by Laurie Sullivan
The 100 most valuable brands on Forbes’ list, published Wednesday, are worth a cumulative $2.15 billion -- up 10% from a year ago. The list begins with Apple at No. 1 -- with a brand value $182.8 billion, up 8% -- and ends with KFC at No. 100 with a brand value of $7.4 billion.
The U.S. dominates with 54 entries -- down from 56 in 2017. Tech brands lead, representing 20% of the final list, including the top five.
Google -- which ranks second overall among the top brands for the third straight year -- followed Apple’s lead with a brand value of 132.1 billion, up 30%.
Microsoft comes in at No. 3 with a brand value of $104.9 billion, up 21% from the prior year.
Facebook ranks No. 4, with a brand value of $94.8 billion, up 29%. And Amazon ranks No. 5 with a brand value of $70.9 billion -- up 31% from a year ago.
Coca-Cola, Samsung, Disney, Toyota, and AT&T round out the top 10.
Forbes evaluated more than 200 global brands to determine its final list of the 100 most valuable brands, which were required to have a presence in the U.S.
That criteria eliminated some of the biggest international brands, such as Alibaba and Tencent. The top 100 includes product brands like Procter & Gamble’s Gillette, as well as brands marketed under their corporate name like American Express.
Financial services -- led by Visa with a brand value of $24.5 billion -- had 13 brands in the category, followed by autos with 12 brands. Toyota came in with a brand value of $44.7 billion, ranking No. 9 overall, as the top auto brand.
Amazon’s leap over Coca-Cola was the only change in the top five this year. Coca-Cola’s brand value came in at $57.3 billion, up 2%, and was the only non-tech brand in the top seven.
Forbes notes the brands with the biggest gains were Netflix, PayPal, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. The ones with the biggest declines include Gillette, H&M, ESPN, HP, and American Express.