Brand consultancy firm Interbrand released its 2016 ranking of the most valuable brands in the world, and technology and automotive brands dominated by holding a combined 29 positions. 

Apple Inc. (AAPL) is the world’s most valuable brand. The Cupertino company racked up the honor for the fourth year in a row. However, the occasion was poignant this time around as the announcement was made on the fifth anniversary of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ death. The highest ranked automotive brands were Japan's Toyota and Germany's Mercedes-Benz. According to the press release, Retail is the top growing sector, followed by sports and luxury.

Apple rival Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG), which took direct aim at its iPhone by launching a competitor Pixel phone this week, was ranked second. The Coca-Cola company (KO), Microsoft Inc. (MSFT), and Toyota Motors Corp. (TMC) took three places to comprise the top five brands in the world. (See also: Top 20 Brands Worth More In 2016). 

The announcement comes as a shot in the arm for what has been a rollercoaster year for Apple’s stock. It is up by 7.3% since the beginning of this year, as of yesterday’s closing price. However, that increase has come after a crash of 14% during the middle of May this year. The company also announced its iPhone sales miss earlier this year and has provided a cautious guidance for sales ahead. According to Interbrand, Apple’s brand grew by 5 percent this year. When the rankings were released in 2015, Apple's brand grew by 43% on the back of record iPhone sales. (See also: Apple Stock Pressured By Weak iPhone Sales Projections). 

At 11 percent, Google’s brand value increased by more than double that of Apple’s. That increase is a reflection of the Mountain View company’s bold moves in the last year. It has reorganized itself into a conglomerate and cut flab by slashing costs and shutting down non-performing divisions and projects.  

Tech companies also led the list of the world’s top emerging brands with Facebook Inc. (FB), which saw an increase of 44 percent in its brand value, and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), which saw a 33 percent increase, taking the first two spots there.

According to Interbrand’s press release, the company calculates rankings on the basis of three components: financial performance, role that the brand plays in influencing customer choice, and strength that the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company. Collectively, the world’s top 100 brands have a value of $17.9 trillion, according to the consultancy.  

 

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