Going back a decade, when Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ study tracking the 100 most valuable global brands was first released, only one Chinese company made the list. Now there are 14, including the tech giants Tencent and Alibaba.

“Most of them are big brands, but they’re not truly globalized brands yet,” says Doreen Wang, Global Head of BrandZ at Millward Brown, the marketing and brand consultancy owned by WPP, in an interview with Beet.TV. “But they’ve already changed the competitive landscape in China, and they are aggressively going global.”

Brand value in the study is calculated using the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, along with financial data. Another striking development from this year’s ranking was Apple catapulting into the top spot over Google.

Apple’s brand value has increased to $247 billion, a 67% increase over last year and now roughly commensurate with the GDP of Finland, according to Wang.

Next on the list are Google (worth $173.7 billion) and Microsoft (worth $115.5 billion).

Wang observes that another fast mover up the ranks is Facebook (No. 12), which gained nine places since last year and experienced 99% year-over-year growth in brand value, according to the study.

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