AT&T has been named the world's most valuable telecom brand, and Google the most valuable technology brand, in annual rankings by Millward Brown.
The most successful companies in Millward Brown’s BrandZ top telecom brand rankings have moved beyond their core sector to expand into areas that are at the heart of consumers' lives, the company said.
Top-performing companies have expanded into verticals including banking, cloud services and entertainment.
China Mobile was the only Asian operator to make it into the top 10, at third place. But its brand value declined by an estimated 10% from last year to $49.89 billion, and its position in the rankings fell from second.
By contrast, BT recorded the largest gain of 61%, pushing it into the top 10 list for the first time at eighth place with a value of $15.4 billion.
“Telecoms brands have to work hard just to maintain their market positions and customer base,” Millward Brown Optimor vice president of EMEA Anastasia Kourovskaia said.
“They have to rapidly integrate new technology into their offer and do more every year. The winners in this year’s telecoms Top 10 have done all that as well as expanding their horizons to look at new sectors and new offerings.”
In the technology category, Google overtook apple at the head of the top 20 list. Google's brand value grew 40% to $158.8 billion, while Apple's value fell 20% to $147.8 billion.
Millward Brown said the reversal is indicative of a wider trend – technology companies focused on services on average grew their brand value by more than 40%, but those focused on making products rose by a mere 10%.
Samsung's brand value grew by 21%, but the company still slipped from seventh in the rankings to ninth. By contrast, service-centric Tencent, Facebook and Baidu increased their brand values by 97%, 68% and 46% respectively.