Apple holds top spot with $178B value in annual Interbrand global rankings

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For the fourth year in a row, Interbrand has ranked Apple as the most valuable brand in the world, though the company didn't chart in a list of the fastest-growing brands.

Apple's valuation rose 5 percent year-over-year to more than $178.1 billion, keeping it ahead of companies like Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Toyota. Google in fact ranked a distant second at just under $133.3 billion.

The fastest-growing brands were led by Facebook, Amazon, and Lego, up 48 percent, 33 percent, and 25 percent, respectively. By this metric Apple was easily surpassed by two of its key rivals, Samsung and Google, which advanced by 14 and 11 percent.

Interbrand credited Apple's hold at the top to a mix of "superior products" and a "functionally integrated" hardware/software model, which draws people into the Apple ecosystem and deters people from considering other platforms, also making them willing to pay high prices for the experience.

"And the more data you share, the more personal it becomes — adding new devices is painless and the thought of switching increasingly unpromising," Interbrand said.

Apple's brand improvement comes despite iPhone revenues actually declining year-over-year for the first time in 2016, which in turn led to the company's first revenue drop in 13 years.