Apple takes a bite out of its rivals to dominate the BrandFinance® Global 500

07 March 2012
This article is more than 8 years old.
  • Apple named the most valuable brand in the world (US $70.6 billion) after rocketing from 8th to 1st position on 2012 table by Brand Finance Inc, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy firm
  • Californian Tech Giant pushes Google to second place with US $47.5 billion brand value

Advanced findings from the BrandFinance® Global 500, due to be launched on 19th March, show that Apple has leapfrogged Google to be named the world's most valuable brand. The Californian tech giant enjoys the highest ever valuation by Brand Finance plc (US $70.6 billion) almost one third greater than its closest rival Google (currently valued at US$47.5 billion).

Apple rose a staggering seven places from eighth in the 2011 table after a year which has seen the Californian tech giant assert its position as the preeminent consumer tech brand with the launch of the iPad 2, iPhone 4s, Mountain Lion operating system and the eagerly anticipated launch of the iPad3. The announcement comes as Apple announces its 25th billion mobile download dwarfing its competitors in this evolving market.

Commenting on this year’s report from the Brand Finance New York office, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance Inc, said “The meteoric rise we have witnessed over the last 12 months is nothing short of staggering. Apple is the classic American corporation that was once the alternative quirky brand for designers and creatives. Now their products are accepted by major corporations and are used by the mainstream corporate industry.

“Companies like Apple are built on strong Intellectual Property and are the engine of growth in America as it struggles against tough economic conditions. Apple is a great example of how IP can be used to leverage high profits. As Apple continues to develop it seems set to dominate the technology industry in 2012 and beyond.”

The Brand Finance Global 500 Top Five Most Valuable Technology Brands

Tech Brand Rank 2012 Tech Brand Rank 2011 Brand Country Brand Value (USD) Brand Rating
1 4 Apple US $70.6 billion AAA+
2 1 Google US $47.5 billion AAA+
3 2 Microsoft US $45.8 billion AAA+
4 3 IBM US $39.1 billion AA+
5 5 Amazon US $26.7 billion AA+

Notes for Editors

Brand Finance Inc first issued its global report into the relative equity of the 250 top global brands back in 2007. In 2008, the study was extended to analyse the top 500 brands worldwide.

The BrandFinance® Global 500 report is published annually and incorporates data from all listed companies globally. Each brand is accorded a brand rating: a benchmarking study of the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitor set as well as a brand value: a summary measure of the financial strength of the brand.

Media Information:

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About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is an independent global business focused on advising strongly branded organisations on how to maximise value through effective management of their brands and intangible assets. Since it was founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

Its clients include international brand owners, tax authorities, IP lawyers and investment banks. Its work is frequently peer-reviewed by the big four audit practices and its reports have been accepted by various regulatory bodies, including the UK Takeover Panel.

Brand Finance is headquartered in London and has a network of international offices in Amsterdam, Athens, Bangalore, Barcelona, Cape Town, Colombo, Dubai, Geneva, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto and Zagreb.

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Florina Cormack-Loyd
Florina Cormack-Loyd
Senior Communications Manager
Brand Finance

About Brand Finance

Brand Finance is the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Bridging the gap between marketing and finance, Brand Finance evaluates the strength of brands and quantifies their financial value to help organisations of all kinds make strategic decisions.

Headquartered in London, Brand Finance has offices in over 20 countries, offering services on all continents. Every year, Brand Finance conducts more than 5,000 brand valuations, supported by original market research, and publishes nearly 100 reports which rank brands across all sectors and countries.

Brand Finance is a regulated accountancy firm, leading the standardisation of the brand valuation industry. Brand Finance was the first to be certified by independent auditors as compliant with both ISO 10668 and ISO 20671, and has received the official endorsement of the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) in the United States.

Methodology

Definition of Brand

Brand is defined as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services, or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength

Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors. Brand Finance evaluates brand strength in a process compliant with ISO 20671, looking at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance. The data used is derived from Brand Finance’s proprietary market research programme and from publicly available sources.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding Brand Rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach

Brand Finance calculates the values of brands in its rankings using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

1 Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.

2 Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, while in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.

3 Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.

4 Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.

5 Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.

6 Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.

7 Discount post-tax brand revenues to a net present value which equals the brand value.

Disclaimer

Brand Finance has produced this study with an independent and unbiased analysis. The values derived and opinions presented in this study are based on publicly available information and certain assumptions that Brand Finance used where such data was deficient or unclear. Brand Finance accepts no responsibility and will not be liable in the event that the publicly available information relied upon is subsequently found to be inaccurate. The opinions and financial analysis expressed in the study are not to be construed as providing investment or business advice. Brand Finance does not intend the study to be relied upon for any reason and excludes all liability to any body, government, or organisation.

The data presented in this study form part of Brand Finance's proprietary database, are provided for the benefit of the media, and are not to be used in part or in full for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

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