Summary:

Apple was saw the biggest gain in this year’s annual Interbrand report of the world’s most valuable brands, with an estimated value of $33.5 billion and growth of 58 percent when measured year over year. The iPhone 4 and iPad were major contributors to Apple’s success.

Apple

AppleApple saw the biggest gain in this year’s annual Interbrand report of the world’s most valuable brands, with an estimated value of $33.5 billion and growth of 58 percent when measured year over year. Another fast riser was Apple competitor Google, which is ranked fourth and has an estimated value of $55 billion.

Apple’s rise propelled it to eighth overall on the list, a spot occupied by Nokia last year. Nokia’s brand value suffered, causing it to fall four spots, to No. 14 on the list. Microsoft also fell (down three percent), and it is now ranked third, with an estimated value of $59 billion.

While seven of the top ten are tech companies, Coca-Cola still retains the No. 1 spot overall. Another fast riser in the rankings was Amazon, which saw its brand value climb 32 percent versus last year. It still has a ways to go to catch up to Apple, however, since it currently sits at 26th overall. We’ll see if the new Kindles can light a fire under that growth.

Interbrand’s methodology for the report involves looking at financial performance data, the role of the brand in purchase decisions and the overall strength of the brand (basically, its ability to continue to make lots of money).

Based on these measures, you can see why Apple would excel. The success of the iPad, iPad 2 and iPhone 4 during the past year are undeniable, and Apple’s Mac presence continues to demonstrate strong growth, as the company showed us on Tuesday during its iPhone 4S media event. It’s also worth noting that both Nintendo and Sony fell in the rankings, which could be a sign that Apple’s mobile gaming success (another thing it crowed about on Tuesday) is also helping to fuel its brand strength and erode that of others.

Despite a mixed reception to the iPhone 4S, I think we’ll see it continue to build Apple’s brand in the coming year. The 3GS was met with a somewhat similar reaction, and we all know how that turned out. What do you think? Will Apple ever take the Coca-Cola crown?

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