Forbes released its Most Valuable Brands list Thursday, and once again tech companies are dominating. Out of the top 10 brands, tech companies held five slots with Apple, Google, and Microsoft comprising the top three in that order.
2016 marks only the sixth year Forbes has tallied the richest brands, but in that time Apple has never lost its number one position. This year, Forbes valued the company at $154.1 billion, nearly double second-place Google, which was valued at $82.5 billion. The leap from second to third isn't quite as stark; Microsoft came in at $75.2 billion.
Here are the top ten:
Even though tech companies like Apple and Microsoft might offer similar products, what Forbes' list reveals is the way brands affect sales. iPhones make up almost half of the smartphones sold in the U.S. "Brands get their value from how customers perceive them," said David Reibstein, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. "What makes it valuable from a company perspective is that customers are willing to pay a higher price or are more likely to buy."
Facebook and IBM also appeared in the top 10, with the former continuing to grow. Facebook rose 44 percent and is the fastest-growing brand for the second year in a row. As of 2016, the social media platform boasts 1.65 billion users. Explaining that growth, Reibstein said, "Facebook keeps innovating and adding more and more functionally and features." It also helps that other companies use Facebook to build their own brands.
Samsung, Amazon, Cisco, Oracle, and Intel also appeared within the top 20 brands.
In order to settle upon their list of 100 brands, Forbes analyzes 200 global brands, all of which need to have a presence outside the U.S. They then tally each brand's earnings over the past three years and look at their role by industry.
For now, tech seems unstoppable.