Apple has topped Google as the world's most valuable brand, according to an annual survey by research agency Millward Brown.
Apple has toppled Google as the world's most valuable brand,
according to a new study.
Research agency Millward Brown's sixth annual BrandZ
Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study calculates a particular brand's
value via a three-step valuation process. According to a report accompanying
the study, the firm isolates the percentage of company earnings "generated by
each business that carries the brand," in order to calculate the value a
particular brand adds to a business.
Then, the firm calculates how much the brand's "close bond"
with consumers influences those earnings. "Only a portion of these earnings can
be considered as driven by brand equity," the report states. "This is the -brand
contribution,' the measure that describes the degree to which brand plays a
role in generating earnings." In theory, this method "guarantees that the Brand
Contribution is rooted in real-life customer perceptions and behavior, not
spurious -expert opinion.'"
That step completed, "the growth potential of these branded
earnings" is then taken into account, using both financial projections and
Based on those multistep calculations, Apple topped the list
with a "brand value" of $153.2 billion, followed by Google with $111.4 billion
and IBM with $100.8 billion. Microsoft, with a brand value of $78.2 billion,
found itself squeezed in fifth place between McDonalds ($81 billion) and
Coca-Cola ($73.7 billion). Apple's current ranking represents an 84-percent
uptick in brand value since Millward Brown's last survey.
Facebook also appeared on the list, with a brand value of
$19.1 billion-somewhat more conservative than the $50
billion valuation reportedly attached to the social-networking company by
Goldman Sachs and investment firm Digital Sky Technologies.
Whether you subscribe to Millward Brown's valuation,
Apple certainly has proven successful in terms of straight-up earnings. For the
fiscal 2011 second quarter ended March 26, the company reported revenues of
$24.67 billion and a net profit of $5.99 billion. That represents a significant
rise from the year-ago quarter, when the company logged revenues of $13.50
billion and a quarterly profit of $3.07 billion.
Apple sold 3.76 million Macs, a year-over-year increase of
28 percent, and 18.65 million iPhones, good for year-over-year unit growth of
113 percent. Apple also sold 4.7 million iPads during the quarter, which saw
the release of the next-generation iPad 2. "We sold every iPad 2 that we could
make during the quarter," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer told
analysts and media listening to the company's April 20 earnings call, while
hinting that the 9.7-inch tablet appeals to both consumers and businesses:
"Seventy-five percent of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying the iPad."
Apple finds itself locked in battle with Google on a number
of fronts, most notably mobile operating systems, where the fomer's iOS is
fighting Android for share of the burgeoning smartphone and tablet markets.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.