Apple, Google lead tech takeover of top global brands

Apple logoApple and Google are clinging to the top two spots in a list of the world's most valuable brands for the third year running.

PC maker Lenovo, payments company PayPal and Danish toy creator Lego join the world's tech behemoths for the first time in this year's list, which is published annually by brand evaluation firm Interbrand. Lego has had a particularly successful year, jumping straight to No. 82 in the index, thanks to the hype around "The Lego Movie" and major licensing deals with the likes of Star Wars and "Jurassic World".

The spread of technology companies on the list -- including an increase from five to six of the top 10 brands this year -- reflects their growing power with consumers who previously were more conscious of giants in the automotive, financial, clothing and food industries. Technology that once was a nerd specialty or something useful for getting work done at the office is now suffusing every part of our lives.

Interbrand, a New York-based consultancy that helps companies manage their brands, ranks companies annually according to its assessment of how much those brand names benefit them. That benefit comes from factors such as helping financial performance, influencing customers and commanding high prices.

At the helm of this gradual tech takeover are Apple and Google, which held onto first and second place, respectively, after nudging Coca-Cola out of the top spot back in 2013. The iPhone maker is also one of 2015's top risers, with its brand value jumping by 43 percent from $119 billion last year to $170 billion this year.

Amazon and Facebook have experienced similarly good fortunes over the past 12 months, with their respective valuations jumping by 29 percent and 54 percent. This boosts Seattle-based Amazon to No. 10 on the list, and sees the world's biggest social network climb the rankings from 29 to 23.

Microsoft also saw a slight improvement this year, switching positions with IBM to claim fourth place and boasting an 11 percent increase in its valuation. Samsung, on the other hand, stayed put at No. 7. This is in spite of the company's steadily declining profits, which have fallen consecutively for the last seven quarters.

Lenovo is only the second Chinese company to earn a place in the rankings, joining phone and network equipment giant Huawei, which first appeared in the list last year. Huawei rose to No. 88, with steadily growing global influence. That brand recognition could increase more with consumers thanks to its role manufacturing the Nexus 6P, one of Google's two flagship smartphones for 2015.

Inevitably there were several casualties in the continued battle to dominate consumer consciousness. This year both Japanese gaming giant Nintendo and Finnish tech firm Nokia fell out of the rankings altogether. Microsoft purchased Nokia's smartphone business at the end of 2013, but having incorporated it into the company and casting off the Nokia branding, the Finnish arm of the company is set to start making Nokia-branded smartphones again in 2016, according to several reports.

Source: CNET

Tags: Apple, Google

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