AT&T the Worlds Biggest Telco, says BrandZ

AT&T has been named the most valuable communications brand, holding its top spot for the second year running, in BrandZs annual Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study. The US company’s brand value dropped 1 per cent in 2012, to $68.9bn, but it still outperformed the rest of the sector, which declined by 7 per cent as a whole, with all but three of the companies in the listing reporting a fall in value.

One of those companies was Verizon, by far the biggest riser, with a growth of 15 per cent and a brand value of $49.2bn. The company leapfrogged China Mobile (third place, at $47bn) and Vodafone (fourth, at $43bn) to take second place for the first time. This growth was driven, BrandZ says, by Verizon becoming the second operator in the USA to offer the iPhone, ending Apples exclusive deal with AT&T.

The list also reflects the rise of Asian telcos, with Japan’s NTTDoCoMo, in seventh place, reporting a 3 per cent rise, to $16.0bn, and the only new entry coming from India’s Airtel in ninth place, with a brand value of $11.5bn.

“Mobile, to some extent, has been shielded from the recession as one of the few items consumers don’t want to give up or cut back on,” says Millward Brown’s global brand director, Peter Walshe. “That may not continue as it becomes easier to switch. The telecoms networks that will win are those who simplify the complexity of tariff and reinvent the customer experience. No one has quite achieved this as yet.”

The overall Top 100 Global Brands list was headed up by Apple, holding onto the top spot with a brand value of $183bn, while Google ($108bn) was pushed out of second place by IBM ($116bn).