week the software giant will embark on the largest global launch of Apple-rivalling slick hardware in its history. Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet, laptop and desktop are set to launch across a multitude of countries, after being quietly developed for the past few years.
This year the e-commerce giant has continued to hone its tech ecosystem to improve consumer experience across online shopping, delivery and entertainment, as well as developing AI-enabled services including grocery delivery and personal assistant Alexa. And in April, Amazon confirmed that advertising is to become a ‘meaningful’ aspect of its business, after looming quietly in the digital media space for some time.
The online platform is also looking to diversify from books, entertainment and consumer products into the lucrative pharmaceuticals sector
Although the social media behemoth has come under serious fire for its role in the fake news phenomenon and the spread of misinformation during times of political significance, user growth doesn't appear as if it’s about to curb any time soon. Now approaching the two billion user mark, its advertising business continues to go from strength to strength as the social network reported revenue growth of 51% year-over-year in Q1.
More insights from BrandZ top 100 most valuable global brands report are available online here