Google has replaced Apple as America’s (and the world’s) most valuable brand, according to Brand Finance, a valuation and strategy consultancy with 15 offices around the world. The firm revealed its list of 500 Most Valuable Brands today.
Rounding out the top five are Apple Inc., at number two; Amazon Inc. at number three; AT&T at number four, and Microsoft, at number five.
Several brands in the fashion-retail sector made up the top 100. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. came in at number seven, Nike Inc. at number 18, Target Corp. at number 37, Donna Karan at number 90 and Victoria’s Secret at number 98.
Interestingly Karan, which recently changed ownership, made the top 100, while other big-name American designer brands were further down the list. Michael Kors came in at number 195, Polo Ralph Lauren at number 225, Tommy Hilfiger at number 261, Calvin Klein at number 308 and Marc Jacobs at number 446.
Among retailers, T.J. Maxx came in at number 117, Macy’s at number 124, Ross Dress for Less at number 132, Nordstrom Inc. at number 148, Coach Inc. at number 156, Tiffany Co. at number 172, Marshall’s at number 249, Dick’s Sporting Goods at number 278, Gap Inc. at number 289, Old Navy at number 293, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. at number 323.
In addition to Nike, other athletic firms also scored well. Under Armour Inc. scored at number 109, while The North Face came in at number 200.
In the beauty area, Clinique scored at number 140, Maybelline at number 159, Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. at number 170 and Avon at number 307.
Brand Finance’s calculations take into account many factors, such as brand strength determined by financial performance, sustainability and emotional connection, as well as licensing arrangements, royalty rates, historic revenues, economic growth rates and equity analyst forecasts.
The company determined that Google has a brand value of $109 billion and remains largely unchallenged in its core search business, the mainstay of its ad income. However, as David Haigh, chief executive officer of Brand Finance, pointed out, “The recent controversy over Google’s placement of customers’ ads alongside undesirable content illustrates that even companies with apparently dominant market positions must be conscious of the risks to their most valuable asset, their brand.”
Apple has seen its brand value fall 27 percent since early 2016 to $107 billion, according to Brand Finance. The company attributes that to overexploiting the goodwill of its customers by failing to maintain its technological advantage and delivering tweaks to existing products rather than genuine innovation.
Amazon saw its brand value rise 53 percent over last year to $106 billion as it continues to reshape the retail market and capture a larger market share, said Brand Finance. With a brand value only fractionally behind Apple and Google already, Amazon could easily become the most valuable brand in the U.S. and the rest of the world in 2018, the company said.
Overall, America’s brand continues to reach new heights. The total value of America’s top 500 brands is $3.1 trillion, having increased 11 percent from $2.8 trillion a year ago, according to Brand Finance.
Here is the top 500 list.