The 10 most powerful brands in the world

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A survey by the business valuation consultancy BrandFinance ranks the most powerful brands in the world based on financial indicators and their brand strength.

Lego's film properties helped the toy brand become the most powerful brand in 2016. play

Lego's film properties helped the toy brand become the most powerful brand in 2016.

(Warner Bros.)
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Lego topped this year's ranking of the world's most powerful brands, according to a survey compiled by the business valuation consultancy Brand Finance.

Six of the top ten most valuable companies in the 500-strong ranking were technology companies. Google led the pack of most valuable companies, overtaking the 2016 leader Apple.

The survey ranks brands by their monetary value and also calculates the most "powerful" brands – companies whose financial value is most impacted by their branding.

10. McKinsey & Co

10. McKinsey & Co play

10. McKinsey & Co

(dragonpreneur/flickr)

Brand strength: 92.7

Brand value: $4.3 billion

Brand value rank: 392

What happened: McKinsey's global network is home to 10,000 consultants, 2,000 researchers and 1,400 partners from a variety of backgrounds. Former McKinsey employees have gone on to lead a number companies with revenues in the billions, such Boeing, Vodafone, and Credit Suisse.



9. Johnson & Johnson

9. Johnson & Johnson play

9. Johnson & Johnson

(Reuters)

Brand strength: 90.1

Brand value: $9,1 billion

Brand value rank: 154

What happened: The CPG company agreed to buy the Swiss biotech firm Actelion for $30 billion at the end of 2016.



8. PricewaterhouseCoopers

8. PricewaterhouseCoopers play

8. PricewaterhouseCoopers

(AP)

Brand strength: 90.9

Brand value: $18.5 billion

Brand value rank: 66

What happened: The consulting firm has 21,000 employees across 64 offices in the world. In 2016, it expanded its activities into the burgeoning tech disciplines blockchain and virtual reality.



7. NBC

7. NBC play

7. NBC

(Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

Brand strength: 91.3

Brand value: $13.7 billion

Brand value rank: 93

What happened: 26.7 million people watched the summer Olympics on NBC, for which the network topped $1 billion in ad sales. The media company paid $7.8 billion to extend its broadcasting rights of the Olympics until 2032.



6. Disney

6. Disney play

6. Disney

(Lucasfilm)

Brand strength: 91.3

Brand value: $34.4 billion

Brand value rank: 24

What happened: Disney slipped down from its top spot despite a strong financial year. It failed to convince Wall Street with an increasingly costly ESPN and uncertainty surrounding the succession of its CEO Bob Iger. Nonetheless, it opened the world's biggest Disneyland park in Shanghai and its "Star Wars" films exceeded expectations.



5. Visa

5. Visa play

5. Visa

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Brand strength: 91.5

Brand value: $20.6 billion

Brand value rank: 57

What happened: The financial services company saw an 81% increase in brand value, as its core markets move towards a cashless society. The company also completed its merger with Visa Europe in June, allowing it to reach a greater scale while cutting costs. It continues to dominate the payment services market, ahead of rival Mastercard.



4. Ferrari

4. Ferrari play

4. Ferrari

(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Brand strength: 91.9

Brand value: $6.1 billion

Brand value rank: 258

What happened: The company concluded 2015 with an IPO in October. 2016 was the biggest year in terms of sales for the sports car brand, shipping 8,014 cars, and, along with that, its profits grew $116 million in 2016 to a total of $432 million.



3. Nike

3. Nike play

3. Nike

(Jay LaPrete/AP Photo)

Brand strength: 92.1

Brand value: $31.7 billion

Brand value rank: 28

What happened: The sports apparel brand had a rough financial 2016 with its stock dropping by 19% compared to the previous year and an increase in competition from Under Armour and Adidas. It is facing off the competition with the launch of new products like self lacing shoes and growing its relationships with star athletes – it signed lifetime deals with LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo, both reportedly worth $1 billion.



2. Google

2. Google play

2. Google

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Brand strength: 92.1

Brand value:$109.4 billion

Brand value rank: 1

What happened: The tech company became the most valuable brand in 2016, in which its ad revenues grew 20% year-on-year. It also took big steps into artificial intelligence for consumers and virtual reality with the launch of its Pixel phone line, the Google Home speaker, and its Daydream VR headset.



1. Lego

1. Lego play

1. Lego

(Warner Bros.)

Brand strength: 92.7

Brand value:$7.5 billion

Brand value rank: 196

What happened: After near bankruptcy in 2000, Lego is back at the top as the most powerful brand in the world. BrandFinance said Lego scored high in key metrics "familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation."

In 2016 Lego announced a Brit with the name, Bali Padda, would become CEO. The promotional effect from the Lego movie series was a significant force in driving up its brand strength.