Apple tops Forbes’ annual look at the world’s most valuable brands for the ninth straight time. The brand of the tech giant is worth $205.5 billion, up 12% over last year. It is the first time a brand crossed the $200 billion threshold.
Apple has made an art form of moving its customer base from one product category to another. Mac users adopted the iPod, followed by the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Customers trust the brand will work seamlessly across all categories in the Apple ecosystem, which has helped make the Cupertino, California-based company the most valuable in the world. Services is the next frontier for the company and brand.
While Apple maintains its spot at the top, Google is closing fast with a value of $167.7 billion, up 23%. The Apple brand was worth more than twice as much as the ubiquitous search brand just four years ago.
Google has cornered the global search engine market with a 92% share over the past 12 months, according to StatCounter (Bing, 2.6%, and Yahoo, 1.9%, are miles behind). Like Apple, Google has used its brand to move into other categories of consumers’ everyday life from email to Web browsing to maps to cloud storage.
While many global consumer brands struggle with the changing habits of their customers, the biggest tech brands continue to be juggernauts. Microsoft ($123.5 billion) and Amazon ($97 billion) round out the top four and both jumped more than 20% in value.