Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook lead most valuable global brands list

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, in his office at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
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U.S. tech giants Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook are the five most valuable global brands, according to rankings released on Tuesday by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking saw Google retain its top spot with a brand value of more than $245 billion. Amazon rose three places to number four after achieving the highest dollar value growth. The online retailer increased by $40.3 billion to $139.3 billion. Other brands making the top ten included AT&T, Visa, Tencent, IBM and McDonald's.

"Strong brands continue to deliver value for the companies that own them, regardless of economic, political and category disruption," Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Kantar Millward Brown, said in a statement.

"The BrandZ Global Top 100 is now dominated by the internet giants — brands that have operated on a global stage since day one, and which are built on powerful, innovative technology platforms," Walshe added. "This has enabled them to transcend regional and sector boundaries and grow their value at an unprecedented rate."

Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California

In the U.K., Vodafone headed the top ten, followed by HSBC, Shell, BT and BP. Adidas was found to be the world's fastest growing brand, with its value increasing by 58 percent to $8.3 billion.

The agility and innovative nature of the top tech brands was seen as a core strength.

"The superstar technology brands in the BrandZ Global Top 100 are capable of abundant innovation, using their platforms to create connected ecosystems that meet multiple needs and make our lives easier," Jane Bloomfield, head of U.K. marketing for Kantar Millward Brown, said.

"They also have great elasticity, confidently playing in new territories and categories to expand their customer bases," Bloomfield added.

The list is now in its twelfth year. It combines measures of brand equity based on interviews with more than 3 million consumers about thousands of brands, with analysis of each company's business and financial performance, using data from both Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel.