It wasn’t long ago that classic American icons like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Marlboro were considered the pinnacle of branding success.
But over the past decade, Silicon Valley giants have rapidly edged out legacy household names in terms of brand value, according to one of the industry’s leading indexes.
Whereas tech companies occupied just three of the top 10 spots in research firm Kantar Millward Brown’s BrandZ ranking in 2007, the industry dominated seven of 10 in the firm’s most recent tally this month.
It’s not that tech was absent from the top of the list 10 years ago. Google has long hovered around the number-one spot it’s hard to beat a brand that’s now an everyday verb and once-ubiquitous Microsoft has had its ups and downs.
But as other tech juggernauts have grown into some of the world’s most valuable companies, their brands have joined the higher reaches as well. The rise of the iPhone propelled Apple to the top in the late aughts, and Amazon and Facebook surged to the front of the pack in just the past couple years.
Netflix, Snapchat, and YouTube all made the top 100 for the first time this year, though none cleared the list’s upper half.
In fact, the only three brands that feature in the top ten in both 2006 and 2017 are tech companies: Google, IBM, and Microsoft.
Watch their progress in the graphic below:
As Silicon Valley has rocketed upwards, changing consumer tastes have also knocked some of the once-dominant traditional brands into the backwaters.
Walmart’s standing has steadily eroded from number seven in 2007 to number 31 this year as its digital nemesis, Amazon, has climbed up the ranks. Coca-Cola and Marlboro, once mainstays of the upper top 10, now clock in at 12 and 13 respectively as they struggle to hang onto health-conscious consumers. (McDonald’s has managed to stay relatively consistent around number 10, despite the chain’s identity struggles.)
The tech industry’s rise in the chart tracks with a similar explosion in overall value. Today, tech companies account for four of the top 10 most valuable public companies in the world as opposed to just one Microsoft in 2007.
“The evolution of the BrandZ Global Top 10 over the past 12 years reflects the dominance of technology and the disruptive impact of the global financial crisis, technological innovation, and changing consumer attitudes about health,” Kantar Millward Brown’s analysts conclude in the report.
The firm calculates an estimate of each brand’s dollar value using data gleaned from more than 3 million consumer interviews across 51 countries. Participants are asked about their attitude towards and relationship with various brands in a survey that spans 414 categories and ultimately produces 4.6 million data points, the firm says.
See the full of list of this year’s top 100 below:
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