Top 10 Company Brand Names: Alphabet Pales Before Google (and Apple)

Apple Is Both the Most Valuable and Most Favorably Viewed Brand in the World

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Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet Inc.
Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet Inc. Credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Forming a new parent company to house Google and its many ventures as distinct sibling units may have brought new organizational logic and accountability, but it also established a corporate identity that doesn't compare to its predecessor.

That's one finding in the new ranking by FutureBrand of how the the 100 largest listed companies in the world are perceived. The results are based on surveys of 3,000 consumers and industry professionals in 17 countries.

FutureBrand Index Ranking 2016 Top 10 Companies Change on the Top 10 2015 Top 10 Companies
1 1
2 1
3 4
4 no change
5 no change
6 new
7 new
8 new
9 no change
10 4
Source: FutureBrand

Alphabet ranked 21st on the new list of corporate brands. Apple took the top spot; it was second to Google last year.

Based on the "perception profiles" that FutureBrand published this year, any positive convictions people do have about Alphabet can be chalked up to "legacy sentiments" they had about the conglomerate's previous identity.

Feedback on Alphabet closely resembles what respondents think about Google, except that the new holding company is weaker than its predecessor by each measure. Riding on the coattails of Google's favorability may not be a solid platform for Alphabet to expand on.

"We congratulate the Global Top 100 companies for attaining high valuations today, but the Index shifts the focus to intangible factors which will impact their success tomorrow," said Tom Adams, global head of strategy at FutureBrand Worldwide, in a statement.

Unlike Google, Alphabet isn't a particularly consumer-facing brand. But perceptions of corporate brands matter because they affect people's decisions to work for or invest in a company, FutureBrand said.

Had Alphabet not diluted Google's stature in the public eye, Google would have remained firmly in its spot at the top of FutureBrand's index. Only in 31% of cases on average did respondents agree Alphabet possesses 18 specified attributes of a favorable company to work for or buy from (e.g. indispensability); in its former incarnation as Google, it would have garnered 50% agreement on average, according to FutureBrand.

Apple, on the other hand, is scoring high on both value and favorability indexes. Respondents felt particularly positive about the brand's qualities of distinctiveness and authenticity, with 47% on average agreeing that it possesses the 18 specified attributes of a favorable brand.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article at one point erroneously cited BrandIndex for the new ranking. The ranking is by FutureBrand.

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