Coca-Cola, Apple, and IBM became the three most valuable brands in 2012, according to Interbrand's 13th annual Best Global Brands report. 

Though Coca-Cola retained its No. 1 position from the 2011 ranking, Apple jumped six spots to rank at No. 2 with stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets over the past year.

Facebook debuted on the list at No. 69 after making headlines as the third-largest IPO in US history, and Google (No. 4) recorded a 26% increase in brand value over the previous year, exceeding rival Microsoft's (No. 5) brand value for the first time in the history of the report.

Below, the top 45 brands on Interbrand's 2012 ranking:

Below, Interbrand's most valuable global brands, ranked 46-100:

For the ranking, Interbrand examined three key aspects that contribute to a brand's value:

  1. The financial performance of the branded products or service.
  2. The role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice.
  3. The strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.

"As global competition increases and many competitive advantages, like technology, become more short-lived, a brand's contribution to shareholder value will only increase," said Jez Frampton, Interbrand's Global CEO.

"The world's 100 most valuable brands are leading the way by listening to consumers, employees, and investors alike and delivering a seamless and holistic brand experience across an ever-evolving range of touchpoints."

Below, additional findings issued by Interbrand.

New Entrants in 2012: Pampers, Facebook, Prada, Kia, Ralph Lauren, and MasterCard

  • Pampers (No. 34): Pampers, the top-selling diaper brand in the US and P&G's top-selling brand in the world, earned the highest-ranking spot among this year's new entrants. Pampers has effectively used social media platforms and loyalty programs to connect to its consumer base. Such efforts (and increased financial transparency on P&G's part) have earned Pampers a high-ranking spot in this year’s Best Global Brands report.
  • Facebook (No. 69): Facebook's IPO in May enabled Interbrand to examine the social media behemoth's financials for the first time. Despite its rocky start as a publicly listed stock and the lingering uncertainty about its business model, Facebook's growth as a brand, especially in developing markets, earned it a position in this year's report.
  • Prada (No. 84): Prada returned to the Best Global Brands report in 2012. The brand's continued growth in revenue is fueled largely by 250+ DOS (Directly Operated Stores) worldwide—a network that has expanded by keeping a careful eye on increasingly sophisticated customers in developing markets.
  • Kia (No. 84): For the past few years, Kia has been one of the fastest-growing global automotive brands. In the US, Kia's market share has grown for 17 consecutive years and its sales numbers continue to rise, even in the troubled European marketplace.
  • Ralph Lauren (No. 91): Making its first appearance in the top 100 since 2009, Ralph Lauren’s notable brand growth in the past year can be attributed to highly innovative communication patterns and consistency across all touchpoints and formats.
  • MasterCard (No.94): MasterCard made its debut in the 2012 Best Global Brands report after an impressive year. The company's launch of its "Priceless Cities" campaign and a growing suite of solutions for business owners are steadily increasing consumer satisfaction—and contributing to its rise in brand value.

Top Rising Brands: Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Nissan, and Oracle

  • Apple (up 129%): Despite the death of Steve Jobs, consumers' emotional connection to the Apple brand remains stronger than ever—made made clear just recently with the launch of iPhone 5. Even in the face of increasing competition from rivals Google and Samsung, the company continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the Apple brand and its intellectual property. Such commitment enabled Apple to post quarterly revenue of $35 billion and quarterly net profit of $8.8 billion in July.
  • Amazon (up 46%): Amazon has introduced the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in 175 countries, stretching the Kindle beyond its e-reader origins and turning it into a serious rival to the iPad. The Kindle Fire now enjoys the world's second-largest tablet market share.
  • Samsung (up 40%): Samsung became the global leader for smartphone shipments in 2011 ahead of Apple and Nokia. Samsung also generated a great deal of online buzz by integrating its Galaxy SIII and Note into the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. Despite its legal battle with Apple, Samsung's global market share is 32.6% and its brand value increased by a meteoric 40% in the past year.
  • Nissan (up 30%): Nissan recovered quickly from last year's natural disasters in Japan and grew its market share by pushing the envelope on innovation and by creating bold vehicle designs such as Nissan Juke. Nissan's ability to overcome challenges and continually innovate caught the attention of consumers and helped increase its brand value 30%.
  • Oracle (up 28%): Oracle has been branching out beyond database solutions in an effort to stay ahead of competitors. The company continues to make strategic acquisitions and grow its capabilities and offerings, especially in cloud computing. Oracle's 28% increase in brand value this year proves that such strategies have impressed customers and investors alike.

Tech Brands Continue to Dominate

Tech brands continued their strong push of recent years, with four of the five top risers hailing from the sector (Apple, Amazon, Samsung, and Oracle). In addition, five of this year's top 10 brands hail from the tech sector (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Samsung).

Auto Brands Move Beyond Recovery

Automakers are developing more effective, tech-savvy ways to reach target markets and help prospective buyers better relate to car brands.

Audi's (No. 55) digital showroom, Audi City, is revolutionizing the future of retailing by combining digital product presentations and personal contact with dealers. Similarly, Ford (No. 45) is working to improve MyTouch, its in-car communications and entertainment system.

Brands such as BMW (No. 12) and Hyundai (No. 53) are investing in global brand campaigns and are becoming more digitally connected and tailored to narrower target groups.

Luxury Brands Prove Resilient

Despite the current economic landscape, all of the luxury brands in this year's report increased their brand value.

The 2012 Best Global Brand report includes seven luxury brands: Louis Vuitton (No. 17), Gucci (No. 38), Hermès (No.63), Cartier (No. 68), Tiffany & Co. (No.70), Burberry (No. 82), and Prada (No.84).

FMCG/CPG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods/Consumer Packaged Goods) Brands Increase in Brand Value, Expand Product Offerings

The rise in value of several FMCG/CPG brands—Kelogg's (No. 29), L'Oréal (No. 42), Heinz (No. 46), Colgate (No. 47), Danone (No. 52), Nestlé (No. 57), and Johnson & Johnson (No. 79)—reflect reflect successful growth, especially in the developing markets.

Another growing trend observed this year was the increasing number of FMCG brands expanding into the healthcare space.

Avon (No. 71) and Kleenex (No. 80) were the only two FMCG brands to lose brand value (down 4% and 7%, respectively).

Financial Services

Financial services brands are continuing to feel the impact of 2008's global economic downturn. Recent events, such as the notorious Libor scandal, have tarnished the reputation of leading brands such as Credit Suisse—down 5% in brand value and ranked at No. 95.

Even so, 5 of the 12 financial services brands in this year's report increased in brand value, including American Express (No. 24), Morgan Stanley (No. 54), AXA (No. 58), Allianz (No. 62), and Visa (No. 74).

MasterCard (No. 94) was a new entrant to this year's report, an indication that its "Priceless" campaign continues to succeed in building a stronger connection between the brand and its growing customer base.

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Most Valuable Global Brands: Coca-Cola, Apple, and IBM

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