Apple, Google and other tech companies have the most valuable brands, says Interbrand

Apple, Google, Microsoft and IBM have four of the five most valuable brands in 2015 - they're split by Coco-Cola - according to Interbrand's annual list of the top 100. But which ones have survived from 2005?

interbrand graphic
Graphic by Interbrand

There are no great surprises in Interbrand's annual list of the Top 100 brands by value. The list is headed by Apple and Google, and dominated by technology companies. Microsoft, IBM, Samsung and Amazon also make the top 10, while Intel, Cisco, Oracle and HP make the top 20.

It looks as though Facebook will be in next year's top 20: the value of its brand grew by 54 percent to $22 billion. Its brand value increased faster than any other company, including Apple (up 43 percent) and Amazon (up 29 percent).

Amazon took 10th place from Mercedes Benz.

The tech companies losing brand value included IBM (-10 percent), Cisco, HP and eBay (-3 percent each)

PayPal and Lenovo entered the list for the first time, in 97th and 100th place respectively. However, Nokia - which used to be in the top 10 - and Nintendo dropped out. Last year, they were in 98th and 100th place respectively, following massive declines in brand value of -44 and -33 percent.

Lenovo is only the second Chinese company to enter the list. "The first was Huawei (#88), which entered the ranking in 2014," according to Interbrand. However, there are still a few Japanese companies in the top 100, including car-makers Toyota, Honda and Nissan, plus Sony and Panasonic.

The list is not a popularity contest. Interbrand says its valuations are based on the financial performance of the company, "the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice," and the brand's ability to command a premium price.

A decade ago, in 2005, the top 10 comprised Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Disney, McDonald's, Toyota and Marlboro, in that order. Coca-Cola was the top brand for more than a decade, while Apple didn't make the top 10 until 2011. Still, six of the top 10 brands then are in the top 10 now, which shows that brands do have some enduring value.

How many will still be there in 2025 is open to question. I'd bet against IBM, GE and McDonalds, and the trend against sugar-laden sodas could do for Coca-Cola as well.

The top 32 from Interbrand's Top 100 for 2015
The top 32 from Interbrand's Top 100 for 2015 Screen grab by ZDNet