The social network’s brand is valued at $9.8bn by Brand Finance, almost double the $5.57bn it was valued at in 2012 when its valuation slumped following a difficult IPO that led analysts to question the sustainability of its business model. The return caps a successful 2013, which saw the social network begin to monetise its mobile audience. Mobile ad revenues surged to $1.25bn in the three months ending December up from around 23 per cent a year ago.
Despite its bumper year, Facebook ranked just 122nd on Brand Finance’s list of the 500 most valuable brands, determined by a mix of revenue, market capitalisation, perception and desirability.
In a top ten dominated by US tech companies, Apple retained the top spot despite a recent slowdown in sales and questions over its innovation pipeline. Its brand is valued at $104.7bn, up 20 per cent from $87.3bn. Rival Samsung is closing the gap in second place with a value of $78bn, up 34 per cent.
Google and Microsoft retained third and fourth spot, increasing their value by 32 and 38 per cent respectively. Of those brands on the slide, Coca-Cola’s decline is the most notable. The soft drinks maker was one of only two brands – Shell being the other – in the top 20 to suffer a drop in value, down 0.48 per cent to $33.7bn. Coke unveiled a marketing-led recovery plan yesterday (18 February) after sales and profit fell in its last financial year.
Elsewhere, US-based pay-TV service Netflix made its debut on the list in 488th place. Its value grew 93 per cent to $3.2bn, according to Brand Finance. Netflix recently reported revenues increased by 17 per cent year on year to $1.1bn in 2013.
Italian luxury car marque Ferrari was crowned the “most powerful” brand – based solely on factors such as desirability, loyalty and consumer sentiment to its visual identity. Despite corralling such affection, Ferrari’s relatively low sales means it is just 350th in the most valuable list.
The top of Brand Finance’s list mirrors Millward Brown’s latest BrandZ most valuable report, which Apple also topped.