Value of top brands grew by 8% to $2.33 trillion; bigtech leads; Facebook declines

The 100 top global brands, led by technology companies, are up 8% over last year and are worth a cumulative $2.33 trillion.

It’s no surprise that the top-five most valuable brands are technology companies. What is surprising is just have far they have come and by how much they lead other industries.

According to Forbes latest brand value research, Apple leads all brands for the ninth year in a row with a value of $205.5 billion.  Amazon was up an amazing 37% to $97 billion. The others in the top-five are Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Facebook was the only loser in the top-ten, down 6% over last year, is still number five at a value of $88.9 billion, according the the Forbes analysis. Facebook’s misuse of user information, deception and inclusion of questionable content no doubt played a role.

The graphic above illustrates the relative value of the top brands within their respective industries and versus each other, one-to-one.  The value of brands is built over time and reflects criteria such as revenue, profitability, reputation and advertising dollars spent (see Methodology & Measurement below).

Netflix was up 34% and more than 20 brands declined in value, including ESPN (-10%), GE (-8%) and Hyundai (-8%).

Audi (#41) and Porsche (#62) are on the top-100 list while Volkswagen, their parent, the largest vehicle manufacturer in worldwide sales in 2016 and 2017, fell off after it faked data on omissions produced by its diesel engines.

Methodology & Measurement

The magazine’s first step in valuing the brands was to determine revenue and earnings before interest and taxes for each one, which are gathered from company reports, Wall Street research and industry experts. Forbes averaged earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) over the past three years and subtracted from earnings a charge of 8% of the brand’s capital employed, figuring a generic brand should be able to earn at least 8% on this capital.

Forbes applied the corporate tax rate in the parent company’s home country to that net earnings figure and allocated a percentage of those earnings to the brand based on the role brands play in each industry.

Brands are crucial when it comes to beverages and luxury goods, but less so with airlines and fuel, when price and convenience are more important.

U.S. Leads by Five-Fold

U.S. companies landed 56 brands among the top 100. Germany was number two with eleven. France and Japan had seven and six respectively.

For the full list of the most valuable 100 brands, go here.

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