Apple remains the most valuable brand in the world, in an annual ranking by market intelligence company Millward Brown, reported in Marketing Week.
The Millward Brown Brandz rankings take into account both financial strength and brand equity, a measure of the value consumers place in a brand. Despite Apple's share-price woes, the brand is regarded by consumers as the 'gold standard', says the report …
"What we see with the most popular or powerful brands is that brand lasts a lot longer, is more robust and doesn't tend to slip as much, whereas the finances go up and down," explains global BrandZ director Peter Walshe, suggesting that brand is more sustainable than financials.
Apple's brand value only increased by 1 per cent this year but it still holds the record for the most valuable brand. And it leads by a long way. The next brand in the ranking, Google, is worth $113.7bn [reversing a 3 per cent decline last year to a 5 per cent gain] so Apple is $71.4bn ahead – nearly the value of Coca-Cola, which just shows how strong, powerful and meaningful that brand is," says Walshe.
An interesting way to look at the numbers is if the brand is worth $185b, and you add Apple's cash hoard of $150b, you get pretty much to the company's current market capitalisation – before factoring in anything else, like its product pipeline. Of course, it can be argued that the brand equity already takes into account consumer expectations of future cool gadgets, but it does seem to add weight to the suggestion that the company is significantly undervalued.