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Earlier this year, Brand Finance published its latest ranking of the world's most valuable brands. Displacing last year's number 1 Amazon, Apple has roared back to the top spot with an astonishing 74% brand value increase. The company's 2024 brand value growth is approximately equal to the total value of Starbucks’s, Mercedes-Benz’s, Tesla’s, and Porsche’s brands combined.

"Apple has grown its brand value through strategic diversification and premiumization, moving away from heavy reliance on iPhone sales towards ventures into wearables and services such as Apple TV subscriptions." According to Brand Finance research, more that 50% of respondents recognized Apple as expensive, but worth the price, reinforcing the brand's ability to demand a price premium. 

This article looks deeper into the success at Apple and explores the overall most valuable / strongest global brands. Finally, it summarizes the retail and apparel companies that emerged as the global brand value leaders in 2024.

The Next Apple Big Thing

In June 2023, Apple introduced to the world the mixed reality headset Apple Vision Pro. As CEO Tim Cook summarized, "in the same way that Mac introduced us to personal computing and iPhone introduced us to mobile computing, Apple Vision Pro will introduce us to spatial computing."

With a price tag starting at $3,499, the world is currently skeptical that the Apple Vision Pro is the company's next big thing. I conducted my own unscientific LinkedIn survey several weeks ago and 45% voted that the product is overpriced and will fail while a surprising 32% deemed it a new Apple winning product.

History of Apple's innovation engine provides major insight as to why they became the first company to be valued at $3 trillion in the world. 


According to Bloomberg, Apple has now abandoned the long rumored smart automobile to compete with Tesla and other EVs, after investing $10 billion in the project. The rationale is a shift of the resources to Generative AI. This is an interesting innovation transition, but Apple's killer app has always been its highly profitable unique cache-building consumer friendly physical products. The iPhone has been around for a long time and they still need to figure out that next major revenue  technology platform. 

The 2024 World's Most Valuable Overall Brands

For the top 10, six out of the most valuable overall global brands are from the United States, two are from China, and one each are from Korea and Germany. 


As Brand Finance reported, a key highlight of this year's research is the strong gains of businesses that have invested heavily in artificial intelligence. Microsoft brand value increased 78%, jumping two spots to number 2.  NVIDIA, a key supplier of chips in the AI space had the highest brand value rise at 163% to $44.5 billion. 

The 2024 World's Strongest Brands

In addition to calculating the value of each global brand, Brand Finance also determines the relative strengths of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. For 2024, here are the strongest brands.


Five of the top 10 strongest brands are from the United States, two are from China, and one respective each are from Singapore, Switzerland, and Italy. WeChat from China is the 2024 strongest brand in the world, earning a brand index score of 94.3 out of 100 and the associated brand strength rating of AAA+. An amazing 81% of respondents surveyed in China are current users of WeChat. 

The 2024 Most Valuable Retail and Apparel Brands

From a Brand Finance point-of-view, 2024 was a year dominated by USA retail brands. 


Within the top 100 global overall most valuable brands across all industries, only eight retailers made an appearance. Amazon dropped from number 1 to number 4 overall, with meager brand value growth. Seven out of the 8 retail brands had negative brand value growth in 2024. China which in the past had higher rank with multiple retail brands shows up with Taobao at number 96 overall and as the number 8 most valuable retail brand. 

Europe dominates when you look at the Brand Finance top 5 most valuable apparel brands.


Luxury apparel brand Louis Vuitton jumped from 70 most valuable overall brand in 2023 to number 52 in 2024. Nike dropped from number 54 last year to number 62 overall most valuable brand in 2024. While Chanel rose from number 98 over to number 73 in 2024. Hermes jumped from 140 last year to 117 this year. Zara, which is part of the Inditex family of brands, also jumped from 181 overall last year to 120 in 2024. Luxury and Zara, both had an excellent value brand growth year. 

From a brand value point of view, 2024 is shaping up to be an Apple of a year. AI continues its march to expand its innovation role in our lives. For the first time, Deutsche Telekom secured the world's top telecommunication position and a spot in the top 10. Tesla dropped out of the top 10, falling to number 18 on the list. WeChat is the strongest brand. USA dominates with over 200 brands in the ranking and half of the total value. Finally, the retailer trends reflect consumer cutbacks and challenges in the shopping high street. 

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