UK – Apple has fallen from the top spot in the most valuable brands table, losing 27% in brand value in 2016.


Google replaced Apple as the world’s most valuable brand with a value of $109.5bn (up 24%) according to valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance’s Global 500 ranking.

The last time Google held the number one spot was in 2011. The company remains largely unchallenged in its core search business and its ad revenues were up 20% in 2016 as budgets are increasingly directed online.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said: "Apple has struggled to maintain its technological advantage. New iterations of the iPhone have delivered diminishing returns and there are signs that the company has reached a saturation point for its brand.

"The Chinese market, where Apple has enjoyed a dominant market share, is becoming far more competitive with local players entering the market in a meaningful way. Samsung has also been successful in taking market share and financial analysts are projecting declining revenues and margins."

The Global 500 ranks brands by monetary value and also calculates the most ‘powerful’ brands, as defined by the companies whose enterprise value is most positively impacted by the strength of their brand. Lego has replaced Disney as the most powerful brand in the world with a brand strength score of 92.7.

Its media licensing deals and partnerships have driven growth and introduced the likes of Lego Star Wars, Lego Harry Potter and Lego Batman.

Google ( 1 ), Nike ( 28 ), Ferrari ( 258 ) and Visa ( 57 ) complete the rest of the top five most powerful brands in the world.

Haigh said: "A powerful brand can protect a company’s value during turbulent market conditions or challenging times for a business. The share price resilience of Samsung and Wells Fargo, after a difficult year, is testimony to how a brand can help a company ride out a storm.

"This is why a brand is such an important intangible asset and should be valued as such. Particularly during M&A scenarios, the fact that brand values are not factored into company accounts can mitigate against fair value being paid. Sellers ought to recognise the full worth of their brand, while buyers ought to factor in how far the asset of a brand can be stretched and monetised."