Apple has topped a list of the world's best global brands for the ninth year in a row.
New York-based management consulting firm Interbrand put the tech giant in first place on a list of the top 100 brands, assigning it a "brand value" of $408.3 billion, a surge of 26 per cent in a year.
Interbrand evaluates a firm's brand value based on its financial performance, influence on purchases and the brand's future competitiveness.
Big Tech dominated Interbrand's list, with the top five spots going to Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Samsung.
Coca-Cola, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, McDonald’s and Disney rounded out the top 10.
Apple has ensured everyone in the organisation is moving towards a "clear, ambitious goal", Interbrand said in its report.
Apple has successfully diversified its product portfolio and entered into new fields such as health care (with the Apple Watch now recording blood oxygen levels), subscription-services in entertainment, data-storage and music.
“It has continued to stay close to customers and it continues to find strong online retail solutions despite complications caused by the pandemic,” Interbrand said.
This week, Apple launched its latest MacBook Pro laptops - powered by the company’s in-house M1 Pro and M1 Max chips – and new AirPods as it looks to diversify its product range and attract more professional users.
The brand value of the 100 firms now stands at $2.7 trillion, up 15 per cent from $2.3tn last year, the highest-ever growth rate in the 22-year history of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands.
The average brand value increased 10 per cent, significantly larger than the 1.3 per cent last year, “owed largely to the economic disruption caused by Covid-19,” Interbrand said.
Technology is the fastest-growing sector, with an average brand value change of 23 per cent on an annual basis. It is also the most valuable sector by average brand value, followed by beverages and sporting goods.
"Direction, agility and participation are three key themes we have seen driving brand growth over the past year,” Interbrand’s global chief executive Charles Trevail said.
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the constantly evolving business landscape, employee buy-in, adapting to change and a strong customer base have helped certain brands to thrive," he added.
Tesla, the world’s biggest electric vehicle maker, was placed at 14th on the list. It made the biggest leap up the table, jumping 26 places.
Salesforce climbed 20 spots to 38th position and PayPal jumped up 18 places up to 42.
Tesla, which reported its largest quarterly net profit of $1.6bn at the end of September, is the fastest-growing brand of the past year, with a 184 per cent increase in brand value.
Top 10 best global brands