Technology dominates Top 100 World’s Most Valuable Brands. Google and Apple remain top.

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Bingeing on Netflix box sets, sharing stories on Facebook and downloading content from Apple’s iTunes and Alibaba’s Ali Picture have contributed to a record year for tech brands in the 2018 BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking released today by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

Eight out of the Top 10 are technology or tech-related brands. This category continues to dominate the rankings with Google and Apple retaining the number 1 and 2 spots, growing +23% to $302.1 billion and +28% to $300.6 billion respectively.

Amazon moved into the no.3 position ahead of Microsoft, growing +49% to $207.6 billion, while Tencent rose to no.5 ahead of Facebook (no.6) growing +65% in brand value to $179 billion, up three places from last year’s ranking.

Out of the pure entertainment brands, Netflix (no.61 in the Top 100) receives the red-carpet treatment and emerges as a true ‘A-list’ celebrity, growing +73% in brand value to $20.8 billion and climbing 31 places in the BrandZ Global Top 100 ranking.

Said to be benefitting from the growing adoption of internet entertainment worldwide, Netflix intends to spend $8 billion on original programming this year, including 30 local language productions in countries throughout the world, giving it a truly international brand appeal.

Says David Roth, WPP:

“We’ve seen the biggest ever rise in brand value this year, driven by growth across all categories. Both new and established players have seen the payoff in being bold and adopting a long-term outlook towards brand-building.

The BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2018

Rank 2018 Brand Category Brand value 2018 ($M) Brand value change Rank 2017
1 Google Technology 302,063 +23% 1
2 Apple Technology 300,595 +28% 2
3 Amazon Retail 207,594 +49% 4
4 Microsoft Technology 200,987 +40% 3
5 Tencent Technology 178,990 +65% 8
6 Facebook Technology 162,106 +25% 5
7 Visa Payments 145,611 +31% 7
8 McDonald’s Fast Food 126,044 +29% 10
9 Alibaba Retail 113,401 +92% 14
10 AT&T Telecom Providers 106,698 -7% 6

Despite economic and political uncertainty in many regions of the world, this year’s ranking shows its largest-ever annual increase in value – almost $750 billion (+21%). This gave the BrandZ Global Top 100 an overall total brand value of $4.4 trillion; up 204% over 12 years since it was first published in 2006. This is also the first year that all categories in the BrandZ Top 100 reported growth.

Furthermore, it’s the first year non-US brands grew faster than US brands. Fourteen Chinese brands appear in the Top 100 ranking compared to just one (China Mobile) in 2006. The total value of China’s Top 10 grew year-on-year by +47%, more than double that of the US brands (+23%).

Other parts of the world, such as India and Indonesia, are also showing strong regional growth. The BrandZ Top 100 included seven Asian brands (excluding China), which grew +14% giving them a total brand value of $146 billion.

Regional bank BCA (no.99) became the first Indonesian brand to enter the ranking, and newcomer Maruti Suzuki entered the Top 10 Car category for the first time.

Trailblazing Chinese brands dominate the Fastest Risers this year with (no.59) leading the march following a staggering +94% rise in brand value bolstered by its entry into new categories such as finance. Alibaba (no.9) was second, entering the Top 10 for the first time this year with +92% growth, as it expanded its global reach and the success of Singles Day. The third fastest riser was Moutai (no.34) growing by +89%.

 Key trends highlighted in this year’s BrandZ Global Top 100 study include:

  • Intelligence-led marketing, such as AI and AR, allows brands to ‘revive and thrive’ and maintain relevance to consumers.
  • com and HP reappeared on this year’s list, having both been in the BrandZ Top 100 in 2016. US telecoms giant Spectrum (no. 27) led the Newcomers to the rankings, with Uber (no.81) and Instagram (no.91). Last year’s fastest riser Adidas jumped into the ranking at 100. It was also the first time an Indonesian brand entered the BrandZ Top 100 with regional bank BCA at no.99.
  • Partnerships proved pivotal as brands sought ways to maximise efficiency.Leading brands continued to raise the bar on expectations for customer experience at every touch point—both online and offline—from trial to pick-up or delivery by seeking strategic, long-term partnerships.
  • Retail demonstrated strong growth as the fastest rising category growing +35% in value over the last 12 months.
  • Tech-related brands continue to dominate in the ‘battle of the brands’, accounting for over half (+56%) of the BrandZ Top 100’s brand value.
Chris Price
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