Evaluating a brand is dependent on whose views are being considered, in addition to the financial and market data. Both Forbes and the Financial Times analyzed the top 100 global brands based on their unique criteria. Forbes organized the top brands with a significant presence in the U.S. based on revenue and earnings before interest and taxes averaged over the past three years. They also consider the role the brand plays in each industry. The Financial Times on the other hand was established by BrandZ rankings and is based on financial data, market data, and the views of brands by 4 million consumers in 51 countries. It differs from the Forbes’ methodology in that it considers all brands and the perspectives of individuals outside of the U.S.
The Forbes’ top 100 list focuses heavily on technology. Six out of the top seven are in technology with Apple ranked at the top. 20% of the top 100 brands are within the technology sector and they account for 43% of the list’s cumulative brand value. However, it should be noted that the referenced list leaves out significant companies such as Alibaba and Tencent. The Financial Times includes these as rank 7th and 8th respectively in the top 100 global brands. Whereas the above graphic seems to suggest that Americans spend the most on technology, the Financial Times article illustrates that on a global scale, the retail industry dominates with Amazon listed at the top. Over the years, the ranking of brands have and continue to shift dramatically. Amazon’s brand value increased by 52% last year alone and Facebook has been struggling over data privacy concerns causing theirs to drop. It is difficult to forecast if the trend of the technology industry will continue, or if barriers, such as privacy concerns, will affect these organizations as well. Over time, these trends will continue to evolve and maybe different organizations will emerge on top. Regardless, it is important to be mindful of the methodology used and the representation shown.