Culture

Apple regains status as world's favorite company

Technically Incorrect: Having lost out to Google last year, Apple rises to the top again in FutureBrand's analysis of the top 100 listed companies in the world.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Inciting passion and admiration, apparently.

Apple

I'm not sure how often real people sit down and consider their feelings about the world's top 100 companies.

Thankfully, we have branding organizations that encourages them to do this.

Take FutureBrand, for example. It describes itself as "the Creative Future Company" and says "we define and deliver future brand experiences." (Italics all theirs.)

Each year, FutureBrand looks at the 100 biggest companies by market capitalization, asks 3,000 consumers and industry professionals in 17 countries about them and produces a ranking of what it calls perception strength, rather than financial strength.

This year shows Apple regaining the top spot, after last year's painfully abject slide into second place behind Google.

The two greatest feelings engendered by Apple this year were passion and admiration.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for passionate comment on its admirable achievement.

Those of drier countenance and Android phones will realize quickly that Google is no longer one of the 100 largest companies by market capitalization. It's now part of Alphabet, so Apple didn't have to contend with last year's winner.

It did, though, have to compete with Alphabet, whose self-driving car must have suffered a software malfunction -- as it only propelled the company to 21st place.

Of course, this must be mostly down to the idea that many consumers might not have heard of Alphabet at all.

Still, allowing one's eyes to waft down the rankings, what's clear is the continued prevalence of tech companies. They're not merely large, but liked.

In second place was Microsoft, which also scored highly on passion and admiration, as well as being seen as a company with an excellent near-term future.

Third was Samsung, rising from number seven last year. It incited far more feelings of indifference, but scored very highly on the idea that it had a brilliant future, especially when it comes to innovation.

Facebook and Amazon also appeared in the top 10.

At the bottom of the list lurk, you'd never guess, tobacco companies, oil companies and banks. The lowest ranking tech companies were Vodafone at 88, Comcast at 86 and, perhaps surprisingly, Verizon at 83.

Oddly, this ranking comes at a time when Apple's future is said by some commentators to be less tinged with inevitable glory.

iPhone sales are beginning to slow. The next iPhone is said by some to look quite a lot like the last iPhone. Indeed, a survey this week suggested that only 10 percent of people say they'll definitely upgrade.

But that's surveys for you. People waft with the wind.

Next year, if we all feel worse about the world rather than better, watch those pharmaceutical companies rise to the top.

Your Top 10.

FutureBrand