Is Apple Still the World’s Most Valuable Brand?

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While there are many newcomers and large risers on the list of the world’s most valuable brands, familiar names dominate the top of the rankings.

The world’s most valuable 100 brands grew their worth 7 percent to $2.6 trillion last year, according to a new report by BrandZ, the world’s largest brand equity database. All but two of the 13 categories in the ranking posted year-over-year growth, as technology and the oil and gas brands lagged behind overall. In comparison, the aggregate value of the list only edged 0.4 percent higher in the previous year and 4 percent during the official 2009 Great Recession.

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BrandZ and Millward Brown Optimor take several unique and objective steps in its methodology process, including calculating variables such as branded earnings, financial value, brand contribution, and brand value. Their research includes two million consumers and more than 10,000 brands in over 30 countries around the world.

With a rebound in stock prices and the real estate market, several luxury brands made large moves. Prada, the Italian fashion label, witnessed a 63 percent surge in its brand value, while Calvin Klein (NYSE:PVH) and Gucci posted gains of 52 percent and 48 percent, respectively. In fact, Gucci and Prada were both newcomers to the top 100 list. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) grew its brand value by 43 percent, while competitor Lowe’s (NYSE:L) jumped 26 percent.

Despite the improvement, technology names remain at the top of the list. Here’s a look at the most valuable brands in the world:

5. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)

The Warren Buffett favorite and world’s largest beverage company moved one spot higher to fifth place with a brand value of $78.42 billion, up 6 percent from the previous year. Out of the top five companies, Coca-Cola logged the biggest improvement in percentage terms.

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4. McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)

For the second consecutive year, the land of the golden arches comes in at fourth place. McDonald’s has a brand value of $90.26 billion, down 5 percent from the previous year.

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3. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM)

The second Buffett favorite to make the top five slipped one spot to third place. IBM has a brand value of $112.54 billion, down 3 percent year-over-year.

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2. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

The king of search and gatekeeper to the Internet moved from third to second place this year. Google has a brand value of $113.67 billion, up 5 percent from the previous year.

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1. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Although a dramatic fall in the stock price caused Apple to become the second largest publicly-traded company for a brief period of time, the tech giant is still the most valuable brand in the world. BrandZ calculates Apple’s brand value to be worth $185.07 billion, up 1 percent from the prior year.

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BrandZ ranks Samsung as having the 30th most valuable brand at $21.40 billion, representing a 51 percent surge year-over-year.

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