For the first time in 13 years, Coca-Cola is no longer considered to be the most valuable brand in the world. The new statistic comes via the Interbrand survey of the world's most valuable brands, which has been measuring brands since 2000.
It's not that Coke has lost value—its just been usurped by not one but two upstart young technology companies. This year Apple is in the lead, and Google has pulled swiftly into second place.
Interbrand says Apple's status is thanks in part to its "legions of adoring fans" and typified by the "record-breaking launch of the iPhone 5c/5s." The company has set such a high bar for revolutionizing the world and doing so with great aesthetics, that "all other tech brands are now expected to match" it. Interestingly, Interbrand actually says Apple's brand strength has remained steady, despite a curiously critical stance on Tim Cook by some portions of the media.
The estimated value of the Apple brand is $98.3 billion, a rise of 28% on last year's estimate. Coke rose 2% to $79.2 billion, but its growth curve is much flatter than Apple's—suggesting that Apple is going to top the list again next year.
Don't be too swift to dismiss this survey as just another meaningless figure. Apple's brand strength isn't a thin gauze wrapped around its products—it's actually part of the consistent look, feel, and performance of its devices and services, which is why even slight missteps like last year's Maps upset seem so dramatic.
[Image: Flickr user Jason Ralston]