brandz-list-2013The Oscars equivalent for brand names, the BrandZ list of the most valuable global brands of 2013, has been published and the three most valuable brands are technology companies. Apple, Google and IBM top the charts followed by the food giants McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

The BrandZ list, which is now in its eighth year, ranks the brands according to the views of potential and current buyers of a brand along with financial data. Although Apple remains on the top with a brand value of $185 billion, it only managed to grow 1 percent  in the last year. This could be potentially worrying as it closest real world competitor Samsung grew its brand value by 51 percent. However the Korean electronics giant still has some way to go to catch Apple and Google as it is only ranked at number 30 with a brand value of $21 billion.

Google’s brand value was actually in decline when the 2012 list was published, but this year the search giant and benevolent curator of Android grew its brand value by 5 percent to  swap places with IBM and secure the number 2 spot with a brand value of $114 billion. IBM is now number 3 with a brand value of $112 billion.

Resisting the urge to philosophize about why the three  the most valuable global brands are technology companies and why the next two are fast food related brands, it is worth noting that Microsoft is the seventh most valuable brand, having dropped two places from 2012, with a brand value of $69 billion. Amazon is 14th at $45 billion and Facebook ranks just after Samsung at 31 with $21 billion.


Showing the economic power of China, there are at least three Chinese brands in the top 40 including China Mobile (number 10 with $55 billion), China Construction Bank (at number 22 with $26 billion – more than Samsung and Amazon) and the Agriculture Bank of China (taking the 37th spot with a brand value of just under $20 billion).

What is also interesting is that Sony, LG, Nokia and HTC don’t appear anywhere in the top 100. This is an odd dichotomy in that the biggest two brands Apple and Google are technology companies with heavy interests in smartphones. They are clearly valuable brands, but other than Samsung (and Microsoft) no other smartphone manufacturer appears in the top 100. This only goes to prove Apple’s genius at marketing and Google solid position as a household name.

Does the list reflect your value of these brands? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.