Millward Brown's BrandZ finds other social platforms are "social climbers" too.
Facebook recorded one of the highest increases in brand value in 2012 over the prior year, according to Millward Brown's BrandZ annual study. Last year, Facebook was ranked No. 35.
Facebook's ascent comes as the social network reported 845 million users by the end of 2011, as well as generated $3.7 billion in revenue, an increase of 33 percent from the prior year. While the report was released today, it is based on information that Millward Brown collected before the social network's lackluster IPO on May 18 and the high-profile loss of GM as an advertiser.
Chinese social platforms Baidu (No. 25) and Tencent/QQ (No. 37) also saw their brand values increase in the BrandZ report.
"Connectedness is one of the top key drivers [to intangible brand value]," said Mario Simon, managing director of Millward Brown Optimor in the Americas. Brands that support that "connectedness" such as digital platforms (Facebook and Tencent/QQ) and telephony services (AT&T and Verizon) are in turn valued by consumers and businesses.
Technology giants Apple, IBM, and Google topped the BrandZ list of most valuable brands. The research firm pointed to Apple's soaring iPad, iPhone, and computer sales to help it maintain the top rank, signaling that it may have overcome concerns about poor working conditions at its manufacturing partners' plants.
Two financial services companies saw big drops in brand value, according to the BrandZ report. Citi (No. 82) was valued at $9.8 billion in 2012, a 38 percent decline; Chase (No. 92) was valued at $8.6 billion, a 28 percent decline.
The study's methodology includes earnings, future earnings potential, plus the research firm's quantitative consumer research.
|Top 10 Most Valuable Technology Brands 2012: BrandZ|
in $ billion
|% change in brand value, 2012 vs. 2011|
|Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012: BrandZ|
|Brand value in $ billion||% change in brand value, 2012 vs. 2011|
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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.
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