Charli Crosby, 5, points to a doll in the window of an American Girl store at The Grove mall in Los Angeles November 26, 2013. This year, Black Friday starts earlier than ever, with some retailers opening early on Thanksgiving evening. About 140 million people were expected to shop over the four-day weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTX15UG2

Mapped … eight of the top 10 brands on Brand Finance’s 2017 list are from the United States
Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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For the last five years, Apple held on to the title of the world’s most valuable brand. Then this year, the iPhone maker lost the top spot to Google, according to consultancy Brand Finance’s Global 500 rankings.

As Apple’s brand value tumbled 27% to $107.1 billion in 2016, Google’s increased to $109.5 billion. Amazon, with 53% brand value growth, was close behind at $106.4 billion.

Image: Brand Finance Global 500 2017

Eight of the top 10 brands on Brand Finance’s 2017 list are American, reflecting the global dominance of US brands.

So where does this leave the rest of the world?

Visualizing brands as countries

Using Brand Finance’s ranking, cost information website HowMuch.net has taken the most valuable brands in selected countries and turned them into a map. Each country is sized to reflect the global value of its biggest brand.

After Google, the next most valuable national brand is South Korea’s Samsung, which is in sixth place on the Global 500 list at $66.2 billion. Then it’s Chinese bank ICBC, ranked 10th, with a brand value of $47.8 billion.

Image: howmuch.net

Car-makers Toyota (Japan) and BMW (Germany) are next, with brand values of $46.3 billion and $37.1 billion, respectively. Shell, the multinational oil and gas company based in the Netherlands, also features prominently, at $36.8 billion.

The top brands of most countries, however, are worth less than $25 billion. Across Latin America, the most valuable brand is Mexican energy company Pemex, at $8.5 billion. In Asia, it’s India’s Tata conglomerate, at $12.9 billion. No African brands appear on the map.

The world’s most powerful brands

Lego may have a relatively modest $7.6 billion brand value, but when it comes to sheer power Denmark’s biggest brand punches well above its weight.

Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index (BSI) awards brands a mark out of 100. Lego gets high scores across a range of metrics such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.

Image: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The colour-coding on the map indicates brand strength, with Lego and Google (the most powerful brands) in dark blue. Many well-known brands including Samsung, BMW, Shell, Ikea and Nestle are on the next rung down, in light blue.

With marks ranging between 70 and 80, market-leading brands including Santander, Tata and Vodafone, are in pink. Only two top national brands, Taiwan Semiconductor and Thailand’s PTT, coloured red, have scores of less than 70.

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