Apple Becomes World’s Most Valuable Brand?

by Jordan Richardson on May 10, 2011

Apple Inc. has apparently become the world’s most valuable brand, passing Google Inc. in the ride to the top. Millward Brown’s BrandZ ranking comes from the subsidiary of advertising firm WPP and is considered as the “world’s leading authority in international brand ranking.”

According to Millward Brown, Apple is now worth $153 billion. That marks a whopping 84 percent increase over last year’s numbers. Put that against Google’s two percent drop and you’ve got Apple leapfrogging the search engine giant. In third place is IBM Corp. with $100 billion, a 17 percent increase from last year.

The most interesting thing about the list is the dominance of technology giants. McDonald’s is in fifth place with $81 billion and Coca-Cola rings in at $73 billion, but the authority of tech-related companies is in full effect. Microsoft, for its part, sits between McDonald’s and Coca-Cola with $78 billion. Six of the top ten slots on Millward Brown’s list of valuable brands are tech companies.

Google has spent four years in the top spot, so losing it to the blistering rise of Apple has to sting a little – right?

But just how credible is the BrandZ set of rankings? According to Millward Brown, it “is the most comprehensive annual ranking of brand value, and focuses on consumer-facing brands, rather than corproate [sic] brands.”

There is a formula that Millward Brown explains via video clip and chart. The methodology multiplies “intangible earnings” by the “portion of intangible earnings attributable to brand” by the “brand earnings multiple.” Or, as explained by the CBC’s report, the “rankings are based on a subjective consideration of how much the brand name contributes to earnings, along with what consumer’s perceptions of the brand are and how much they’re expected to grow moving forward.”

While I don’t doubt Millward Brown has a formula that works, the grain of salt with which I suggest taking this ranking system is rather large. Forbes’ Eric Jackson agrees but goes further, lumping the Millward Brown report in with a sea of similar reports as “useless.”

The notion that Apple has become, at least here, the “world’s most valuable brand” is great fuel for the company’s many cheerleaders. It looks great on a press release. But with questionable methodology and fuzzy “subjective considerations,” how much does it really mean to real world application?

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

{ 1 comment }

Deepak May 11, 2011 at 3:19 am

Apple with its great technology and customer centric approach has really done well. All set for Apple iphone 4 going to be launched in India by AIRCEL with great features like FACETIME and MULTI TASKING.

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