Apple No. 1 in the 2011 BrandZ Top Brands Ranking

WPP is a Dublin-based global communications consulting firm of based in Dublin which offers, among other things, media management, advertising and branding and design services. As part of WPP’s own branding, they offer an annual, entertaining look at the value of the world’s top brands (BrandZ), compiled by their Illinois-based Millward Brown unit.

David Roth, CEO The Store—WPP Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, summarized the significance of the findings:

Brand contributes significantly to earnings across all sectors, both consumer facing and business-to-business. The value of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands increased 64 percent since 2006. During the same period, the stock market value of the BrandZ portfolio grew by 35.9% compared with a fall of 1.1% for the S&P 500. 

Here are some highlights of the compilation:

Apple overtook Google for the top spot and is now valued at $153.3B, a year-over-year 84% increase.

With a 246 percent rise in brand value (now $19.1B), Facebook made the BrandZ Top 100 for the first time (at No. 35).

Amazon is now the No. 1 retail brand, with a 37 percent rise in brand value (now $37.6B).

Twelve percent of the Top 100 brands are Chinese, and the Chinese search engine Baidu was most impressive, increasing 141% in brand value (now $22.6B). (In contrast, the Google brand slipped 2%, but it is still valued at $111.5B.)

Resilient Toyota rebounded to the No. 1 rank in cars, reinforcing the strategic importance of developing and maintaining a strong brand.

It’s almost axiomatic to mention Coca Cola when talking about brand value; many still think of it as the world’s number one brand. BrandZ has it sixth, with less than half Apple’s value.

Tops in Food:  McDonalds ($100.8B)

Tops in Telecom: AT&T ($69.9B)

Tops in Financial Services:  Wells Fargo ($36.9B)