Apple has unseated Coca-Cola as the world's No. 1 brand, as the company founded by Steve Jobs is a leader in design and performance, according to a study of the Top 100 brands by Interbrand Corp.
Apple Inc.'s brand value jumped 28 percent to $98.3 billion and Google Inc.'s rose in second place at $93.3 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. name slipped from the top spot after 13 years to third place at $79.2 billion.
"Every so often, a company changes our lives -- not just with its products, but with its ethos," Jez Frampton, chief executive officer at New York-based brand consultancy Interbrand, said in a statement. Current Apple CEO "Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs' vision intact -- a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again."
The annual study, closely watched by the industry, determines a brand's value by examining its financial performance, role in influencing consumer buying and ability to secure earnings. The Top 10 is rounded out in descending order by IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonald's, Samsung, Intel and Toyota. The 100 have a combined value of $1.5 trillion, an 8.4 percent increase from last year.
Technology names were among the biggest climbers -- and the biggest decliners as well. Google's brand value rose 34 percent and Samsung's advanced 20 percent. Meanwhile, Nokia dropped to 57th place from 19th with the largest decline in brand value in the history of the 14-year study. Yahoo and BlackBerry fell off the rankings altogether.
The shifts in many of the brands' placements reflects the turmoil in the technology industry over the past year. Nokia Oyj -- which had the largest share of the mobile-handset market until it was overtaken by Samsung Electronics Co. in 2012 -- was split this month when Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy the Finnish company's phone business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.34 billion). As part of the deal, Microsoft licensed the Nokia brand for a decade just for the low-end models. Fancier devices won't get the Nokia name any more.
Last week, smartphone pioneer BlackBerry Ltd. said a group led by Toronto-based insurance company Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. signed a letter of intent for a $4.7 billion buyout. The company is cutting a third of its staff and refocusing just on business customers after the products once so popular they were known as CrackBerries lost favor to Apple and Samsung handsets, which offered better Web browsing and wider ranges of applications.
New names on the Interbrand list include Discovery, Duracell and Chevrolet. The fastest-rising brands were Apple, Facebook, Prada, Google and Amazon.