NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that's nothing compared to what the most valuable brands are worth.
The cumulative value of the top 500 brands in the United States is more than $2.5 trillion, according to a report from brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. The firm's annual ranking of the top U.S. brands found that while the number of billion-dollar brands in America declined to 505 in 2015 from 519 in 2014, their total value increased by 3%.
Technology is the most valuable sector, with 22% of the brands listed being tech companies. Unsurprisingly, Brands on the list include Apple (AAPL) , Google (GOOG) (GOOGL), Intel (INTC), Oracle (ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) are the biggest "tech winners," having increased their brand's values 185% and 146%, respectively, from 2014 to 2015.
For some brands, an increase in brand value may have come at the cost of a competitor. According to Brand Finance, online travel brands like Priceline (PCLN) and Tripadvisor (TRIP) gained at a cost to traditional hospitality names like Hilton (HLT) and Hyatt (H). Likewise, changing consumer preferences in the fast food arena have helped Chipotle (CMG) increase its brand value by 124%, while that of McDonald's (MCD) has declined 15%.
Brand Finance analyzed more than 2,000 business and consumer brands in the U.S. across 16 sectors to create its 2015 Billion Dollar Brands Club list. It utilized several criteria to determine the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand as though it did not own it – essentially, deciphering the dollar amount a specific name, trademark or logo adds to a product or service. Brand Finance also assigns each brand a rating that ranges from D to AAA, which benchmarks the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitors. The company's complete methodology can be found here.
Here are the top 15 brands on the list. All of the top 15 brands in the United States are worth more than $25 billion, and cumulatively, they are valued at more than $750 billion.
Take a closer look at America's 15 more valuable brands in order from least valuable to most valuable. Click through to see which brand is No. 1.
15. Intel, $25 Billion
Intel (INTC) announced a $16.7 billion bid to buy chip company Altera (ALTR) on June 1 to strengthen its server-focused subsidiary, Data Center Group. Some perceive the deal, which is expected to close within six to nine months, as an accelerated shift away from PCs.
Acquisitions aside, Intel is a powerful brand worth $25 billion -- 16% of its total enterprise value. Its brand worth increased 9% from 2014 to 2015, and Brand Finance gives it a AAA- rating.