Tech companies now make up five of America’s top 10 most valuable brands, according to the U.S. 500 2017 report from BrandFinance.
Google replaced Apple this year as the number one most valuable brand, valued at $109 billion. Apple and Amazon came in number two and three, respectively. Microsoft came in fifth and Facebook ranked number eight.
The total value of America’s top 500 brands now exceeds $3 trillion dollars, increasing from $2.82 trillion in 2016 to $3.14 trillion this year. Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in the rankings by estimating the likely future sales that are attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.
The fact that five tech companies now stand in the top 10 alongside some of America's oldest, strongest and most valuable brands — including McDonald's, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo — is a testament to how far technology has come and how important it is to business and society today.
A shift among the top tech brands is also telling. Apple was number one for five years. But according to BrandFinance, Apple’s brand value dropped 27% since early 2016 to $107 billion, causing the company to fall to the number two spot.
"Apple has failed to maintain its technological advantage and has repeatedly disillusioned its advocates with tweaks when material changes were expected," according to the report. "Put simply, Apple has over-exploited the goodwill of its customers."
Though Google now stands at number one, BrandFinance predicts Google’s tenure at the top could be short lived as Amazon continues to come on strong. Amazon’s brand value was up 53% year-over-year, BrandFinance said. That includes both its e-commerce and enterprise business.
But Amazon tends to lack the emotional response Apple and Google generate from their customers. "Amazon could easily become the most valuable brand in the U.S. and the rest of the world in 2018 provided it can establish a more emotional connection with consumers," according to the report.