Four Australian companies have made the list of the world’s 100 most powerful brands, with the top spot going to technology giant Apple.
The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ Bank and Woolworths all made the Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list, compiled by global market research firm Millward Brown and commissioned by marketing giant WPP.
The rankings are based on the views of potential and current buyers of a brand as well as financial data to calculate the brand’s overall value.
Apple retained its title of the world’s most valuable brand, worth $US185 billion, ahead of Google which was valued at $US113 billion and IBM at $US112 billion.
The Commonwealth Bank was the highest-ranked Australian brand, coming in at 48th spot, up 12 places from 2012 when it became the first Australian brand to make the list. Its brand value was calculated at $US17.7 billion – a 36 per cent increase on the previous year.
It is the first time the ANZ Bank (ranked 52), Woolworths (80) and Westpac (88) have made the global list. ANZ’s brand value was listed as $$US16.5 billion; Woolworths at $US11 billion and Westpac at $US10 billion.
The significant presence of Australian brands, particularly in the newcomer rankings, reflected the strength of the Australian economy and the rise in the Australian dollar, according to the Millward Brown report.
“The growing brand value of brands from Australia indicates the strength of the country’s economy relative to other developed markets, and how the country’s proximity to fast-growing Asia markets is influencing growth,” the report said.
The fastest rising brand on the list was luxury apparel brand Prada (95) which saw its value increase by 63 per cent, driven by the “impact of the Chinese consumer purchasing power”.
The second-fastest growing brand and highest-valued apparel brand was Spanish fast-fashion chain Zara. Its brand value rose by 60 per cent to put it in 35th place, ahead of sportswear giant Nike.
The top 100 brands are now collectively worth $2.6 trillion, up 7 per cent from a year ago, according to the report.
Technology brands including Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Samsung, Oracle and Facebook continue to dominate the top rankings, with the report describing them as the “lifeblood of the modern economy”.
All but two of the 13 categories analysed in the report improved in brand value with technology and oil and gas declining modestly.
The greatest percentage brand value rise of all categories was beer – up 36 per cent. Consumer categories – including apparel (up 21 per cent), retail (up 17 per cent), luxury (up 6 per cent) and cars (up 5 per cent) – experienced the strongest brand value appreciation of all the categories.