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The Most Popular Back-to-School Brands

Stocks in this article: AAPL NKE AMZN WMT TGT T COST

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Back-to-school shopping is in full swing, but which retailers are likely to see repeat customers year after year?

To find out, we consulted Brandz Rankings, an annual report put together by Millward Brown, a global agency that specializes in brand equity research.

We examine Millward Brown's Brandz Rankings, an annual report that ranks companies' back-to-school brand loyalty.

Millward Brown bases its rankings on a formula that combines the value companies put on their brands in earnings reports with the perceptions of more than 2 million consumers in markets around the world. These consumers were surveyed over the course of the year, and the agency factors in a brand's growth potential.

Whether you're hitting the books or just the mall to shop for your kids, read on to see if the eight most popular back-to-school brands happen to be on your list.

Best for technology: Apple (AAPL)
Overall ranking: No. 1
Estimated brand value: $153.3 million
Brand value change over past year: 84%
Apple isn't just a favorite for laptops and other electronics. It was actually named best brand overall, beating search engine Google (GOOG) for the first time in four years. Millward Brown attributes Apple's rise to the growing popularity of its iPhone and iPad.

Best brand for apparel: Nike (NKE)
Overall ranking: No. 57
Estimated brand value: $13.9 million
Brand value change over past year: 10%
Nike increased its brand loyalty this year by using technology to get consumers' attention. For instance, it launched the app True City that provided users with product information and served as a travel guide. According to Millward Brown, Nike's " Write the Future" campaign, launched during the World Cup, successfully associated the brand "with the prowess of World Cup athletes and the event's driving excitement, competitiveness, spectacle and universal appeal."

Runner-up apparel brand: H&M
Overall ranking: No. 62
Estimated brand value: $13 million
Brand value change over past year: 7%
Just inched out by Nike, H&M's popularity, according to Millward Brown, is due to its collaborations with such well-known designers as Karl Lagerfield and celebrities including Madonna, David Beckham and Kylie Minogue. Its relatively reasonable price point doesn't hurt either.

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