Technology companies dominate the world’s most valuable brands, according to the 2012 Brandz Top 100 report, which saw iPhone and iPad maker Apple hold off IBM and Google to top the pile again.

The Cupertino-based firm saw its brand value increase by 19 percent on last year’s study, which it also lead, to reach $183 billion. That figure puts it ahead of IBM ($116 million), Google ($108 million), McDonalds ($95 million) and Microsoft ($77 million).

Millward Brown — the WPP-owned firm behind the report — calculates the brand value figure that ranks the firms by combining the financial valuation of each company with the appeal and loyalty that they inspire in consumers.

A large number of technology firms hold high positions within the rankings, and it is notable that McDonalds, Coca Cola and Marlborough are the sole non-tech representatives within the top ten.

top101 520x253 Apple beats IBM and Google to top global brand report, as tech firms dominate

Nick Cooper, MD of WPP-owned Millward Brown, told Reuters that the technology era has arrived and is playing a hugely significant role and appealing to consumers across the planet:

When cars first appeared or when air travel first appeared, they became liberating. It’s the turn of the technology sector at the moment.

Digital, the Internet and technology are key features of the 2012 ranking, and the report finds technology to be at the center of the conversation across many categories and relevant to brands within the study.

This is best illustrated by the progress of Facebook.

With an increase of 74 percent, the social network saw the largest rise in brand value. That change took the newly listed firm up 16 places to number 19, where it sits just behind ecommerce giants Walmart and Amazon.

Given its rollercoaster last week, which saw the firm list on the Nasdaq, it is likely to continue to see its brand value rank higher, particularly as it chases down, and breaks, one billion registered users.

While Apple ranks first by some way, it remains under threat from Samsung, which saw its brand value rise to $14.1 billion, thanks to the success of its Galaxy smartphone series – the latest of which is the much-anticipated much anticipated Galaxy S III.

Operators score highly in the report and tenth placed China Mobile is also the top brand in the Chinese study. It’s 650 million plus subscribers give it a brand value of $53.6 billion, however that figure slipped 18 percent on last year, when it ranked ninth globally.

Despite heralding the growth of digital worldwide, four banks completed China’s top five brands, showing the continued influence of the old establishment in the country.

There’s plenty more data and insight into the rankings at the Brandz website for that are interesting in mining the depths of the report.

➤ Brandz Top 100 2012

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