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Lego named world's most powerful brand, displacing Ferrari

Lego has topped an international ranking of the world's most powerful brands, but the Danish toy company still trails Apple by a longshot for the title of the world's most valuable brand.

Apple named most valuable, but Danish toy company Lego deemed most powerful

Lego has been named the world's most powerful brand name in an international ranking. (The Canadian Press)

Lego has topped an international ranking of the world's most powerful brands, but the Danish toy company still trails Apple by a longshot for the title of the world's most valuable brand.

Consultancy Brand Finance published its annual ranking on Tuesday of the top 500 brands in the world. This year, for the first time, Lego tops the list of the most powerful brands, knocking Ferrari off the top spot from last year.

The ranking isn't based on concrete factors such as money earned, but rather factors in more nebulous concepts such as consumer loyalty, ad recognition, staff satisfaction and overall corporate reputation.

Lego took the top spot, while last year's top choice, Ferrari, slipped to ninth. After Lego, the rest of the Top 10 went as follows:

  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers (or PWC)
  • Red Bull
  • McKinsey
  • Unilever
  • L’Oreal
  • Burberry
  • Rolex
  • Ferrari
  • Nike

Lego's jump to the top of the ranking came as the toy company saw runaway success with its first feature film, The Lego Movie, which to date has taken in more than $500 million at the box office. The movie helped the brand benefit from "the lingering nostalgia for the brand" among new parents, Brand Finance said. "The Lego Movie perfectly captured this cross-generational appeal."

Ferrari's fall, meanwhile, caps a comparatively tough year for the luxury Italian car maker. The company's eponymous F1 racing team sank to new lows, and its glory days of multiple championships in the 1990s seem far in the rearview mirror now. Worse, after capping the number of vehicles they make every year to maintain exclusivity, the company says it will start making and selling more cars to boost revenue. "The new strategy to capitalize on the brand will certainly drive short term value but over-exploitation risks lasting damage," Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said.

While Lego was named the most "powerful" brand, that shouldn't be confused with it being the most valuable. That title belongs to Apple, the name of which alone is worth more than $128 billion, the ranking found. (Apple's actual value on the stock market is much more, at $700 billion, but Brand Finance attempted to put a price on the name alone.)

After Apple, other technology titans came next, in the following order:

  • Samsung, $81 billion
  • Google, $76 billion
  • Microsoft, $67 billion
  • Verizon, $59 billion
  • AT&T, $58 billion
  • Amazon.com, $56 billion

It's worth noting that Lego, by contrast, despite being deemed the most powerful brand, fell well back of those totals in terms of value. Brand Finance's report reckons the Lego name is only worth about $3.8 billion. 

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