Apple tops Forbes’ most valuable brands list for fifth straight year

Apple tops Forbes’ most valuable brands list for fifth straight year

Apple tops Forbes’ most valuable brands list for fifth straight year

Apple CEO Tim Cook. AP Photo

Apple has topped Forbes’ most valuable brands list for a fifth straight year with a brand value of $145.3 billion, after selling 74.8 million smartphones worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The magazine said the Apple brand’s $145.3 billion value was up 17 percent over 2014. 

“The brand ranks on top of Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands for a fifth straight time and is worth twice as much as any other brand on the planet. The company sold 74.8 million smartphones worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2014, with phone sales up 49 percent,” the magazine’s staff said on the website. 

According to the list released on late May 13, Apple was followed by Microsoft with a market value of $69.3 billion, up 10 percent since 2014, and Google with $65.6 billion, an increase of 16 percent since last year. The search engines’ value increased thanks to its mobile advertising revenue.

“After years of getting beaten up in the press and by users, the $94-billion-in-sales Microsoft is suddenly cool again under CEO Satya Nadella, just the company’s third leader in 40 years. The company is intriguing developers and introducing captivating products like its HoloLens, a headset which brings hi-def holograms to life using Windows,” the magazine’s staff said in the assessment of this year’s list.

Facebook on top 10 list for first time 

Coca-Cola ($56 billion) and IBM ($49.8) took the fourth and fifth slots in the ranking.

The top 10 list also included McDonald’s ($39.5 billion), Samsung ($37.9 billion), Toyota ($37.8 billion), General Electric ($37.5 billion) and Facebook ($36.5 billion), which entered the top 10 for the first time. 

Samsung (South Korea) and Toyota (Japan) came in seventh and eighth places, respectively.

“We determined the most valuable brands by starting with a universe of more than 200 global brands. We required brands to have at least some presence in the U.S., which knocked out big brands like Chinese internet giant Tencent and multinational telecom firm Vodafone. Forbes valued these brands on three years of earnings and allocated a percentage of those earnings based on the role brands play in each industry, e.g., high for luxury goods and beverages, low for airlines and oil companies. We applied the average price-to-earnings multiple over the past three years to these earnings to arrive at the final brand value,” the magazine staff said. 

The 100 most valuable brands spanned 15 countries across 20 broad industry categories. Brands from U.S.-based companies made up just over half the list, with the next biggest representation from Germany with nine brands, Japan with seven brands and France with seven brands. Tech brands were the most prevalent with 15, including half of the top 20 in the list. Automotive and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies both landed 13 brands within the top 100. Toyota was the top auto brand, while Gillette headed the CPG brands at No. 26, worth $20.4 billion.

Facebook registered the biggest gain of any brand in the top 100, up 54 percent. It cracked the top 10 for the first time with a value of $36.5 billion. Facebook had 936 million active daily users as of March 2015, with 83 percent of those outside the U.S. The brand has emerged as a competitor to YouTube regarding video, said the Forbes staff. 

Other big gainers in the top 100 included, up 32 percent, and Disney, up 26 percent, according to the magazine’s staff.