May 22, 2012

Apple Most Valuable Brand For Second Year

Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com

What´s more valuable than IBM, Google, McDonalds and Microsoft?

According to Millward Brown´s BrandZ Top Most Valuable Global Brands 2012 survey, Apple get´s to hold on to its crown as the World´s Most Valuable Brand for the second year in a row, though this year´s valuation represents a 19% increase over last year´s $153.3 billion estimate.

This year´s BrandZ survey was also notable in that it saw 4 tech and 3 communications companies make their way up to top ten spots.

Raking in an estimated $182.3 billion, Apple is listed as the number one most valuable brand. IBM, the second most valuable brand, was listed at an estimated $115 billion while Google placed third at an estimated 107.9 billion.

Holding on to its 4th place slot for another year, McDonalds´ brand worth is an estimated $95.1 billion. Microsoft comes in at number 5 in the list with a brand worth of $76 billion.

In order to rank each of these 100 companies, Millward Brown analyzed financial data as well as market intelligence and consumer opinions related to brand equity. After compiling this data, Apple came out on top of other tech-centric and communications companies. In fact, out of the top ten most valuable brands, 7 were tech or communications related. Notable exceptions are McDonalds at number 4, CocaCola at number 6, and Marlboro at Number 7.

Last year, IBM ranked number 3 behind Google. This year, they´ve swapped spots and unlike the rest of the market leaders, Google saw its brand value fall by 3%. This kind of loss could be the start of a troubling trend for the search and advertising company. Google had been number 1 for 4 years straight until Apple took the number one title from them last year.

While tech companies are growing their own personal brand value, their successes also benefit others on the list. The survey explains it this way:

"In other categories -- cars, financial services, luxury and retail, for example -- we can also see that brands are gaining significant advantages by using smart technology to enhance their customer experience," the company wrote today in a statement. "For example, Burberry -- up 21 percent to $4 billion -- created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more."

Another interesting battle in the list exists between AT&T and Verizon. In 2011, AT&T ranked at number 7 while Verizon placed at number 13. This year, the gap between the two iPhone carriers has narrowed considerably as AT&T fell one spot to number 8 while Verizon rose to the number 9 spot, gaining 15% over last year´s tally.

The highest performer in this year´s survey in terms of year-over-year growth, however, was the company that has been on everyone´s lips for the past month: Facebook.

In the past year, the newly public Facebook jumped 16 spots while their estimated brand value skyrocketed by a whopping 74% at $33.2 billion.

While Apple remains at the top of the Millward Brown list, another group–Interbrand–lists them at number 8, behind CocaCola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, McDonalds and Intel. Facebook, on the other hand, did not place on Interbrand´s October 2011 survey.


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