Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have taken the top three spots respectively on Havas Media’s most recent Meaningful Brand Index.

google and microsoft

The World’s Most Meaningful Brands: Google, Samsung, Microsoft

According to Havas Media, most people around the globe wouldn’t bat an eye if 73 percent of the world’s brands suddenly disappeared. Also 20 percent of the world’s brands are seen as making a meaningfully positive impact on people’s lives. This makes appearing at the top of the index an important measurement of just how much influence companies have over the world’s population.

So Where’s Apple?

Also it’s interesting to note the appearance of what’s arguably the biggest competitor for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t show up on the list until number 22.

The index lists only 25 brands as being the most meaningful to the world as a whole. This low appearance of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) echoes a separate survey by the firm Added Value, which indicates that in the area of inspiration, the company’s brand is slipping in the eyes of consumers in general.

Other Meaningful Brands

After Google, Samsung and Microsoft, the other two brands which made the top five were Nestle SA (VTX:NESN) (PINK:NSRGY) and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758).

Companies which gained momentum this year are NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), which now ranks as number seven, and Mercedes Benz and Adidas AG (FRA:ADS), which are both in the 11th position on the list. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) also continue to do well on the brand index.

Trends In The Meaningful Brands Index

According to Havas Media, the results from the index outperform the stock markets by 120 percent, which is about even with the performance of the top hedge funds. The agency measured 700 different brands across 134,000 consumers in 23 different countries to come up with its Meaningful Brands Index.

The agency says this year shows “significant shifts” not just in brands but also in sectors compared with the last report two years ago. This year five of the top ten most meaningful brands are technology companies.

Geographic Trends In Meaningful Brands

Havas Media said it also saw some interesting geographic shifts in brands. It said although on a global scale, consumers wouldn’t care if 73 percent of brands disappeared, although in the U.S. and Europe, consumers wouldn’t care if 92 percent of brands were gone. The agency cited “a growing lack of trust and indifference towards brands” for this shift.