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Apple, tech titans lead US brands to world domination

Chin up, Blighty – you're strong in booze

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The European Brand Institute's annual brand-value survey is out, and Europe has little to boast about: not one European brand made it into the top ten.

In fact, each of the world's ten most valuable brands identified by the Eurobrand2011 survey are from the good ol' US of A, with Apple standing on top of the pack. Four of the top five are identified as "IT & Technology" brands – Apple, Microsoft, Google, and IBM – with "Consumer goods" heavyweight Coca-Cola slipping in at number two behind Apple.

eurobrand2011 brand-value survey results

The eurobrand2011 brand-value survey
results for the US, UK, and Europe,
listed in order of worldwide ranking

"Eurobrand2011 explicitly views brand management from a European perspective, which acknowledges regional cultures and preferences," the European Brand Institute explains. "Therefore not single brands but brand corporations which manage brand portfolios of single brands (addressing these regional differences) are examined and ranked."

The study examined more than 3,000 of these "brand corporations" in 24 countries, divided up into 16 industry groups.

Although the Institute didn't provide a clear definition of "brand value" along with its report , one company's history is instructive: Nokia was ranked Europe's number one brand in 2009 and number two in 2010, but it didn't even make the top ten in 2011 – it pulled up lame at number 14.

Seems about right.

"Europe is the 'continent of consumer goods', North America is strong in IT and technology ... [and] Asia in financial services," Institute director Gerhard Hrebicek said in a canned statedment.

Apple's marketing team must be doing something right – its brand valuation of $96.7bn is more than $20bn greater than that of its nearest competitor, Coca-Cola. In addition, it takes the combined brand value of the three top UK brands – Vodafone, Unilever, and SABMiller – to equal Cupertino's massive valuation.

The UK, it must be said, doesn't exactly threaten the US's brand-value hegemony. The top-ten UK brands – actually, the UK's only ten in the 100-brand worldwide list – have a total brand value of just over a third that of the US top 10.

It's also worth mentioning that of those top-ten UK brand, slots three and four are occupied by purveyors of alcoholic beverages – SABMiller and Diageo – and that among the 39 US brands in the top 100 worldwide, nary a one is for beer, wine, or spirits.

Now, that may be a thoroughly meaningless data point, or it may have some interesting sociological implications – but from our perch here at Vulture Annex in beautiful downtown San Francisco, we feel it's not our place to offer an opinion. ®

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