Millward Brown Optimor has released its fifth annual BrandZ report (.pdf file) that shows the 100 most valuable brands in the world–and it shows just how integral technology has become in our lives. The top spot goes to Google, with IBM and Apple following close behind–and out of the top 10, there are just three non-tech brands: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Marlboro.
Of the 16 categories, however, it was not technology that posted the biggest rise but, rather, financial institutions, with a 12% growth, compared to half of that for tech. Only beer and fast food, with increases of 10% and 1% respectively, showed positive, with the other 12 sectors dropping. It’s worth comparing the list with Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2010.
The report–its methodology is explained here–has a lot to say about social media and how it affects a company’s brand–especially for those in the tech sector. The BrandZ list didn’t feature Facebook in the top 100, but it slipped in at 20th in the tech rankings. The site, however, featured large in the report, and is seen as a crucial tool in how the big firms will increase their reach using social networking sites.
Its advice to budding Jobses, Brin/Pages, and Zuckerbergs is to forget about philanthropy (not something, whisper, that either Apple or Facebook is known for) and embrace responsibility, to see mobiles as the new billboards–RIP Don Draper–and that successful brands are built from the top down.