apple and Coca-ColaAfter more than a decade of dominance, Coca-Cola has been toppled from the throne as the world’s most recognized brand.

The new king of all brands? Apple.

In fact, Coca-Cola is not even No. 2. Coke has now not only fallen behind Apple, but also Google, according to Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands list.

“Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but also with its ethos,” the Interbrand report states. “Few brands have enabled so many people to do so much so easily, which is why Apple has legions of adoring fans.”

Interbrand bases the rankings on the profits of the company, how much the brand recognition influences customers and how dominant a company’s top products are in their respective fields. The report found that Apple’s brand is worth a staggering $98 billion, up 28% from last year.  Some of that growth is attributable to Apple’s growth in China, according to CNN.

Interbrand also noted that Apple has excelled at “mastering the ability to surprise and delight” by often giving consumers more than what they expected, raising the bar for making simple, easy-to-use electronic devices that have become staples in people’s lives around the world.

There are 72 million Mac computers in use and sales of the computer has continued to grow at a rate of about 15% per year for the past five years – far more than the 3% annual growth being seen by other personal computer companies.

Apple also has reached millions with its iTunes App Store. More than 50 billion downloads have happened on the site, according to the report. From a retail standpoint, Apple’s iTunes is doing 17 times better than any physical retail store, according to RetailSails.

The Top 10 Best Global Brands, according to Interbrand, are: Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, General Electric, MacDonald’s, Samsung, Intel and Toyota.

Coca-Cola still retains a strong presence, with a brand worth $79 billion, according to the report. That’s a 2% increase over last year.

Interbrand also breaks down brands by sector.

In the automotive industry, Toyota was followed by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen as   Best Global Brands. Among American car companies, Ford ranked highest at No. 6.

In financial services, American Express ranked highest, followed by HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Citi. Among luxury brands, Louis Vuitton dominated, with an estimated brand value (24.8 billion) that was more than twice the next best brand, Gucci. Those were followed by Hermes, Cartier, Prada, Tiffany & Co. and Burberry.

Among beverage companies, Coca-Cola continues to dominate, according to the report, followed distantly by Pepsi, Nescafe and Sprite as best global brands.


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